REVIEW: “A Momentary Brightening” by Laura Muetzelfeldt and Martin Dominik

Review of Laura Muetzelfeldt and Martin Dominik, “A Momentary Brightening”, in Around Distant Suns, ed. by Emma Johanna Puranen (Guardbridge Books, 2021): 49-61 — Purchase here. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman. (Read the review of the anthology.)

Content note: Death of a parent.

This was an immensely human story, the story of Karl simultaneously mourning the death of his wife Sofie, navigating his role as now-sole parent of his young son Joshua, and also charting his path through the stars. The science took second billing to the emotion in this story, and yet this was done without sacrificing the science in any way: Though the reader is given little detail about how star lensing works or what it signifies, everything still feels viridical, as if there is far more beneath the surface, if only one wants to scratch. And that’s what I love in a sci-fi story: The sense that there is something real, that this is not just — or merely — a story.

I also particularly loved the writer/scientist reflections from this piece. Muetzelfeldt talks about the challenge that comes in shifting the solitary business of writing fiction into the more collaborative setting of science, while Dominik shares of taking his own aspirations and dreams and turning them into a story for Muetzelfeldt. Their collaborative energies shine through.

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