Reviews: Analog Science Fiction & Fact Sci-Fi Short Stories Science Fiction Reviews

Priorities (Short Review)

Priorities is a masterfully written rush of claustrophobic horror, featuring a man trapped on a distant asteroid who finds himself in a life-threatening situation. It’s a quick read that shows the pitfalls of space exploration and what it takes to survive.

PRIORITIES

Jacob A. Boyd
Analog Science Fiction & Fact, July/August 2018

Spoiler

STORY

If you’re claustrophobic, Priorities definitely isn’t for you. This was intense. We see a man trapped on an asteroid with only moments to live unless he can figure out how to fix his spacesuit. He has to figure out how to stay alive until he can be retrieved. The story is tightly written, with a perfect balance of suspense and calm. A lot of interesting tidbits are thrown in about the universe as well, including the fate of Earth, mankind’s presence in distant space, and the technologies they use.


CHARACTERS

The main character is both level-headed and unsure of himself. He’s brave enough to venture out to a previously undiscovered asteroid but as soon as things fall apart, he starts to second-guess himself, thinking about the disapproval of his in-laws and his failures. It’s an interesting character study about how a person would react when moments from death in a place that’s impossible to escape without outside help.

There’s also a funny moment with a sort of air traffic controller on Earth who mocks him for his excitement to explore space. It reminds me of a typical office worker stuck in the same 9-5, judging the new guy.


SETTING

The majority of Priorities takes place on an asteroid, both on the surface and inside of it. It’s hard to picture, but it definitely doesn’t sound like a pleasant setting. We get a glimpse of Earth and the dump it has become, as well as a distant space station. It all makes for a solid exploration tale.


CONCEPTS

Asteroid, Space Exploration, Space, Drama, Space Station, Future

Interested in more short stories like Priorities? Check out our short story reviews here.

Photo by Paul Gilmore on Unsplash