Monday, January 15, 2018

The Utmost Bound, by Vivian Shaw

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(SF Adventure) From a high Venus orbit, McBride and Artanian manage a rover on the surface. Today they’re supposed to inspect an anomaly that seems to be made of metal. (3,606 words; Time: 12m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average

"The Utmost Bound," by (edited by Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas), appeared in issue 20, published on .

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

Pro: The description of the orbiter and lander is pretty good.

The astronauts make the right decision and report their find of a dead cosmonaut to NASA.

Con: I refuse to believe that any NASA astronauts, now or ever, would for one second consider withholding data they’d collected. Nor would they rush the rover away; they calmly sit there methodically relaying their observations back to Earth as they made them.

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3 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. I think this does a nice job of setting up how this extraordinary situation has become routine for these two -- contrasted with their shock at this discovery and how it hits them close to home. But while it was awful, I didn't really follow the horrified reaction. (Eek! Run away!) And I was also baffled as to why they would consider covering it up.

    1. There's a whole group of people obsessed with the idea that the government routinely withholds scientific discoveries. Or maybe it's authors who're too lazy to create real conflict in their stories, so they use a far-fetched secrecy-obsessed government to do it for them.

    2. It would be easier for me to buy the idea of them saying they'd sit on the info now to make sure they could get it out later. But the main reason they relent is because they don't think they'd be capable of keeping quiet forever. Why would they want to?