Thursday, May 2, 2019

Midway on the Waves, by Phoebe Barton

★★★★☆ A stirring story of loss and redemption on Titan.

(SF Adventure) When the city of Xanadu, Titan was destroyed 25 years ago, part of Naomi died with it. Today she visits it again, looking for something to give her life new meaning. (8,176 words; Time: 27m)

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

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

Review: 2019.231 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: Naomi and her friends witnessed the destruction of the city as impressionable teenagers, so it’s not a surprise that it haunts her still. Nor that she spends the anniversary looking for something that she can’t put a finger on.

She visits the shrine, but a lifetime of devotion won’t get her what she needs. She thinks about the colony on La Mancha, but she’s grown up under overcast orange skies; she knows she’d never feel at home under blue skies. Risking her life flying might not make a lot of sense, but rescuing a soul even more lost than she certainly does. “We all carry a bit of the light,” as she says. She's a very well-developed character, and by the end of the story, we love her dearly.

Con: Sarah’s reasons for feeling guilty are a little hard to buy. I can imagine that mourning for someone you loved who killed a lot of people must be very hard, but blaming yourself for their deaths is just irrational.

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