Review of Marie Vibbert, “Second Hand Destinies”, Analog Science Fiction and Fact March/April (2021): 139–145 (Kindle) – Purchase Here. Reviewed by John Atom.
Tatiana is troubled young woman living with her brother and grandmother on a battered space-station that barely works. She is not the real Tatiana, but a tentacle creature – a symbiote/parasite – that has taken her form. Her brother and grandmother know this, but are happy to have her in their lives. One day, a damaged spaceship carrying a royal fugitive lands on their station, bringing all sorts of trouble for the unorthodox family.
Vibbert is great at establishing mood and this story is no exception. There are a few great moments in the story that create a rich and complicated universe in just a few paragraphs (or a few line of dialogue). However, after a rather tense climax, the author opts for a conveniently “happy” ending that doesn’t quite land, in my opinion. Still, this is very much a story worth reading.