Thursday, December 1, 2016

The Tree of Life, by Jennifer Rohn

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(Apocalyptic Hard SF) Even after the aliens arrived, she kept working in her lab, hoping to finish the most important project in her life: a very special apple. (3,696 words; Time: 12m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average

"The Tree of Life," by (edited by Michael Brotherton), appeared in (RSR review), published on by .

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

Pro: The plot is clear enough: release the seeds of her trees of life so the Earth can be repopulated sooner rather than later.

The story sneaks up on you with the revelation that the whole rest of the world was slain by aliens who only wanted to steal the planet's natural resources. That gives us time to get to know and like the protagonist a bit, and it's a real shock when what really happened sinks in.

Con: There are too many infodumps. They don't ruin the story entirely, but they do drag it down.

The way she fools Shaun is a bit confusing. Her plan depends on her deploying her apple without him knowing, but he's only there because he was interested in her apple work. And if he's going to leave her at the end with a few minutes to make her peace, why does he need to give her the apple? And is she really planning to eat it? What good would that do?

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