Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Shore Patrol, by Jack Campbell

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(Military SF) Ensign Geary gets stuck with shore patrol at the last minute, and he’s got his hands full. He’s got four of the worst recruits to try to supervise five ships full of sailors, marines, and airmen, and no matter how bad things get, they can always get worse. (7,630 words; Time: 25m)

Rating: ★★★★☆ Entertaining, Satisfying, Amusing
Recommended By: RHorton:4

"Shore Patrol," by (edited by Bryan Thomas Schmidt), appeared in (RSR review), published on by .

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

Pro: The story does a nice job of escalating the situation. First Geary has this unwelcome duty. Then he finds he’s got the worst crew. Then they don’t even have charges in their shockers. Then there are two extra ships of sailors, one of marines, and one of airmen—and the local police expect him to be responsible for all of them.

But it also does a good job of showing what Geary is made of. He gives clear directions to his team. He’s consistent. He never throws his weight around—always asks to talk to the right people in the right way, starting with the Marines. Most important, despite the hopelessness of the situation, he never gives up.

Funniest moment: When Alvarez concludes the marines are a danger to Geary, she rallies the other sailors and they attack the marines, shouting “we’re here for you sir!”

Most moving moment: When we learn that everyone on shore commended him and no one ratted him out.

Con: The weakest passages are the ones that try hardest to tie this story to the rest of the series. E.g. him hoping the nickname doesn’t stick.

The framing story (Geary talking to the captain) spoils the suspense a bit, since we know it’ll end up with people arrested but no one seriously hurt.

Other Reviews: Search Web, GoodReads.com
Jack Campbell Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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