Sunday, June 24, 2018

Left to Take the Lead, by Marissa Lingen

[Analog]
★★★★☆ Great coming-of-age story

(SF Adventure; Oort Cloud Stories) After a disaster in the Oort Cloud left her family penniless, young Holly works on a farm on Earth to pay for her college education while waiting for her uncles to raise funds to put the family back in business. (11,492 words; Time: 38m)

Although this is one of many stories in this series, there’s no need to read earlier ones first. If you like this one, you should have a look at Blue Ribbon.

"Left to Take the Lead," by (edited by Trevor Quachri), appeared in issue 07-08|18, published on by .

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

Pro: By the time the twister comes, we’ve learned enough about Holly to believe that she’s more than ready to take the lead in getting her family back on its feet.

Holly’s indenture is a lot closer to a student loan than a form of slavery, and that makes the whole thing much more believable than it could have been. The Pavelkas like Holly, and they treat her like a friend, albeit not like family, and certainly not like “Family” in the sense she’s used to.

Earth seen through her eyes is an awful place, and even with that filter, we can see it’s a good bit worse than the world we live in, even though the people she interacts with seem happy enough for the most part.

The storm that destroys the farmhouse doesn’t come as a great surprise, but the good that comes from it is Holly’s determination to stop waiting for her relatives to save the day; she herself will take the risky assignments needed to raise the funds to buy a ship and start rebuilding the family fortunes.

Con: Holly is the only well-rounded character in the story.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 07-08|18)
Marissa Lingen Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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