Saturday, November 3, 2018

Death's Door, by Alastair Reynolds

★★★☆☆ Average

(Utopia) Sakura has lived more thousands of years than he can count, and now he’s ready to make an end. His friends convince him to give them six months to change his mind. (8,645 words; Time: 28m)

"Death's Door," by (edited by Jonathan Strahan), appeared in (RSR review), published on by .

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

Review: 2018.617 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: The strength of this story is the tour of the far-future solar system, which is entertaining all by itself.

Sakura’s existential concerns are timeless; people have obsessed over the pointlessness of existence for a long time. His friends’ concerns seem much more selfish: they don’t want him to die because they don’t want to lose the pleasure of his company.

The ending, at first glance, leaves it open whether he’s going to end himself or not. He did promise an old friend a long time ago that he would live for both of them. However, the story tells us earlier that he was bad about keeping promises, so I suspect the meaning of the ending is that he elected to die, not live.

Con: The descriptions run on for too long, and the story drags in places.

I was surprised that Gedda died. I’d expected that in this world death would be reversible. If not, I wondered how any of them lived so long as they did, since accidents do happen.

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