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Generations Lost and Found (Shorts Review)

Generations Lost and Found is a quick portrait of a strange set of crew members on a ship bound for a new planet. It’s a fascinating tale of human evolution bound to a person’s job and the restrictions of an old spaceship that continues to degrade. Overall, it features sharp characters and a number of interesting developments within an evolved mini-culture.

GENERATIONS LOST AND FOUND

Evan Dicken
Analog Science Fiction & Fact, July/August 2018

Spoiler

STORY

Generations Lost and Found is an often untold story of human colonization. It focuses on the groups of people who aren’t cryogenically frozen. These humans, if you can still categorize them as humans, have lived for centuries keeping the ship afloat, directing it toward their distant destination planet. Interestingly, it takes on a Titanic-like tone as they realize their place in the final plans of the journey. I love their solution and the hope it adds at the end of the story.


CHARACTERS

There’s so much to the characters of Generations Lost and Found. Somehow, they’ve all adapted to the functions they’re meant to serve on the ship. You’ve got technicians with elongated heads and limbs meant for delicate work. The lead character is an engineer who slithers around, perhaps on tentacles, though it’s not directly pointed out. The character’s wife sounds like a Monsters, Inc. variety scientist, her body covered with eyes and ears and a number of unexplained senses beyond human perceptions. They have unique languages and have adapted to the ship as its systems have failed over the decades (or centuries).


SETTING

Generations Lost and Found takes place on a starship that I imagine to be dank and dirty, falling apart at the seams. So often, these far-traveling colonization ships are portrayed as pristine and state-of-the-art, mostly untarnished even after decades of deep space travel. This ship is the opposite, showing the wear and tear of the journey and the modifications made when systems failed.


CONCEPTS

Space Travel, Colonization, Evolution, Space Exploration

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