Extracts from the Captain’s Notes First Crew to Saturn’s Moons is a funny little piece of flash fiction, following a four-year journey and the experiences of one man trapped on a ship with five people. In only 241 words, the author is able to insert humor, drama and the excitement of space exploration. That’s no small feat.
EXTRACTS FROM THE CAPTAIN’S NOTES FIRST CREW TO SATURN’S MOONS
Mary Soon Lee
Analog Science Fiction & Fact, July/August 2018
I’m an inexperienced reader of flash fiction, but I’m super impressed at the amount of story included here. It feels like a realistic telling of a space voyage without aliens, explosions or disasters. There’s the awkwardness of living with two couples, and the drama of one of those couples breaking up. It takes the roommate breakup dilemma to a whole new level. I also love the implication that one of the exciting features about living on Mars is that they have cats.
The main character remains surprisingly well adjusted given the length of the voyage and the fact that they’re single on a ship with two couples. They find ways to spend their time, learning new skills, and taking on tedious work just to fill the time. The narration is done well, with a mostly humorous tone.
Extracts takes place on a nondescript spaceship traveling toward Saturn. There’s a glimpse of Mars, but otherwise the story is confined inside their quarters. We get a few brief details about the layout (hydroponics lab, built-in fencing practice) but otherwise it’s not delved into much. I was fine with this lack of details – it kept the focus on the people who have to deal with this extended work trip.
Space, Space Travel, Spaceships, Voyage, Saturn, Mars
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