Review of Lorraine Alden, “Ceres 7”, Analog Science Fiction and Fact January/February (2023): 118–123 (Kindle) – Purchase Here. Reviewed by John Atom.
This review may contain spoilers.
Ceres 7 is on its way to the planet Esperance with a mission to preserve the human race after Earth has presumably suffered nuclear Armageddon. Ruth and Jill, the youngest members of the all-female crew, are uncertain about their chances to survive the whole trip. With the cryogenic module half broken, only some of the members are destined to survive.
Alden’s story reminded me of Tom Godwin’s “The cold equation,” presenting yet another variation on the classic unwinnable scenario in science fiction (albeit far more plausible than Godwin’s version). I appreciated the tight economy of the prose, revealing just enough about the story’s background without drowning it in exposition. The final twist is genuinely surprising, but somewhat Deus-ex-machina for the protagonist. All in all, a great story.