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The Grays of Cestus V (Short Review)

The Grays of Cestus V is the tragic tale of a woman who finds herself lost in a world she no longer belongs in. What once was vibrant and exciting to her younger self is now dull and grey, a fact she can’t bear to live with. Roberts’ use of color fuels this emotional discussion on family and expectations of what an exciting life among the stars would really be like. The story is emotionally charged and brilliantly written, leaving you with a longing for youthful ignorance of what the future holds.

THE GRAYS OF CESTUS V

Erin Roberts
Asimov’s Science Fiction, September/October 2018 Issue

A BIT MORE…

The use of color really stands out in this story. In terms of her awareness of the harsh realities on a colony planet, colors represent Laila’s more naive days when she believed an exciting life awaited her family. The greys represent the lost of that excitement and the replacement of a coldness that permeates her entire life, leaving it without meaning. She wants nothing more than color, to replace the greys that have eaten up those around her. In the end, it’s a tragedy as she willingly puts herself in danger just to regain a bit of the life she left behind.

Tying in art was also a brilliant connection to the color play within the narrative. I haven’t reviewed any stories or books focusing on artists within a sci-fi setting, and it’s a nice addition to the mix. Roberts does a great job getting you into Laila’s head and her surroundings, forcing you to imagine what a colorless perception of the world could be for someone whose artistic life depends on it.

I was very intrigued by the blue moss that is the final plot point. It’s alive and devours everything around it, though it’s something that’s desired by people to the point of it being an industry. It’s definitely a unique sci-fi monster, if you can even call it that.

CONCEPTS

Science Fiction, Future, Other World, Creature

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