Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Finding Their Footing, by Marissa Lingen

★★★★☆ Tender and Touching

(SF Adventure; Oort Cloud Stories) In the wake of her husband’s death, Anke leaves the Oort cloud for a job on Callisto, bringing her kids with her. A planned side-trip to Triton goes awry, and they made a hard decision. (4,974 words; Time: 16m)

There's no need to read the earlier stories in order to appreciate this one.

"Finding Their Footing," by (edited by Trevor Quachri), appeared in issue 05-06|18, published on by .

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

Pro: The story gradually makes it clear just how much Anke and her kids have lost, and that the word “family” means something very different to her than it does to us. She really doesn’t want this trip to Triton to become yet another thing that they’ve lost, and that explains why she’s willing to sacrifice so much for it.

The little daughter, Femke, injects enough comic relief to keep the story from being too serious for too long a time. My favorite was when she said:
Like when someone’s mama and daddy are not good genetic matches and they had to get a different bio-daddy out of the Space Chicken Database, and I figure it out because you can see how they look, I never say it out loud. Not for months now.
When Madame Bouchard helps them out, it’s a sensible form of aid: Anke really is an expert in constructing soils, and Madame Bouchard simply helps her get a job that actually suits her abilities. It's not mere charity, and it's not undeserved, so the ending is very satisfying.

Con: It’s pretty obvious that Madame is going to use her vast wealth to help them out. It’s a little disappointing that Anke doesn’t do more to earn it.

There's an argument to be made that she ends up being rewarded for foolishly indulging her kids in a vacation they can't afford.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 05-06|18)
Marissa Lingen Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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