Thursday, August 3, 2017

When I Close My Eyes, by Chris Barnham

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(Exploration SF) A cave-in on Titan leaves Darlo trapped, but he’s not going to die without a fight. It’s probably a bad sign that he’s having visions of his dead wife, though. (6,585 words; Time: 21m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average

"When I Close My Eyes," by (edited by Andy Cox), appeared in issue 271, published on by .

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

Pro: The straightforward “escape and survive plot” includes plenty of tension to make the story a fun read. The scientific elements are well done, for the most part.

Con: The ghost has a real effect on Darlo’s world (it gives him accurate directions), which means it’s real. That spoils this as a hard SF story.

The ending strongly implies that he’s walking to his death, where he’ll join his wife at last. Yet the engineering elements make it seem that he has a good chance of surviving. By failing to pick the ending, the story makes it seem that the real plot was about Darlo accepting the reality of his wife’s ghost, which is rather unsatisfying.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 271)
Chris Barnham Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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