Wednesday, May 3, 2017

We Who Live in the Heart, by Kelly Robson

★★☆☆☆ Not Recommended

(Colony SF; Lucky Peach) People who don’t like living underground in the colony can live inside giant “whales” that float high in the planet’s atmosphere. That’s usually pretty safe. (14,861 words; Time: 49m)

Recommended By: 🏆Sturgeon+2 📙GDozois+2 📙NClarke+2 (Q&A)

"," by (edited by Neil Clarke), appeared in issue 128, published on .

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

Review: 2017.398 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: The account of what it’s like to belong to (and join) a tight-knit group of “whalers” is entertaining.

Narration and dialogue are spot on, and the plot is pretty much about how Doc learned to love someone again.

Con: I found it hard to sustain suspension of disbelief, and that spoiled the story for me.

For example, it’s hard to believe humans would try to colonize a planet this hostile to human life. If helium can form clouds, the planet is very cold indeed—colder than Pluto. And it’s hard to believe that studying and working too hard could cause brain damage.

The ending didn't work for me either. Why didn’t they dump the waste pellets before they dumped their personal effects? The pellets should have been harmless anyway; in that thick atmosphere, terminal velocity for a light-weight pellet is probably twenty miles an hour or less. And even if you believe it could have caused the damage it did, it was just an accident—she wasn’t deliberately playing with people’s lives.

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1 comment (may contain spoilers):

  1. I didn't think it was an accident. I thought she was trying to get them to move. But some didn't and some moved into the falling pellets. Then most of the remaining crews had a little more time to leave before their whales just "beached" themselves again. Definitely interesting world-building. I wouldn't mind seeing more stories here.