Thursday, January 10, 2019

Eater of Worlds, by Jamie Wahls

★★☆☆☆ Not Recommended

(Military SF) An ancient weapon the size of a rose’s thorn falls to a planet and seeks to destroy the planet by replicating itself. But the planet has defenses and the weapon has its own challenges. (4,852 words; Time: 16m)

"," by (edited by Neil Clarke), appeared in issue 148, published on .

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

Review: 2019.048 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: This is the story not just of Kali’s attempt to destroy the planet but also of her attempt to learn her true purpose.

Con: Kali impacting the moon to slow down from 0.99 c is fantasy, not science; nothing could survive such an impact. Worse, no object of her size could shatter any moon that was large enough to be noticeable from the planet’s surface. Worst of all, this wasn’t even necessary to the plot, but it made me suspicious of everything after it, and that made it impossible for me to suspend disbelief and enjoy the story.

Beyond that, it’s quite a coincidence that Kali ended up stuck in the body of the child of one of the few people on the planet with a tool able to defuse her. And the conclusion makes no sense at all; if the planetary defense system was able to do all this repair work, why did it need Kali to arrive before doing it?

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2 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. The moon thing twanged my suspenders of disbelief too. But I liked the unique point(s)-of-view of the sword turned ploughshare otherwise.

    1. I loved the author's "Utopia LOL." His dialog and narration are always excellent. But us SF fans are notorious sticklers when it comes to hard science elements. Supposedly the only fans who're more critical are the ones who read US Civil War historical fiction.