Sunday, July 12, 2009

Carolyn Ives Gilman's "Arkfall" (novella, adventure, free)

Quote from short story titled Arkfall by Carolyn Ives GilmanVery good adventure story; later parts are too much like pulp era adventure, but I didn't mind.

Going by my experience with Western stories dealing with India, I guess Japanese readers will likely find some of the treatment too much of a caricature. But rest of us can have fun in an exotic setting.
PS: Actually, Japan is nowhere explicitly named. I just ended up making the association. I wonder if author actually intended that readers make the association.

Story summary.

A Japanese frontier underwater colony called Golconda Station, on an icy waterworld call Ben. They've spent several generations terraforming this world; many more generations are still needed. It continues to be a very unfriendly world.

Circumstances will put a native Osaji, her dying & senile grandmother Mota, & a brash male visitor Jack on an "ark" - a kind of submarine vehicle that has severe navigational restrictions but can otherwise sustain its occupants forever. So off we go, on an adventure to uncharted parts of this world...

Collected in.

  1. David Hartwell & Kathryn Cramer (Ed)'s "Year's Best SF 14" (2009).

Fact sheet.

First published: F&SF, September 2008.
Read online at HarperCollins (no download).
Rating: A.
Added to my "best of the year 2008" list.
Author talks about the roots of the story with John Joseph Adams at F&SF.