Thursday, March 2, 2017

Number Thirty-Nine Skink, by Suzanne Palmer

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(Hard SF) Long after the loss of its crew, Kade-5 continues its mission of terraforming the planet. It finds something interesting, but whom can it tell? (5,525 words; Time: 18m)

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ Not Recommended

"Number Thirty-Nine Skink," by (edited by Sheila Williams), appeared in issue 03-04|17, published on by .

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

Pro: The world is described in glorious detail.

Con: The science falls apart at the end. The idea that the AI somehow absorbed Mike’s nature from his corpse is magic, not science, as is his miraculous resurrection.

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2 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. I disagree; I thought this story was quite good. An interesting mystery, well-being realized planet, and satisfying emotional arc. Maybe the problem is thinking about it as hard SF when it's not.

    1. Skimming over the story again, yes, I read it as hard SF, since that's how it starts off. When it switches from that to fantasy science, I just mark it as "bad hard SF."

      I'll claim, though, that this is still the fault of the author. :-)