Sunday, September 11, 2016

The Despoilers, by Jack Skillingstead

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(Hard SF) Seventeen-year-old Allegra's mad father has trapped them both on 51 PegasiD. They'll both die there unless she can find a way to get help. (3,194 words; Time: 10m)

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ Not Recommended
Recommended By: SFRevu:4

"," by (edited by Neil Clarke), appeared in issue 120, published on .

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

Pro: This has all the elements of a strong SF story. Sympathetic protagonist with a can-do attitude. Tension over whether the landed ship is viable and whether the pilot will live--or even whether her crazy father will manage to interfere somehow.

Con: What sinks this story is the "inner monologue" narration. There's nothing wrong with inner monologue per se, but here it's all in the form of rhetorical questions, and it comes off sounding like a third-grade teacher keeps stopping the story and asking questions of the class.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 120)
Jack Skillingstead Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

1 comment (may contain spoilers):

  1. This story is pretty light on content. The father is an interesting character, but the author mostly ignores him in favor of Allegra's very ordinary feelings of frustration. By the time the story ends, not much has happened.