Thursday, July 16, 2020

Knock, Knock Said the Ship, by Rati Mehrotra

★★★★★ Solid Characters, Interesting Plot, Heartwarming.

(SF Thriller) Deenu, a refugee from the destroyed Lunar colony carrying a debt she’ll never pay back, works a dead-end job on a slightly shady cargo ship with a slightly unhinged AI. And then the cops show up. (5,708 words; Time: 19m)

Recommended By: πŸ‘MHaskins+1 πŸ‘STomaino+1 (Q&A)

"Knock, Knock Said the Ship," by (edited by C.C. Finlay), appeared in issue 07-08|20, published on by .

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

Review: 2020.376 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: Just by being alive, Deenu’s better off than most people from Luna, but living on when your friends and relatives are all dead is still pretty awful, especially when your new life has so little hope in it.

The ship AI is a great character all by itself, and it’s hard to tell if it’s malfunctioning, insane, or doing the right thing and we’re just too dumb to know it.

The captain is also an interesting character, and part of the fun of the story is deciding whether she’s cruel, corrupt, or just fair but strict.

The Lunar pirates present a terrible temptation to Deenu, and that adds more tension—at least, for as long as we think she might sign up with them. They’re in a truly desperate situation as well, and it’s hard not to have at least some sympathy for them.

The conclusion is very moving because Deenu has earned a happy ending, and it’s great to see her get one.

Con: Arguably the ending is a little too happy.

Without knowing what happened on Luna, it’s hard to see why the refugees are hiding out on an abandoned space station. Why didn’t they find someplace to take them in? There seems to be a much larger story here; maybe someday we’ll get to learn the rest of it.

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