Monday, May 7, 2018

A Green Moon Problem, by Jane Lindskold

★★★☆☆ Honorable Mention

(SF Horror) On Cat station, people tell stories of a super-competent engineer, Tatter D’MaLeon. Supposedly she can fix anything, for those who can pay her price. (6,084 words; Time: 20m)

"A Green Moon Problem," by (edited by John Joseph Adams), appeared in issue 96, published on .

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

Pro: Jurgen wants to be with Rita forever, and that’s pretty much what he gets. Ironically, Rita wants to find extraterrestrial life, and that’s pretty much what she gets too.

The story so clearly has “deal with the devil” written all over it that the only suspense is waiting to find out what the catch is going to be, but that's enough to keep it interesting all the way to the end.

A “tatterdemalion”  is a “ragamuffin”: someone dressed in ragged clothing. That certainly fits the character's appearance.

Apparently this story is something the author has been working on for a couple of years. Hopefully that means we'll see more of this character.

Con: Jurgen’s attraction to Rita is unhealthy, and his attitude in general is annoying; it’s hard to root for him. When he ends up turned into a tree, we don't really feel horrified, but nor did we despise him enough to feel like he got what he had coming to him.

Tatter D’MaLeon had to be almost supernatural to know a) that there was an alien lifeform already existed stuck to the hull of the space station b) what effect that life form would have on human beings and c) that Jurgen and Rita would both end up contaminated by it.

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2 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. I really enjoyed this story's tone and style, but the ending fell flat for me. I guess I've read too many backfiring-wish stories (who hasn't?), and this one wasn't different enough to make it seem anything but routine. On the one hand, Tatter was a wonderfully weird and intriguing character. On the other, I wish we had found out a little more about her and why her payment was so odd.


    1. Yeah, this is another "teaser" story that leaves you wanting to read more (at greater length) but without being outstanding in its own right.