Thursday, February 13, 2020

The Host, by Neal Asher


(SF Adventure) Captured for his crimes, Ivebek expects to be executed, but an AI is taking him to another planet to meet with an alien for some reason. But why? (8,486 words; Time: 28m)

"," by (edited by Neil Clarke), appeared in issue 161, published on .

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

Review: 2020.081 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: All the mysteries in the story are eventually cleared up. Ivebek isn’t even being punished, per se, although his experience is certainly pretty horrible. He’s actually doing some good for society.

Con: The biggest problem with this story is that it’s loaded with infodumps that are never useful. E.g. Ivebek learns that Mobius Clean can repair the drive core, even though most of humanity thinks it’s not possible. We get a detailed description of this, and then it never comes up again.

Beyond that, the whole point is that the alien civilization collapsed because although they could invent interstellar travel, they couldn’t invent in vitro fertilization.

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