Thursday, May 14, 2020

Albedo Season, by Ray Nayler


(Lost Colony) A settlement on the moon of a giant planet suffers a threat from a fungus that kills the ploughtrees they depend on. (6,115 words; Time: 20m)

"," by (edited by Neil Clarke), appeared in issue 164, published on .

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

Review: 2020.268 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: This is a good hard-SF story, and an unusual one that’s focused on biology, not physics.

Con: I thought the whole way Sonay delivered her report was completely unnatural. Any council convened to listen to her would never let her drone on and one without getting to the point, much less agree to recess for a day without ever having heard at least a summary of what she’s trying to show. In the real world, a presenter would have started with something like “I’ve found evidence that every few hundred years, all the forests burn, and then the whole planet is cold and almost lifeless for a few years. This will happen within the next two years, so we need to prepare now. Here’s my evidence . . .” Otherwise, I just don’t see people sitting still to listen to the rest of it.

The story commits the sin of assuming that an entire world could be one single ecosystem. There should be regions that aren’t covered by the forest, either because of the temperature or the altitude or the rainfall or just the composition of the soil.

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