Thursday, August 24, 2017

Climbing Olympus, by Simon Kewin

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(SF Adventure) Florian used to be a climber back on Earth, and now he wants to be the first man to climb Olympus Mons. (3,114 words; Time: 10m)

Rating: ★★★★☆ Deeply Touching

"Climbing Olympus," by (edited by Trevor Quachri), appeared in issue 09-10|17, published on by .

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

Pro: It’s not really about the climb; it’s about Florian making peace with his father after all those years. Partly it’s about forgiving the man for spending so little time with him and his mother, but it’s also about expiating his own guilt at walking out of his father’s life after their aborted climb of Denali.

It’s touching when we realize he brought his dad’s ashes all the way from Earth to leave them on the peak of the volcano, and it’s creepy when we realize that those ashes are what he’s been talking to all along. In a sense, he and his dad really did make this climb together.

The science is pretty good, for the most part.

Con: It’s impossible to believe that a single person would be allowed to do this. A team of three would seem to be the minimum. The dialogue with the mission commander is the weakest part of the story.

There’s no real tension in the story; his slip on the mountain is the only source, and it’s over almost immediately.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 09-10|17)
Simon Kewin Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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