Wednesday, September 4, 2019

This is Not the Way Home, by Greg Egan

[Anthology]
★★★★☆ Exciting and stirring

(Lunar Hard SF Adventure) Unable to contact Earth, the last survivor of a moonbase sets off for the Farside with her infant daughter and a plan. (29,599 words; Time: 1h:38m)


"This is Not the Way Home," by (edited by Jonathan Strahan), appeared in (RSR review), published on by .

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

Review: 2019.450 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: From the opening paragraphs, we know that things have gone terribly wrong. That Aisha has lost her husband and lost her crewmate and that she’s on her own as far as executing whatever plan they cooked up to save her and her infant daughter. This adds quite a bit of tension to the long flashback because we know some disaster is going to happen; we just don’t know what it is.

The details of how Gianni died are poignant, partly because the scenario is so believable. It evokes not just sadness but anger.

As for the technical part, the idea of using “skyhooks” (aka tethers) as a cheap way to send material between Earth and the moon has been around for a while, so that part is realistic enough.

Con: It’s impossible to believe that a vehicle with no heat shield could survive reentry, particularly when the flight plan was put together without much knowledge of the atmospheric densities involved. Even if they survive the reentry, they’ll most likely drown when they land in the ocean with no one to pick them up.

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