Suzanne Palmer. Surf. (Asimovs, December 2011).

A thriller (up to a point) in deep space, that starts with an Analog-y feel to it. Bari, a junior crewmember on an academic research mission studying some intriguing, migrating space creatures. The dialog is a bit creaky, with the scientific lead giving forth in the front of the crew who clearly know why they are there : “No one has ever come this close to understanding Rooan communication before. With my system, and the extended, close-up sampling we’ll be taking today, we are making history!” (Palmer does recognise this in the story a page later!)

It turns out though that the junior crewmember is more than she appears, and this is where the story really suffers, as the story progresses with everything withheld from the reader, as Bari overpowers the crew, and sets off an altogether different mission. The main issue is that she has a whole heap of extremely advanced tech, which puts the odds into her favour and makes for not much tension, as you just know she is going to be able to pull something out of the hat (or the spacesuit) to help her in whatever predicament she faces.

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