Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The Use of Things, by Ramez Naam

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(Hard SF) Ryan’s the only person on a prospecting mission to an asteroid, so when he gets knocked loose, there’s no one he can call for help. (4,569 words; Time: 15m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average

"," by (edited by Ed Finn and Joey Eschrich), appeared in , published on by .

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

Pro: Given that the story stars with Ryan cartwheeling into space, the obvious plot is about saving him. Beyond that, Ryan ultimately recognizes that humans are a liability in space, not an asset, given sufficiently advanced technology. But the story also makes the point that humans are the only reason to go into space in the first place.

Con: Ryan is a fairly weak protagonist, having little or nothing to do with his own rescue. Instead, the CALTROPs rescue him, based on their own programming.

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2 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. Possible parallels with"Saving Private Ryan" where the extreme cost was only outweighed by intangible benefits.

    1. I didn't make that connection, but it's a good one.