Saturday, April 29, 2017

The Runabout, by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Find this issue
(Space Opera; Diving Universe) The narrator leads a team salvaging long-lost technology from a graveyard of starships, whose stardrives still disrupt the surrounding space in dangerous ways. (44,874 words; Time: 2h:29m)

Rating: ★★★★☆ Thrilling and Inventive

I have not read any of the earlier stories in the Diving Universe, but I still thought this one was great.

"The Runabout," by (edited by Sheila Williams), appeared in issue 05-06|17, published on by .

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

Pro: The Boss’s main goal is to figure out the Runabout. Yash has a separate goal—to find the Fleet. Everyone else’s goal is to support/protect the Boss.

The story divides into three separate dives. Each dive creates tremendous tension, each more than the one before. Each one also shows us more about the Boss and the other characters and how they relate to one another.

The first, aborted, dive, involves the Boss, Elaine, and Orlando investigating the Dignity Ship but being interrupted by the awakening Runabout. The Boss realizes she’s vulnerable. It's remarkable how much this episode shows us about this universe without having to tell us through sterile narration.

The second dive takes just the Boss and Elaine to open the Runabout, and they barely survive. They get it open, but pay a price for it.

The third dive takes the Boss and Yash inside the Runabout, where they find some of what they wanted and learn a few answers. Orlando gets to be a hero rescuing them.

The narration is transparent, with no perceptible info dumps. The dialogue is consistently realistic.

Con: The character development is limited because we only see them when they’re engaged in the main task. As a result, we don’t get attached to any of them, and there’s no emotional impact at any point.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 05-06|17)
Kristine Kathryn Rusch Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

Follow RSR on Twitter, Facebook, RSS, or E-mail.

No comments (may contain spoilers):

Post a Comment (comment policy)