Thursday, May 2, 2019

The Dominant Heart Begins To Race, by Dave Creek

★☆☆☆☆ Needs Improvement

(Alien Adventure) When a rogue planet destroyed their homeworld, the surviving Ytani fled in a hibernation ship, but after centuries of travel, they still haven’t found a habitable planet, and time is running out. (8,361 words; Time: 27m)

"The Dominant Heart Begins To Race," by (edited by Trevor Quachri), appeared in issue 05-06|19, published on by .

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

Review: 2019.219 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: An alien starship visiting the solar system during the Hadean Eon about 4 billion years ago is a nice twist. The irony of them rejecting all the planets as unfit for settlement is bittersweet.

Con: What kills this story is the bad writing. The dialogue is stilted and unnatural—and much of it is “As you know Bob” infodumps disguised as dialogue. The narration includes plenty of regular infodumps as well.

Beyond that, it’s hard to suspend disbelief because the characters keep doing things that make no sense. They wouldn’t wander around the solar system making quick visits to different planets; they’d send robotic probes to all promising planets, analyze the data, and then decide whether to visit any of them.

Nor are their reasons for rejecting Venus and Mars reasonable. Yes, a runaway greenhouse effect will sterilize Venus, and Mars will lose its water and most of its atmosphere, but these things will happen over tens of millions of years—not just a few centuries.

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