Monday, November 14, 2016

Mice Among Elephants, by Larry Niven and Gregory Benford

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(Hard SF) Sunseeker decelerates into the Excelsius system to investigate a gravity-wave generator built by potentially hostile aliens. (7,290 words; Time: 24m)

Rating: ★★★★☆ Recommended

Read an interview with the author about this story.
"Mice Among Elephants," by and (edited by Jonathan Strahan), appeared in (RSR review), published on by .

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

Pro: This is pretty much a straight-up adventure story, where the heroes investigate the alien artifact and barely escape with their lives. We learn enough about Cliff and Beth's relationship to appreciate just how much she'd miss him, and that adds a lot of tension to the surgery scene.

Most of the physics and astronomy is pretty solid, as you'd expect, given the authors. The plasma beings are an interesting twist. The artilects are a reasonable extrapolation of modern AI technology.

Con: We're intensely curious what the crew will find on Planet Glory, but the story ends right as it was starting to get exciting.

Something about the character of Captain Redwing seems a bit unrealistic, but I can't put my finger on it.

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