Vandana Singh. Shikasta. (Visions, Ventures, Escape Velocities)

Originally in : Visions, Ventures, Escape Velocities: A Collection of Space Futures (Arizona State University, 2017). You can nab the book in a variety of formats from the ASU website.

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

A good balance of space exploration science, AI musings, global climate change/disaster and societal impacts, and with a non-western setting. A crowdfunded probe/AI is on a planet that would appear to be too close to it’s red dwarf sun, with the planet facing the sun and therefore one side a molten mass, and the other side frozen. In a narrow temperate band, the search for life in the main task of the mission, and the nature of what life actually -is- is considered, with some tribal perspectives, from different members of the young team behind the mission. The story references the movie ‘Interstellar’ although concluding with a different – rather than fucking up this planet and fleeing elsewhere, to remain and to adapt and survive is the preferred option.

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