Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The New Venusians, by Sean Williams

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(SF) Teenage Natasha gets sentenced to helping her somewhat-crazy grandpa in his lab high in the Venusian atmosphere. (9,100 words; Time: 30m)

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ Not Recommended

"The New Venusians," by (edited by Jonathan Strahan), appeared in (RSR review), published on by .

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

Pro: The story does a great job with Tasha's complaining, self-absorbed, teenage voice. It's the high point of the story.

Con: The science is just too far-fetched. Violation of conservation of mass-energy pushes the story into fantasy. Further, if this sort of technology had been around for a while, someone else would have used it to destroy the Earth or else there would be draconian restrictions on its use.

A separate problem is that Natasha is almost completely a passive observer. It's her story--not Grandpa's--but she's not much of a protagonist.

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2 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. Nah, I think you're wrong. This story was fun.

    The science can take a back seat sometimes and just enjoy the sarcastic teenager trying to help land an airship through some hydrogen tornadoes. If the story was from the grandfather's point of view and the plot hung on the lynchpin of the science working out etc etc, then it would be a different story and I would maybe have issues with the science.

    1. Sometimes I can do that, but usually just for a story that doesn't take itself too seriously. E.g. one story when a character tells the pirate that his scheme violates the law of conservation of energy, and the pirate says "I'm a pirate! I break laws all the time!" Then it's funny when, in fact, his scheme DOES work.

      But I felt this story took itself too seriously for me to do that.