Monday, October 14, 2019

Nesting Habits of Enceladan Jade Beetles, by Eli Brown

★★★☆☆ Honorable Mention

(SF Adventure) A scientist’s life is in peril when one of the creature’s he’s studying burrows into his space suit. (5,313 words; Time: 17m)

"Nesting Habits of Enceladan Jade Beetles," by (edited by John Joseph Adams), appeared in issue 113, published on .

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

Review: 2019.584 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: The tension in the story isn’t the threat to his life, since we know the suit is taking care of him, nor the need for immediate rescue, since we know that’s just minutes away. It’s whether in his drugged and distressed state he’s likely to harm himself.

The real plot here is the narrator’s realization that his relationship with his boyfriend is over. The loss of his left hand (which holds the wedding rings) is symbolic of that.

This is the very rare SF/F story with a gay relationship that’s not just a token.

Con: Because the narrator is doped up, there’s no reason to believe his insight about the future failure of his relationship is in any way real. His call to his partner at the end seems like a big mistake.

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