Sunday, August 5, 2018

Come Home, by Terry Dowling

★★☆☆☆ Not Recommended

(First Contact) Three different people have vivid dreams of another planet, and each gets a part of a set of mathematical equations plus a message to “come home.” (4,765 words; Time: 15m)

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.

"Come Home," by (edited by Nick Gevers), appeared in (RSR review), published on by .

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

Pro: The humans get off the Earth and manage to visit a suitable planet for colonization.

Con: The characters are so cardboard you can’t tell them apart, but the biggest problem is that it’s impossible to sustain disbelief for this.

Why would anyone pay enough attention to dreams for anyone to even know about this?

People who have vivid dreams don’t usually run to the doctor to have their brains examined. Doctors don’t usually sample brain fluid from patients who complain about vivid dreams. Serious sceintists don’t examine apparent gibberish written by hypochondriac dreamers to see if it’s actually mathematical messages from aliens.

Assuming you swallowed all that as part of the what-if, it’s not believable that the first mission to the coordinates would be manned; they’d send a probe of some kind. If they did send a manned mission, they wouldn’t send the three people who had the visions on that trip; they’d send trained experts.

And the station they find on arrival is disappointing. In fact, why bother with all the subterfuge? Why not just send a clear message?

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Terry Dowling Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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