Saturday, July 1, 2017

Travelers, by Rich Larson

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(SF) The starship wakes her up 32 years too soon, and the only other person awake is a really strange guy. (3,148 words; Time: 10m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average

"," by (edited by Neil Clarke), appeared in issue 130, published on .

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

Pro: The plot is clear and straightforward: she figures out what the other passenger really is, and she eliminates him.

Particularly creepy is when we realize we can't believe anything the man says. He said he only ate people who died of natural causes. He says he didn’t wake her up on purpose. But it’s easier to believe he woke her up to eat her.

Obviously this is the plot of the movie Passengers but much more gruesome.

Con: Why not wake up some of the technical crew or the medical crew?

Neither character is developed at all. We’re not happy or sad when he goes out the airlock.

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5 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. I *was* happy when he went out the airlock since I thought we were supposed to deduce he had raped her while she was asleep (she was awakened because the medical monitors detected she was pregnant--that's how I interpreted it).

    But I do find this to be a flaw with all of these "woken up in between stars"-type stories--why the hell wouldn't they make some failsafes or extra precautions? At this point, these engineers are committing malpractice of some sort and should lose their licenses. :)

    1. Ah, I missed the rape implication. That one is really hard for me to believe, though, on technical grounds.

    2. Yes, very happy to see him die. This guy is pretty much the most despicable thing ever. I don't know how you could miss it, Greg. It's clearly the only possible interpretation. Maybe your brain blocked it out to protect you!

    3. My mind has a mind of it's own. :-)

  2. Yup, Passengers, but with added nastiness. It was just gratuitous.