Saturday, January 2, 2016

Number Nine Moon, by Alex Irvine

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(Competence SF) In the 2080s, Humanity is abandoning Mars, and Steuby and his companions think they can make money by looting the abandoned settlements at the last minute. (7,957 words; Time: 26m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average
Recommended By: GDozois:4 RHorton:4 NClarke JStrahan LTilton

"Number Nine Moon," by (edited by C.C. Finlay), appeared in issue 01-02|16, published on by .

Mini-Review (click to view--possible spoilers)

Pro: Steuby and Bridget make a good team, dividing up the work and getting their rocket up into space. The way Steuby keeps talking with his dead friend rings true, in a sad sort of way--it reminds me of a few stories from the 30s and 40s about grifters.

Con: It's really all too easy. Once they find the old rocket, there are only minor snags making it fly. We don't really learn a lot about Steuby, but Bridget is a complete cipher.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 01-02|16)
Alex Irvine Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB

4 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. Entertaining story, but I never really wondered if they'd make it. All the bad luck seems to have ended with Marco. And I didn't find out enough to feel too much for any of them. Bridget in particular almost seemed like someone the other two just met. It's established that Marco and Steuby are old friends and former co-workers so it bugged me that we never got a hint of how Bridget knew them and ended up in this situation.

    1. It's never about IF they will make it, it's about HOW they will make it! And in this case, there was a bit too many coincidences for me... hey look! A rocket! Hey look! Fuel! Hey look! The right converter we need! Still fun, but not 4 stars for me.

    2. Okay, I was never concerned about how they'd make it either! :)

  2. I agree with RSR's ★★★ rating. It's an OK story with little tension because I never thought the protagonists would have trouble getting off Mars, as other reviewers have noted.