Sunday, May 6, 2018

A Vastness, by Bo Balder

★☆☆☆☆ Needs Improvement

(Deep Space SF) Yoshi and her grad student pursue the mysterious aliens called Guardians into intergalactic space. (4,377 words; Time: 14m)

"," by (edited by Neil Clarke), appeared in issue 140, published on .

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

Pro: The idea of a team trying to research mysterious aliens who’re powerful and indifferent to humanity is a very interesting one, not least because it suggests an answer to the Fermi Paradox.

Con: The biggest problem with this story is the writing itself. The dialogue is unnatural and the narration is intrusive throughout.

Some things just don't make sense. For example, if Yoshi used to see these things on her home planet, why did they go to intergalactic space just to get a tissue sample?

Beyond that, Yoshi’s behavior (and the behavior of her students and the crew) is impossible to believe. The captain would refuse to take her ship into danger. Grad students would not volunteer for a suicide mission, and the crew would not help them set one up.

Finally, the conclusion leaves science behind and the story becomes entirely mystical.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 140)
Bo Balder Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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