Saturday, November 4, 2017

The Tablet of Scaptur, by Julia Keller

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(Young Adult SF Adventure) A scientist at the museum slipped Violet an ancient Martian rock just before the authorities arrested her. She and her friends are determined to decipher the writing on it, but it’s not in any known language. (9,438 words; Time: 31m)

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ Not Recommended

"," by (edited by Ali Fisher), published on by .

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

Pro: The setting is cool, and the puzzle is interesting.

Con: The writing is stilted, the dialogue is frequently unnatural, POV shifts a lot, but what weighs the story down is too many challenges to suspension of disbelief.

New Earth is apparently not in orbit. Somehow it floats above the Earth by magic. Magic holds the atmosphere in too.

The Intercept is magic too. “Making copies of people’s emotions” is both impossible and utterly pointless.

The chromatic scale (12 notes) is not the only way to record music. Even on Earth different musical scales have been used.

It is impossible to decipher a language without something known to relate it to. This is why no one has ever deciphered Linear A.

It makes no sense that people would respond to a billion-year-old tale of failure by assuming that they themselves would fail. They’d be interested in it, but that’s it.

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1 comment (may contain spoilers):

  1. I see this is a lead in for a YA novel (trilogy?). I felt like it unnecessarily over-simplified things for its intended audience. Ironic when the youngest character is impossibly smart.