Dancing by M. E. Garber

Posted by Nicky Drayden on Oct 9, 2014 in Reviews

Daily Science Fiction

Minutes after an explosion kills Arun, beloved father and husband and pilot to their antique spaceship, a mother and daughter are forced to put aside their grief to land the ship and find a way to save both of their lives.

The ship’s belly bumped the ground, rose up, and dove hard. Tearing metal shrieked louder than Natesha. Seema buffeted in her restraints as a series of booms shook what remained of the ship. Then it settled, hissing, to the ground.

 She freed herself and raced through the chaos of debris to Natesha, who sagged against her restraints. Trembling hands touched her daughter’s cheek, her neck. A pulse! Natesha’s eyes fluttered. Seema’s clenched body released, and she placed a kiss on her daughter’s bruised forehead.

Tears welled in Natesha’s eyes as Seema’s hands flew over her, loosening her restraints.

“Daddy wouldn’t have crashed us,” her daughter said, then threw herself into her mother’s arms and wept.

We’re instantly thrown into a tear jerker, these two women and a child on the way, set down on a hostile planet whose air will kill them in an hour. All of their emergency lifesuits have been destroyed by the explosion that killed Arun. Mother, Seema, cannot see how life will be possible without her husband, but for the sake of their children, she pushes forth, trying to be strong for their guilt-ridden daughter Netesha.

This piece of flash hold’s its fair share of emotion, and then some. Their reactions rang true, and their anxiety transferred to me as I read along. I felt Seema’s frustration of her daughter refusing to listen, but understood that Netesha was not in a place to make a rational decision of her own. The ending image (without spoilers) is a very powerful one that echoes the relationship between mother and child. My only gripe is that Seema stumbles onto the solution to their problem rather abruptly, and I would have liked it to be more of a natural discovery, but still, this is a very quick and emotionally potent read.

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“Space Travel Loses its Allure When You’ve Lost Your Moon Cup” by Sylvia Spruck Wrigley

Posted by Nicky Drayden on Oct 1, 2014 in Reviews

Crossed Genres, July 2014 (Issue 19)
Author Website: http://www.intrigue.co.uk/


Short Women in Space, Review #1

So, yeah, periods in space. Might as well go there on this first review, right? Let’s take a quick peek at the opening:

Zero G and three light years from the nearest drugstore is a shitty time to realize that you left your spare moon cup at the space station.

Tonight I lost mine to the relief tube. The stuffy musk-and-lemon smell of the hold was invaded by the sharp tang of blood. I was half-asleep, trying to empty it without fuss in the dark. The relief tube suction was just strong enough to whisk the cup out of my still-asleep slick fingers.

There you go, big time problem is introduced right there in the first two paragraphs, accompanied by the perfect amount of sensory detail to pull me in. I can almost feel the moon cup (apparently already a thing) slip from my own fingers, down the chute of the space toilet, and into oblivion.

In that split moment, her fun, care-free, seven-month voyage to Barnard’s Star becomes a bloody nightmare. Cargo space is too precious to allow for storage of bulky feminine products, so she is forced to improvise. Oh my goodness, I could feel for her. Sylvia does an exquisite job of painting the desperation of this woman in so few words. Half of the audience can immediately relate. We’ve been there. Maybe not caught out in the desolation of space, but when you’re unprepared, it doesn’t matter much if the nearest drugstore is a seven blocks away or seven light years.

Overall, this was a quick, fun read, and if you’re further interested in the logistics of menstruation in zero gravity, check out The Straight Dope. Apparently, it’s no big thing, just as it is for the most part here on Earth. If you’re already crapping in peeing in a big diaper, seriously, what’s one more bodily fluid? Ick. No wonder we never saw any restrooms on Star Trek.



Valentina Tereshkova, First Woman in Space

REAL Women in Space Valentina Tereshkova
First Woman in Space
Vostok 6 (Jun. 16, 1963)
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