Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Water and Diamond, by Derek Künsken

★★★☆☆ Honorable Mention

(SF Mystery; The Quantum Magician) Hui investigates what look like attempts to hack the popular online games on the Chinese colony station orbiting Shāngǔ. (10,506 words; Time: 35m)

Although this is supposed to be part of the Quantum Magician series, I can’t see the connection (just from reading the blurb for the book). Anyway, this story stands alone just fine.

"Water and Diamond," by (edited by Sheila Williams), appeared in issue 11-12|18, published on by .

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

Review: 2018.580 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: The deeper Hui digs, the more interesting it gets. I liked her deduction that a suspicious alien presence would want to infiltrate the online games as a way to learn about humanity rather than announcing itself.

The way she and Duyi drift apart is sad yet inevitable. He’s water and she’s diamond.
I also liked the way her superior was a reasonable, rational person. Skeptical, but not rude or thoughtless.

Finally, the astrodynamics in the story are all pretty good. The author did his homework.

Con: It has quite a few awkward infodumps right at the start, and it ends right when it was getting interesting.

Duyi is so inconsiderate to Hui, one wonders why she didn’t initiate the breakup.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 11-12|18)
Derek Künsken Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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