Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Transport, by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

★★★☆☆ Mixed

(SF Thriller) A teenage boy on an interstellar transport vanishes into thin air, and the investigation into his demise unravels an ugly old secret. (8,599 words; Time: 28m)

"Transport," by (edited by Sheila Williams), appeared in issue 03-04|19, published on by .

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

Review: 2019.127 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: At the outer level, this is about the effort to figure out what’s happening and, if possible, to save Sam. But it’s also about Serena’s effort to get the Captain to do the right thing. Once the truth starts to come out, Rostifican wants to bring the company to justice, and Giovanni wants to find redemption for himself.

Given all this, the ending is hugely uplifting.

Con: It doesn’t quite work, though. It makes no sense that the company is so cavalier about its customers’ lives, particularly when the evidence is so easy to find. The bit about “cultural genocide” feels like the injection of a political message right at the story’s climax, which detracts from it. And Sam’s transformation after just seven days of caring for children (which amounted to little more than cuddling them) was hard to believe.

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