RogerBW's Blog

Before, After, Alone, Emma Newman 29 November 2023

2023 SF short story collection in the Planetfall universe.

These are all quite short, typically a scene or two; so while they don't all show transformational moments, they do show a character's state of mind, and I find I don't mind the lack of plot as I might in a longer work.

"Albert and the Kraken": set around the time of the great collapse, the surviving crew member of a wrecked container ship learns to live with the monster that's keeping him on his island.

"Act of Kindness": a look at the man who sells vegetables to Carlos at the start of After Atlas.

"Inheritance": before Mack leaves on the Atlas mission, he deals with what he's leaving behind.

"The Letter": someone rejected from the Atlas mission comes to terms with what to do next.

"Primary Purpose": directly after Before Mars, a side story on the point of existence.

"The Generation Gap": the childhood of Marco, one of the colonists from Planetfall. (But also how not to recognise selfishness.)

"The Dangerous Choice": the pathologist from After Atlas and the way she thinks.

"Tailor Made": what gov-corp life is like, from the inside. And memetic warfare.

"What Travis Built": a little like "Primary Purpose": when the immediate struggle for survival is sorted out, what do you do, and why?

"Non-Person": hacking the system.

Like Newman's novels in this setting, these aren't comfortable stories, but they're very good. They always manage to show someone's state of mind, but also to go deeper on the big questions of life.

Also, if there were any doubt, she's One Of Us. Considering the very limited ideas that non-SF-readers have about the breadth of SF:

This is why I am always utterly dismayed when an author who has only written and read ‘literary' novels decides to write science fiction. I'm sure that they too hold these same outdated ideas [i.e. pew-pew and cardboard characters] about what the genre is, as the concepts they focus on are so tired, already having been thoroughly discussed in the genre-wide dialogue that science fiction writers have been conducting for over a hundred years!

[Buy this at Amazon] and help support the blog. ["As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases."]

Previous in series: Atlas Alone | Series: Planetfall

Comments on this post are now closed. If you have particular grounds for adding a late comment, comment on a more recent post quoting the URL of this one.

Tags 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s 3d printing action advent of code aeronautics aikakirja anecdote animation anime army astronomy audio audio tech aviation base commerce battletech beer boardgaming book of the week bookmonth chain of command children chris chronicle church of no redeeming virtues cold war comedy computing contemporary cornish smuggler cosmic encounter coup covid-19 crime crystal cthulhu eternal cycling dead of winter doctor who documentary drama driving drone ecchi economics en garde espionage essen 2015 essen 2016 essen 2017 essen 2018 essen 2019 essen 2022 essen 2023 existential risk falklands war fandom fanfic fantasy feminism film firefly first world war flash point flight simulation food garmin drive gazebo genesys geocaching geodata gin gkp gurps gurps 101 gus harpoon historical history horror hugo 2014 hugo 2015 hugo 2016 hugo 2017 hugo 2018 hugo 2019 hugo 2020 hugo 2021 hugo 2022 hugo 2023 hugo 2024 hugo-nebula reread in brief avoid instrumented life javascript julian simpson julie enfield kickstarter kotlin learn to play leaving earth linux liquor lovecraftiana lua mecha men with beards mpd museum music mystery naval noir non-fiction one for the brow opera parody paul temple perl perl weekly challenge photography podcast politics postscript powers prediction privacy project woolsack pyracantha python quantum rail raku ranting raspberry pi reading reading boardgames social real life restaurant reviews romance rpg a day rpgs ruby rust scala science fiction scythe second world war security shipwreck simutrans smartphone south atlantic war squaddies stationery steampunk stuarts suburbia superheroes suspense television the resistance the weekly challenge thirsty meeples thriller tin soldier torg toys trailers travel type 26 type 31 type 45 vietnam war war wargaming weather wives and sweethearts writing about writing x-wing young adult
Special All book reviews, All film reviews
Produced by aikakirja v0.1