Wednesday, June 27, 2018

The Evening of Their Span of Days, by Carrie Vaughn

Solaris, September 2017 (in Infinity Wars:Infinity Project #6, edited by Jonathan Strahan)

Opal is a dock manager on Tennant Station, out on the edge of human-occupied space. It's not clear what the political setup is; it's more implied than stated that there is more than one human polity, necessitating a Military Division. They don't seem to have encountered any alien civilizations.

But there are rumors, and strange sightings. Opal hears about them as she goes about her duties, making sure her subordinates have as much of what they need for work on ships in dock as she can wrangle. She's also trying to keep them focused on priorities, and running interference with ship captains in a hurry, who weren't necessarily open about how much work their ships needed.

And she's playing workplace politics on the other end, too, coaxing what she needs out of her supervisor, who has half a dozen other dock managers to keep working productively, too.

When a badly damaged military ship limps up to the station, she knows something very bad has happened.

This isn't a plot-driven story. If you're looking for fast-paced, high-energy action, you won't find it here.

This is a quieter, more character-driven story, with a creeping sense of fatalism. Maybe don't read it when you're depressed. It is a very good read, though. Recommended.

I bought the anthology this story is included in.