REVIEW: “Omega Star: Genesis” by Jasmine Shea Townsend

Review of Jasmine Shea Townsend, “Omega Star: Genesis”, in Fairy Tales and Space Dreams (Jasmine Shea Townsend, 2019): 49-63 — Purchase here. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman. (Read the review of the anthology.)

Content warning: Rape (albeit off-page).

There’s a lot of science fiction out there rooted in the recognition that things are not going well for the human race on our current planet, and if we hope to survive, we’re going to have to go elsewhere (because, of course, going elsewhere is easier, and more reasonable than trying to fix the mess we’ve made here…) Captain Alex Pulsar is doing her best to live up her name, “defender of mankind”, and is piloting a ship across the cosmos to find a new home. The first leg is a 10-year journey, and a lot can happen on a spaceship in 10 years.

I found this story, the first of Townsend’s “space dreams”, more successful than the fairy tale retellings. There was a liveliness to the language and a good pacing. I was interested in Alex and her history ()and her future) from the first page, and the other characters who were introduced were done so in an engaging and sympathetic way. These plusses were enough to make up for a few inconsistencies and plot holes that I couldn’t make sense of (if the people on the ship were tested weekly for disease, how did it take two weeks to notice that someone had died? how could a ship like tis not have an up-to-date manifest of all workers and passengers?). Overall, recommended.

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