Thursday, November 28, 2019

Dent-de-lion, by Natalia Theodoridou


(SF Adventure) An astronaut goes to an alien planet to find a plant that holds the cure for a deadly disease that’s ravaging the Earth. (5,301 words; Time: 17m)

"Dent-de-lion," by (edited by Andy Cox), appeared in issue 284, published on by .

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

Review: 2019.669 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: The plot is simple enough: find the cure, but also figure out how the heck there’s dandelion hybrids on this planet. On a separate level, Thomae is trying to prove to herself that she’s up to the job despite her accident on Earth.

Con: The science is very, very bad. The idea that an alien organism could be useful against any human disease is absurd—much less that someone on Earth could predict we’d find such a thing on a particular not-very-earthlike planet. The idea of a silicon-based organism isn’t entirely crazy, but the idea that it could breed with terrestrial life certainly is.

Why would you send a human being to get the sample? An unmanned rover would be much quicker and easier. For that matter, why does Derek keep going out of range? Why isn’t he in synchronous orbit over the landing site?

I’d say the result of the mission makes it really clear that Thomae is not fit for duty. Her mind wanders and she comes close to disaster over and over. Her feeling of vindication at the end seems self-deluded.

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