Friday, September 8, 2017

Tumbledown, by Kameron Hurley

Read this issue
(SF Adventure) If Sarai and Khulan can’t get the vaccine to Batbayer settlement, the whole colony may perish from the plague. (8,737 words; Time: 29m)

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ Not Recommended

"Tumbledown," by (edited by Jason Sizemore), appeared in issue 100, published on .

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

Pro: There’s lots of excitement and lots of tension.

Con: The story comes across as hard science fiction, but it's riddled with bad science. Here are some specifics:

  • Magnets don’t affect mercury
  • Alcohol wouldn’t create the sort of waste one removes via an abdominal stoma
  • The dynamics of the second sun are impossible. It would have a different period than the Narantu
  • The “bear” wouldn’t be able to eat animals from Earth
  • Everyone should be dying from mercury poisoning. Including the dogs.
  • Frozen mercury is denser than liquid, so there wouldn’t be a layer of “ice” above liquid. 
  • Iron floats in mercury, so her braces wouldn’t sink in it.
  • They should have known from the start to get antibodies from Sarai rather than trying to transport anything. 
  • But why are they going bad in the first place if everything is frozen?

It doesn't help that we're lead to believe that the whole mission is in vain from the start. Everyone involved seems really stupid for doing it.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 100)
Kameron Hurley Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

Follow RSR on Twitter, Facebook, RSS, or E-mail.

2 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. Originally appeared on her Patreon 11/30/2016. Locked to her patrons only -- so does this count as a reprint or original?

    1. That's a very good question. I think preprints haven't counted for other works in the past--even when paid for--so my guess is that this is still eligible.