Saturday, May 9, 2020

A Compass In the Dark, by Phoebe Barton


(Lunar Colony) A young woman on the moon loses faith in her Father’s odd religion, but even though she moves to Farside, he still has a hold on her. (2,137 words; Time: 07m)

"A Compass In the Dark," by (edited by Trevor Quachri), appeared in issue 05-06|20, published on by .

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

Review: 2020.249 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: Although it’s set on the moon, this is really a story about growing up and letting go. Meadows finds her father’s obsession with “magnetically guiding souls” embarrassing, and she finds him embarrassing, but she loves him anyway, and she grieves his passing. Worse, she blames herself for the way they parted and for how dismissive she was of his beliefs.

I think it speaks to how a lot of young adults feel the first time they lose a parent or other childhood authority figure after they came to see that person as less-than-perfect. It’s a feeling of guilt and grief together.

Con: It made perfect sense that she’d respect his beliefs when she disposed of his remains, but it didn’t seem she was true to herself when she set up a magnetic “compass” near the base on Farside.

The scope of the story is very, very small. Her actions affect no one but herself.

And of course I’m going to ding the story for opening with a description of the crescent sun. No, the sun doesn’t go through phases—not even in space.

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