Monday, July 15, 2019

Review - Loss of Signal

Loss of Signal
by S. B. Divya
Date: 2018
Publisher: Tor Books
Reading level: YA
Book type: short story
Pages: 16
Format: e-book

Toby Benson has a chance to make history. The first mind to circle the moon without a body in tow. It's a golden opportunity, perhaps the only chance for a 19-year-old whose body failed him to become immortal. But as he reaches the dark side of the moon and loses signal from Earth, the cold of space threatens to overwhelm him, in S.B. Divya's engrossing Original short story, Loss of Signal.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

This "short story" has an intriguing premise, but it reads to me more like a scene from a longer work than a self-contained story.

I have a lot of questions after reading this. How did they get Toby's mind inside a spaceship? (He implies that they don't have very advanced artificial intelligences... and yet they can somehow trap a human consciousness inside a computer? What, exactly, is the level of technology in this world?) How is he able to see the features on the moon without the sun? (He mentions seeing them, and then talks about the sun reappearing.) I'm not sure if the science in this science fiction is that sound. I'm also not sure if that's the point.

Toby doesn't have a body. Is he still human? He sure seems like it. What, then, is the meaning of his existence? And what's the good of living forever if he still experiences all the human emotions? Emotions that will, inevitably, be triggered by loss and existential terror as time passes and everything he knows changes...

Maybe I'm reading too much into this. Let's just say this is a competently written scene. I kind of wish it were part of a longer work--a novella, or even a full-length novel--because the premise is interesting and Toby might be an interesting character... if we had more time to get to know him.

Plot: 3/5
Characters: 3/5
Pace: 4/5
Writing & Editing: 4/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 3/5

Overall Rating: 3.43 out of 5 ladybugs

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