Robert Reed. The Cryptic Age. (Asimovs December 2014)

ASFD14CoverThe number of stories I’ve read by Reed in the last 12months or so has tailed off dramatically – just 3 in 2014, whereas there are almost 150 of his stories reviewed on Best SF (click on the ‘tag’ above/below this post).

Here he gives it full RobertReedmodetm, the equivalent of Transformers ‘BeastMode’.

It’s one of his ‘Great Ship’ stories, which at their best are Space Opera on a BFO (Big Fuck Off) scale. Here he gives us some backstory of one of his characters Miocene, cold-blooded First Captain of the Big Ship (an enormous, absolutely enormous alien vessel now crewed by humans, on a universe-spanning millenia-spanning journey).

Now I’ve read a lot of the Great Ship stories, with possible ‘Remoras’ being the first, w-a-y back in 1995, and my increasingly swiss-cheese-like brain can’t remember character names that well, and I’m at a lost for a-n-y memories of having previously read a story containing her.

That could be a Bad Thing, if the story was a ‘bit of a backstory’ story, but it’s much more than that. Read it closely, and it’s much, much more than that. I mean, much more. The nature of memory, and story, and in fact, why (or how) are we here, are all covered.

I liked the story. Lois Tilton on Locus Online loved it. But over on TangentOnline, Jamie Lackey, unfamiliar with The Great Ship, didn’t find it very engaging.

More from this issue here.

One thought on “Robert Reed. The Cryptic Age. (Asimovs December 2014)

  • January 7, 2015 at 7:09 pm

    I have only read a handful of Robert Reed’s stories, but I have yet to be disappointed by any of them. I got the collected Great Ship book awhile back and need to take the time to start reading it.

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