Sunday, August 5, 2018

Arcturean Nocturne, by Jack McDevitt

★★★★☆ A moving tale of star-crossed lovers

(SF Romance) George wants to go to the stars. Stephanie wants to compose a nocturne. They’re in love, but can they stay together? (7,071 words; Time: 23m)

Although this was originally published in the UK in 2017, the first US Publication was in March 2018, so it should be eligible for the 2019 Hugo Awards at the 2019 WorldCon, to be held in Dublin.

"Arcturean Nocturne," by (edited by Nick Gevers), appeared in (RSR review), published on by .

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

Pro: The ending is just crushing. Each made a huge sacrifice for the other, and both ended up with nothing. Like the O. Henry story, "The Gift of the Magi," only worse: In the O. Henry story, Jim and Della still have each other at the end, but in Arcturean Nocturne, George and Stephanie are both where they did not want to be, and they're both alone.

Sad though this is, it's fitting, because they both treated their relationship lightly up until they both realized they couldn't live without each other. Except that now they'll have to.

Side note: The Shaw is a real prize.

Con: Arcturus is a red giant star, so it isn’t going to have an Earth-like planet.

Why would George expect to be on the starship? He wasn’t trained as an astronaut. Much less Stephanie. And how could they even consider adding someone to the crew at the last minute?

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Jack McDevitt Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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