Fantasy & Science Fiction Sept/Oct 2021 Issue Early Review

Tangent posted an early review for the issue of Fantasy & Science Fiction my short story, “Ice Fishing On Europa”, will appear in. It was very positive and highlighted the amazing stories in the issue. The section on my story was very kind. I’m so happy to have my first review ever of my writing say such nice things!

Erin Barbeau’s science fiction short “Ice Fishing on Europa” is a delight. I don’t know why it helps to travel to a distant inhospitable world and become stranded without food or medicine to find humanity, but work like this is why science fiction exists. “Ice Fishing on Europa” opens on a space-suited human alone on the ice near a tiny research station, staring into the stars and imagining vanishing into the stellar void until jerked by alarms back to work. The inhospitable nature of the workplace becomes clear: the research station is overdue for resupply, the protagonist is out of antidepressants, and the offsite officers responsible for the project appear to be as concerned about worker welfare as a mine owner who’s decided the place to save money this quarter is the safety budget. It’s easy to buy the protagonist’s fury, helplessness before the botched resupply, and sense of betrayal—not only by employers who knew what medicine means to the protagonist’s mental health and how its absence inevitably leads to daily anguish, but by a society so unaccepting back home on Earth that it seemed sensible to fly to a distant planet’s inhospitable moon just to stop feeling alienated for refusing to fit in, all the better to stare at the stars wishing to disappear. Barbeau really lays out the human condition. The story’s magic—okay, it’s not magic-magic, this is science fiction—is that despite all this the protagonist is not alone. And it’s beautiful. Highly recommended.

Lewis, C.D. (2021). Fantasy & Science Fiction, September/October 2021. Tangent. https://tangentonline.com/print-bi-monthly/fantasy-science-fiction-september-october-2021/

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