Monday, June 19, 2017

For All Mankind, by C. Stuart Hardwick

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(Hard SF) A secret 1970 space mission sends a US and a Soviet woman on a one-way trip to deflect a killer asteroid. (12,901 words; Time: 43m)

Rating: ★★★★☆ Meticulous and Moving

"For All Mankind," by (edited by Trevor Quachri), appeared in issue 07-08|17, published on by .

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

Pro: The hard science doesn’t get much harder than this. The author has carefully thought through even the smallest details. Much of the fun of the story is watching the two heroines overcome one technical problem after another.

Tatyana is really the star character. Her blunt directness together with her genuine goodness and cute Russian accent makes her a delight to read. “He said Sasha [Alexander] would make you same offer but was shy over not knowing English.”

From the start, we know it’s going to end in tragedy, but the big emotional punch is actually when they succeed, not when they die. That’s quite an accomplishment.

Con: The worst part of this story is the first few pages. The author’s need to fit this into actual history requires all sorts of unbelievable elements, biggest of which are that a) the US and USSR could have done this in secret and b) they would have wanted to do it in secret.

It's unlikely that 1970s technology could have supported two people (even women) for so long.

The ending goes on for too long.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 07-08|17)
C. Stuart Hardwick Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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