Saturday, November 3, 2018

Once on the Blue Moon, by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

★★★★☆ A Guilty Pleasure

(SF Adventure) Twelve-year-old Colette is scary smart and has an attitude to match. When hijackers take over the interplanetary cruise ship she and her parents are on, they don’t know what they’re getting into. (10,690 words; Time: 35m)

Recommended By: πŸ‘RHorton.r+1 πŸ‘RSR+1 (Q&A)

"Once on the Blue Moon," by (edited by Jonathan Strahan), appeared in (RSR review), published on by .

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

Review: 2018.620 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: It’s fun watching Colette operate. She’s so used to being underestimated due to her age that she casually assumes the hijackers will be the same way. She utterly fails to realize her biggest asset is the hijackers’ near-superstitious fear of harming a child.

It’s equally fun watching Napier try to figure out who is messing with his plans and how. It’s touching that at the end his biggest regret is that he thinks he’s killed a child.

Dayah Rodriquez’s role merits a mention not least because when we see Collette through her eyes we see a frightened little girl who’s out of her depth. Her casual competence and personal bravery make her scenes a pleasure to read.

It’s amusing at the end that the reward Colette wants is “something no government had the power to give.” i.e. She doesn’t want to have to go to boarding school.

Extra points for showing that both Colette and Napier struggle to hack the computer systems. A few things they manage without trouble, but big things defeat them. Much more realistic than the usual hacker who can just do anything and in minutes.

Con: I call this a guilty pleasure because the whole thing hinges on the idea that Colette and her mother are Very Important People—so important that Mars sends an expensive rescue mission that ordinary people wouldn’t rate. It’s fashionable these days to talk about “privilege,” but this is what the real thing looks like--and how!

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