Saturday, October 1, 2016

Mars Court Rules, by Brad R. Torgersen

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(Sports SF) Back on Earth, JayDee was one of the best basketball players in his school, but Mars is a whole different ball game. (8,100 words; Time: 27m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average

"Mars Court Rules," by (edited by Bryan Thomas Schmidt), appeared in (RSR review), published on by .

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

Pro: It's a nice story about how JayDee not only learns to play on Mars but finds acceptance. It's the story of a lonely kid trying to be what he used to be--to fit in the only way he knows how. When the Mars boys on his team pat his back and offer encouragement, and (more important) when he realizes this means they accept him as part of their team, the story concludes naturally.

Con: The story puts its worst foot first, opening with a couple of pages of as-you-know-Bob dialog. In fact, nearly all the dialogue between JayDee and his aunt sounds inauthentic. Another problem is that the narrator intrudes into the story way too much--usually to tell us what we just saw happen.

The idea that Earth would send problem kids to Mars provided they could play good basketball is very, very silly. As is the idea that almost all the food would be shipped from Earth. Also, Mars's atmosphere isn't poisonous--it just doesn't have enough oxygen in it. Lack of nitrogen isn't the problem at all.

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