Sunday, September 18, 2011

Signals in the Deep

Short Story by Greg Mellor September 2011 Clarkesworld Cover
Text and Audio at Clarkesworld

A mother travels through the Solar System to Pluto to visit her son, who has never written back to her. On the way, she muses on child-rearing, and by the time she gets there, she realizes she has no more to do:
Such a blind thing I had become, journeying all this way with the answer in my back pocket. It was that paradox that all parents face at some point. He was always going to grow up despite my good intentions and overbearing guidance. It just happened a little sooner than I expected, or rather sooner than I was willing to acknowledge.
On the way out, we get a nice little tour of the Solar System, before she finds out what job her son is doing and how much he has changed since she last saw him. He has adapted exceptionally well to do the job he needs to do, and although at first she barely recognizes him, she realizes he is still her son and he promises to write home once in a while.

Heartwarming SF space story. The mother and son dynamic is well written, as our the other people she meets on the way out. We can actually imagine the thoughts their respective mothers have about most of the characters we meet. A tad dull, but sweet, and an interesting future backdrop.

3 alien starfish arrays out of 5.

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