Alastair Reynolds. Holdfast. (Extrasolar, ed Nick Gevers)

Originally in : ‘Extrasolar’ ed Nick Gevers (PS Publishing).

Reviewed in : The Best Science Fiction of the Year: Volume Three. (ed Neil Clarke, Nightshade Books 2018)

£30UKP for the unsigned hardback anthology from which this story came, wowza! A shorter, tighter story than is oft the case with Reynolds, albeit with his usual boggling galactic backdrop. Far future, and a genmod human soldier and an alien ‘maggot’ warrior face off in inhospitable terrain in the atmosphere of a jovian planet. It’s not going to end well for either of them, but [spoiler alert] in their last moments the two are able to achieve an understanding previously not achieved between their species, thanks to a low level life form in the rock on which they stand.

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