Friday, May 15, 2015

The Triple Sun: A Golden Age Tale, by Rajnar Vajra

https://www.analogsf.com/pdfs/Stories/Triple_Sun_RajnarVajra-HUGO.pdf

There's a story here, and it's decently written. Unfortunately, it's also a bit cliched, and in some ways strains my suspension of disbelief in ways that are not good.

Emily Asgari, from Earth, and her two teammates, both male, a Martian and a Venusian, are cadets in the Exoplanetary Explorers corps, and ought to be heading off for their first training mission next weekend.  Of course they go out to a bar, pick the wrong bar, and get in a big fight. They then get dressed down for this idiocy, not by any of the immediate or intermediate superiors who might do it, but by the commandant of the corps. Their punishment seems equally extreme, unless these three have a long record of trouble-making of which we are not told. They can either get kicked out of the corps, or go on, not a training mission, but a very real mission to pull back a team that has been in place for decades. That mission is being declared a failure, and the team is being pulled out right now. There's some degree of urgency, so of course it makes sense to take along three cadets with not even a training mission behind them, as punishment for a bar fight.

On the ship, they're confined to quarters, with no contact with the people they'll be working with on arrival, and the idiot that actually started the fight is not allowed any communication with the other two. Makes. Total. Sense. Right?

The issue on the planet they're headed to is that there's a clearly intelligent species there--they have some electronics--but it's been impossible to establish any communication with them at all. This ought to be an interesting conundrum, and fun to see how our three cadets find the solution the experienced people haven't yet. Unfortunately, the aliens wind up snapping my suspension of disbelief. What's going on with the aliens is not just non-obvious; it's ridiculous. I can't say more than that without spoilers, but this was just too much for me.

Not recommended.