Wednesday, January 3, 2018

An Equation of State, by Robert Reed

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(SF) The army wakes in the new solar system and prepares to face enemy attack. But the enemy doesn’t show up. While they wait, one of them decides to study one of the inner planets. (3,625 words; Time: 12m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average

"An Equation of State," by (edited by C.C. Finlay), appeared in issue 01-02|18, published on by .

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

Pro: It’s a bit of a surprise that the narrator is visiting Earth, not from Earth. The bigger surprise is that it has united humanity against the threat of alien invasion, ultimately making us the biggest threat of all.

Con: The whole thing is rather confusing. How can the narrator be so powerful as to destroy the whole fleet that brought it here? What good did it do itself by elevating humanity?

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5 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. Don't really get what the narrator accomplished in its two centuries on earth. When someone is sent to retrieve it, humanity is still fighting amongst themselves (but supposedly about to unite?). And why do they think it's so important to retrieve this diplomat? Then we're told it kills those sent to retrieve it. And now earth itself is poised to fight these aliens? Or the aliens' enemy? And the narrator was inspired to do this by observing humans at war?

    1. Reed's stories are occasionally too deep for me. I think most prolific authors like to experiment occasionally. The problem with experiments is that they don't always work.

    2. This really didn't work for me. He shows some interesting scenes. Then quickly tells how things wrap up. And I'm left going..what happened? how? why? :/

    3. For me, it's better that I get to the end and say "Wait! I expected more!" than if I'm checking the progress repeatedly asking "How much of this is left?"

    4. This ending just seems too slap-dash... like Reed got tired of writing the story.