Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Martian Cinema, by Gabriela Santiago

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[Strange Horizons]
★★★☆☆ Honorable Mention

(SF Kids' Adventure) Three little girls look for Martian monsters in the empty lava tubes under the Mars Colony. It’s off-limits, but there can’t really be anything there, can there? (5,094 words; Time: 16m)

"," by (edited by Vanessa Rose Phin), appeared in issue 05/11/20, published on .

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

Review: 2020.295 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: This is a great story of kids being kids. Sneaking behind their parents’ backs and putting their own project together. I particularly liked the way the nameless narrator gradually forms more and more mature opinions about her siblings the longer they work on this project. I also liked their cleverness in dealing with the different issues that faced them, such as how to make fire and how to put color into it.

There’s a symbolic angle here too; the kids’ world is magical, but the adults shine a light on it that makes it look silly and worthless. A lot of the childhood experience is like that.

The unicorn painting was such a small thing early in the story, but the narrator’s thoughts about it at the end sent a shiver down my spine.

Con: Almost nothing in the story required it to be on Mars. You could relocate it to a basement on Earth and have almost the same story.

Flint on Mars would be huge news because it needs fairly advanced life to form. Of course, that’s small potatoes compared to painting unicorns on the walls.

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Gabriela Santiago Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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