Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Genesong, by Peter F. Hamilton


(SF Thriller) The crew of a ship routing ice from the Oort Cloud to Venus is attacked by pirates. (8,684 words; Time: 28m)

"Genesong," by (edited by Jonathan Strahan), appeared in (RSR review), published on by .

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

Review: 2019.458 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: This has the bones of a good story. The selfless protagonist going to the outer solar system for decades in order to bring back the ice and metals needed to make her world succeed. The pirate attack that kills everyone else. Her suffering in hiding for years until she finds the right time and place to strike back.

Con: The writing is just too poor to enjoy this story. Told entirely in narration, there is zero character development, and the whole thing reads more like an outline than an actual story.

Scientific accuracy is very poor. For example, the Oort Cloud is really far away. It would take centuries to get anything from there. I suspect the author means the Kuiper Belt, since the destination seems to be just past Neptune.

The idea of a spaceship made from a tree just strikes me as really dumb. And, yes, I thought the one in Hyperion was pretty dumb too.

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2 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. I disagree with your review, a lot. The story is excellent and I also found a "Tree" as a spaceship vessel rather far-fetched. However, the detail in the novella was striking and the violence horrific. 4 stars out of five for me. Cheers.

    1. It all depends on what's important to you. I have certain minimum expectations of the quality of the writing itself, and if those aren't met, then it doesn't matter what other qualities the story might have. Stories with that sort of problem generally don't get printed at all, so I was quite surprised to see something with "elementary writing problems" in an anthology like this.