Sunday, June 27, 2021

The Phobos Experience (Lady Astronaut Universe #4.1), by Mary Robinette Kowal

Mary Robinette Kowal, August 2018

Lt. Darlene Ritika, a "Lady Astronaut" stationed on Mars, is given an unexpected assignment. She, a geologist, and a pilot are sent to Phobos to check out the cave system on the tiny moon--which apparently really is mostly hollow. Even though the story of it being mostly hollow had been definitively exposed as a hoax, years ago...

When they arrive, they find a thick layer of dust which makes moving around challenging, and, yes, a cave system. While one would expect there to be less dust inside the caves, away from the entrance, one would not expect to find it apparently swept clean.

Someone is there ahead of them.

Darlene, Mo, and Lindquist have to escape their unexpected and unfriendly company, get back to their ship, and get back to Mars.

It's a quick-moving short story, with action and a surprising amount of humor, notably in the form of geology puns from Lindquist. There's also a conflict going on other than the one they're aware of, and Darlene has her own secret to keep, even as it makes maneuvering on Phobos even more of a challenge.

Overall, entertaining and fun. Recommended.

I received this short story as part of the 2021 Hugo Voters Packet, and am reviewing it voluntarily.

No comments:

Post a Comment