Thursday, December 22, 2011

Primrose and Thorn, by Bud Sparhawk

I continue my reading of award nominated stories on Free SF Online--they are not all created equal.  Primrose and Thorn was nominated for a Nebula in 1997.  Sailing is a pretty common metaphor for navigating in space, but here we see it used to navigate the gradually thickening soup that is Jupiter's atmosphere.  Now, this is not 1957, where the science might say this is forgivable.  By 1997 sailing on Jupiter is pure fantasy.  But there it is, in Analog.  It reads like it was written in 1957 also, characters being pretty wooden as if from that era.  In a nod to modernity, Sparhawk takes a foul-tempered sailor and puts boobs on it, turning it into a woman.  Right.  I relent and give it two stars for some interesting sailing tech stuff and mild suspense, but that's about it.

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