Friday, August 12, 2016

Reclamation, by Ryan Row

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(SF Horror) An asteroid miner is cast adrift by a collision. Her suit can preserve her life indefinitely, but not her sanity. (4,032 words; Time: 13m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average
Recommended By: SFRevu:4

Review changed 1/5/2017.
"," by (edited by Neil Clarke), appeared in issue 119, published on .

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

Pro: It's a fairly good horror story, once you see it. The astronaut is trapped in space all alone. She encounters an alien artifact which infects her and starts to feed on her memories, stripping her of her past. Against all odds, a rescue ship finds her. She tries to warn them that they'll be infected too, but the alien consumes the last of her mind before she can do so.

Con: The purple prose makes this story hard-to-read, which is why I missed the alien entirely on my first read. There's is almost no dialogue--just a long stream-of-consciousness slog. Such scientific language as there is is discouraging, e.g. saying "quadrants" instead of "coordinates."

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 119)

3 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. Ah, see normally I would agree with you Greg about stream-of-consciousness stories deserving low ratings, but in this case I feel like it was happening during the perfect setting: astronaut dying in space with her mind going while waiting-but-not waiting for rescue and hallucinating her past. Plus we get enough solid reference points to keep us in "reality" that it didn't throw me out of the story.

    Opinions differ of course but I though this one deserved a pass.

    1. Actually, I realize now that I entirely missed the fact that this was a horror story, and that she was "infected" by an alien artifact of some sort--which she's about to infect the rest of humanity with. I'll need to rethink the rating for sure.

      Thanks for pointing it out!

  2. Okay, I changed the rating to 3 and rewrote the review. Thanks again for calling attention to my mistake.