Monday, June 19, 2017

Not Far Enough, by Martin L. Shoemaker

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(Hard SF; Captain Nick Aames) When an accident strikes, the Mars crew have to figure out how to salvage what they can and somehow survive until help can arrive. (25,844 words; Time: 1h:26m)

Rating: ★★★★☆ Great Survival Tale

"Not Far Enough," by (edited by Trevor Quachri), appeared in issue 07-08|17, published on by .

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

Pro: No question what the plot is here: survive and get home. The struggles of the crew to recover from the disaster and then to retrieve vital materials from the Bradbury provides lots of tension and lots of excitement.

Although it is told by Smith, this is really the story of how Carver because a worthy #2 to Ames. Gale, the real #2, steadily declines throughout the story up to the point where he lets van der Ven go to his death. Carver steps up with each new event, ultimately standing up to the captain himself.

The AI in this story is brilliant. Not a person, not a perfect creations, Deece is simply a machine, and although her malfunction has devastating effect, she never seems remotely human. Well done.

Con: The worst problem with this story is the epilog. It’s like the outline of a story that didn’t get written, and it just goes on and on and on.

Some of the dialogue is weak, and one or two scientific points seem off. In particular, the winds on Mars simply aren’t strong enough to ever be a problem. Sandstorms on Mars are an issue solely because they block the sun and make solar panels ineffective.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 07-08|17)
Martin L. Shoemaker Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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1 comment (may contain spoilers):

  1. Another one to add to your list of Captian Aames stories is of course "Not Close Enough" from Analog May 2013. It's a direct prequel which is directly referenced in this story as some of the historical events.