Sunday, March 31, 2019

Permafrost, by Alastair Reynolds

★★★☆☆ Average

(Post-Apocalypse Time Travel) A world dying from ecological catastrophe sends four people back in time to try to find seeds that can grow in the new environment, but someone is trying to stop them. (36,888 words; Time: 2h:02m)

"," by (edited by Jonathan Strahan), published on by .

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

Review: 2019.185 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: The heart of the story is Valentina figuring out what’s really going on and taking the right steps to ensure that humanity has a future. It's fun to watch this unfold.

Beyond that, I liked the idea of time-travel that fixes paradoxes with some lag time.

Con: Perhaps it’s appropriate for a time-travel story to be told mostly through flashbacks, but I found it annoying after a while.

The setup requires too many hard-to-believe things:
  1. An ecological catastrophe has killed off every living thing—even fungi—except people. How’d it miss us?
  2. Intelligent robots will eventually take over the whole world, even though they’re very limited in 2080 and that world is falling apart.
  3. If no one understands the eco-catastrophe, why does anyone believe these magic seeds will work?

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