I decided to go all in with these Amazon SciFi short stories. I will be reviewing all six in two-story posts.
Ark by Veronica Roth:
For twenty years the meteor Finis has been blazing its way towards Earth. The vast majority of peoples have been evacuated and sent on to an Earth-like planet named Terra, but two ships or arks are still on the surface and in the midst of a very important job. Unattached scientists are collecting specimens of flora and fauna to he brought on to the new planet.
In the freezing tundra of Svalbard, Samantha identifies and catalogues plants to be placed in the hull of Ark Fauna. The scientists are orphans, without dependents. This is to ensure if the calculations of Finis’s arrival are off. Ark is a story that with themes of loss, and the end of life. Samantha thinks back on the lives and deaths of her parents, and whether she will join the rest of the scientists on their trip to Earth the Sequel or stay and see the results of the meteor.
This story gets the feels. And even in few pages, I could really experience the hard decisions Samantha and her counterparts have to make. There is a subtle tension that runs through the story. A feeling of regrets and lives lost, but also a bit of hope. It’s an interesting contemplation.
￼Randomize by Andy Weir
A story by Weir that isn’t set in space… but it does take place in Las Vegas, close to Area 51!
Ok. This is a story about keno, quantum computing, and the American Dream. Easy, peasy, lemon squeezy! The IT guy in the Babylon Casino shuts down the Keno lounge the day before a new complex computer system is to be released. This computer will be able to crack the randomness of those 1-80 numbers that the grandmas pick while they sip their piña coladas… The casino boss needs a fix, now! Welp, there are a couple people who might be able to provide a solution and an opportunity.
At only 30 pages, Weir sets up his characters well. Drawn succinctly and with enough detail to propel the narrative. I liked the science and the possibilities, but felt the payoff was a bit lackluster. I wanted more of a bang.