Thursday, November 7, 2019

Moon Santa Mongo, by John Edward Uth

★★★☆☆ Mixed

(Lunar Colony) Bernot struggles to make his little shop on the moon survive in a terrible economy, and now he’s got a homeless guy pestering him for a job. (5,269 words; Time: 17m)

"Moon Santa Mongo," by (edited by Trevor Quachri), appeared in issue 11-12|19, published on by .

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

Review: 2019.602 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: The best part of the story is the interactions between Bernot and Mongo. In many ways, Mongo is an ideal employee: works hard, can fix things, eager to please. But his service has messed him up too much, not least of which is his inability to remember new things.

Bernot is mostly just struggling to stay in business, and, despite his problems, Mongo enables him to do that. At the end, when Mongo shows up looking for work (unaware that he already worked there), Bernot simply goes with it, offering him the work he knows he’ll do well. It’s rather touching.

Con: The scenario is a bit hard to believe. Only rich people can come to the moon at all, so how did an ordinary retiree end up with a shop there?

The low point in the story is the impossible-to-believe encounter with the rich customer whose daughter tries to steal a doll. The man’s behavior breaks suspension of disbelief over and over.

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