Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Fields of Gold, by Cixin Liu

★★☆☆☆ Not Recommended

(SF Adventure) A malfunctioning spaceship sends a young woman on a hyperbolic trajectory out of the solar system. Can humanity build a rescue vessel that can reach her before her hibernation meds run out? (5,894 words; Time: 19m)

"Fields of Gold," by (edited by Wade Roush), appeared in (RSR review), published on by .

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

Review: 2018.630 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: From the framing story, we know in advance that the rescue ship makes it to Alice’s ship. The bulk of the story tells us how she got into this predicament. Her final message is very moving.

Con: The story defies suspension of disbelief. Here are a few key items:

In all those years, no one ever discovered that Winter wasn’t for real?

Such a drug couldn’t possibly work the way described in the story; the radiation in space would have killed her, if nothing else. It should have been obvious to experts that it wasn’t for real.

Thanks to SpaceX and Blue Origin, we know pretty well what it takes to make a rocket that could take a person to the moon. The story seems to exaggerate the difficulty.

Why would a rocket need to be fully fueled? During flight it will at some point be half fueled anyway, so it has to be able to survive that.

Most important of all, even if people mourned the poor girl, no one would care enough to spend money trying to rescue her. No president would be forced to resign for refusing to spend trillions of dollars to try to save one person.

Other Reviews: Search Web, GoodReads.com
Cixin Liu Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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