Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Angel of the Blockade, by Alex Wells

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(SF Adventure) Nata’s one of the best smugglers, in space and because of the war, she’s in great demand. This latest deal, though, pays so well for so little work there’s got to be something fishy about it. (9,444 words; Time: 31m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average
Recommended By: RHorton:5

"," by (edited by Cory Skerry), published on by .

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

Pro: Nata delivers her uninvited passengers and returns to tell the tale. As a bonus, she acquires the courage to start showing her real feelings to Bara, whom we learned she was secretly sweet on at the very start of the story.

I particularly enjoyed the description of how a blind woman operates her spaceship and makes it difficult for sighted people. Bara has never gotten her vision fixed because she’s comfortable with herself the way she is--not because she lacks the money.

Con: The big emotional event of the story is supposed to be when Ayren says “Who destroys a soul, it is as if they have destroyed an entire world. Who saves a soul, it is as if they have saved an entire world.” Supposedly this impacts Nata “like getting punched with words,” but I found it hard to believe that a mere quotation would have any effect on her at all. As a result, the rest of the story fell flat.

There are a few minor annoyances:

We’re repeatedly told that there are no lights so there’ll be extra power to run the engines—even though it could not make any measurable difference.

Blue stars don’t have usable planets.

Iota Aurigae is misspelled “Iota Augirae.”

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 09/06/17)
Alex Wells Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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2 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. I really enjoyed how the author shows us instead of telling us that Nata is blind. Then throughout the entire story we see how Nata "sees" everything with her other senses. In fact, I would suggest taking "Even though she's blind" out of your description because I liked the fact that it was something that clicked for me a little way in. Then I went back and re-read from the beginning with a new appreciation for the other sensory description.