Thursday, May 2, 2019

The Orca Queen, by Joshua Cole

★★★★☆ A fun tale with a nice twist.

(Space Opera) Beatrice, the pirate who calls herself the Orca Queen, finds that a targeted cargo hauler is much more than it seems to be. (5,477 words; Time: 18m)

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

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

Review: 2019.232 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: Even though Beatrice is part of the royal family, she has no desire to go back. She enjoys being the Orca Queen and even the offer to be Empress of the Radiant Empire isn’t appealing—particularly when it seems to come with too many strings attached.

The story has lots of interesting twists in it. The first is when we learn the cargo hauler isn’t really a cargo hauler. The second is when we learn the dreadnaught isn’t there to kill Beatrice—it’s there to escort the new Empress back to the empire. Then there’s the twist when she reveals that she knows they wouldn’t really let her live as empress any longer than it would take for her to open the Vault. And finally the twist when we realize she has captured the dreadnaught.

Both Beatrice and Commodore Ferreira are solid characters, and it’s fun watching them sparring. The ending is very satisfying.

Con: So what were the terms of his surrender? That he was wasted on a dreadnaught and she’s going to have him paint and cook?

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Joshua Cole Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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