Thursday, May 2, 2019

Galena, by Liam Hogan

★★★☆☆ Average

(Exploration SF) The first interstellar explorers land on a water world 19 light-years from Earth, where all the conditions seem right for life yet they can’t find any. (5,662 words; Time: 18m)

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

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

Review: 2019.223 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: The story explores the question of what we ought to do with an empty but promising planet. Would it be ethical to seed it with our kind of life if we were sure it didn’t have any of its own?

Con: A few bits of bad science detract from the story. First, the whole plot element requiring them to cross the ocean so they can take off from land is based on a misunderstanding: rocket engines don’t have to "push" against anything.

It makes no sense to send a manned mission without sending an unmanned probe first.

You might collect deuterium from a planet’s oceans, but not tritium.

As long as he was going to contaminate the planet, it might have been nice to give it some photosynthetic algae.

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