Alastair Reynolds. Night Passage. (Infinite Stars ed Schmidt, Titan Books, 2017)

Read in The Year’s Best Science Fiction Thirty Fifth Annual Collection (Dozois, 2018).

The previous story in the volume was one you would identify as a Kress story without knowing it’s attribution, and ditto this story. Admittedly the reference to Conjoiners and The Great Wall of Mars would be a giveaway, but it has Reynolds’ mark on it.

Coming out of Reefersleep ahead of time, a Ship’s commander has to deal with a Conjoiner passenger uprising, and a Big Unidentified Thing that they are drifting, ship crippled, towards. There’s a mystery to be solved, and that provides a neat twist, and then there’s the problem of drifting to their doom which needs to be addressed, which is, albeit at a big cost.

All clever stuff, although admittedly the characters are rather one-dimensional, with one of them handily having prior knowledge that helps explain the background.

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