Thursday, May 2, 2019

Forgetfulness, by J.T. Sharrah

★★★☆☆ Average

(Hard SF Adventure) The crew of a starship returns to Earth after 66 years to find that, thanks to an immortality drug, all their friends and relatives are still alive. (7,877 words; Time: 26m)

Recommended By: πŸ‘STomaino+2 (Q&A)

"Forgetfulness," by (edited by Trevor Quachri), appeared in issue 05-06|19, published on by .

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

Review: 2019.218 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: It’s a fine story about the price of immortality. It does a good job of preparing us for the revelation that the drug causes memory loss, and knowing the huge assets of the team’s back pay, the ultimate solution makes perfect sense as well.

Con: Give the drawback, I don’t think very many people would actually choose to use this drug. I’d certainly expect there to be a sizeable community of people who refused it, but the story implies 100% use across the world.

A smaller point is that no manned ship would ever go to a star that hadn’t already been surveyed by a robot probe.

In terms of the writing, the long “message dump” about the value of the space program in the middle of the story is annoying, even if you agree with it.

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4 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. Loved this story. At least 4 stars. Tight plot, made me think, somewhat far-fetched that everyone would choose to take De Capo, but to me that is what SciFi is...take a set of circumstances (boundary conditions if you will) and speculate within that framework. I might have chosen not to take De Capo and stay on Earth.

    1. I might have recommended it if it didn't have the message dump in it.

  2. Loved this story and anything by J.T. Sharrah. He consistently comes up with intriguing, thought provoking situations that are truly unique and writes about them beautifully. Would give it 5 stars if I were the official reviewer

    1. Well, the story is definitely memorable, but none of the characters is. I usually want strong characters, an interesting plot, and some sort of emotional "punch" to give five stars to a story.