Thursday, October 5, 2017

Longing for Stars Once Lost, by A. Merc Rustad

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(Space Opera; Sun Lords of the Principality) Stuck on an inhospitable planet with his enemies closing in and his spaceship in dire need of repairs, Kitshan finds an unlikely source of help. (4,540 words; Time: 15m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average

"," by (edited by John Joseph Adams), appeared in issue 89, published on .

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

Pro: In terms of plot, Kitshan’s sacrifice redeems his failure to rescue Mere, and there’s some emotion in that.

The cute little starborn is endearing. Its misguided enthusiasm and determination not to abandon its only “friend” makes us applaud Kitshan even more for his sacrifice.

Con: The background of the Sun Lords series is so rich and complex that much of the story is like reading Jabberwocky. “Someone bad is after Kitshan, and he blames himself for not rescuing a friend/lover” but that’s about all we can get from it without a whole lot more context.

This is not primarily a science story, but what there is, is pretty bad. E.g. when the starship’s power goes out, it falls out of orbit.

A good question is why Kitshan didn’t just have the starborn land the ship elsewhere on the planet. The Arbiter was only able to track it by looking for the gouge it made landing, so moving it away should have been sufficient, given that the Arbiter was unable to detect the starborn.

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3 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. This is related to

    In many ways I agree with your criticisms, but I see them as fine for this style of story - it's a "sufficiently advanced technology...." setting and the overblown language and science-less effects are fine for what is basically a fantasy set in space. It's a matter of mileage varying.

    1. If you look up at the top of the blurb, there's a link to "Sun Lords of the Principality," which will (eventually) get you to the other story.

      Even for fantasy set in space, I'm bothered by things that tell me the author did no homework at all. I'm okay when there's no explanation for something (i.e. tech indistinguishable from magic) but it bothers me when there's a really bad explanation.

  2. This universe sounds like it could be fascinating, but this is too much of a fragment on its own.