Monday, January 7, 2019

A Place to Stand On, by Marie Vibbert

★★★★★ Nonstop tension and excitement

(SF Adventure) Hortensia works in the Venerean atmosphere, building a floating city, when a puncture in the aerostat threatens the whole project unless someone can patch it before a sulfuric acid rainstorm begins. (3,971 words; Time: 13m)

"A Place to Stand On," by (edited by Trevor Quachri), appeared in issue 01-02|19, published on by .

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

Review: 2019.020 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: I really like the way the story weaves together Hortensia’s determination not to lose eight months of work with her need to come to terms with her trust issues with her mother.

Her mom never wanted her to come to Venus, so she’s got something to prove in that area, but her trust issues stem from a near accident that was ultimately her mother’s fault. Determined never to put her life in anyone else’s hands, she ironically puts herself and others at more risk by refusing help when she really should ask for it.

At the climax, when she must trust her coworkers by jumping into their net, she has to fix something inside herself, so the conclusion is both moving and very satisfying.

The various hazards on her climb, as well as the general description of Venus at that altitude, are spot-on. Very nice to see a hard-SF story that bothers to get the science right!

Con: Hortensia is the only fully-developed character.

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Marie Vibbert Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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