(Note: Super sorry for being late. A lot happened this week and I’ve neglected to put this up. But hey, it’s still Friday, right?)
Fiction Friday is a series where I talk about what I’ve been reading. Short Stories (and sometimes Novellas) are featured as in-between posts and the first Friday of the month will feature a new novel review. Today, I review By The Red Giant’s Light by Larry Niven
Fiction Friday: By the Red Giant’s Light
Today’s short story is by a well known Science Fiction author. I’m going to talk about By the Red Giant’s Light by Larry Niven, author of Ringworld. You can find the story here. He also wrote Ringworld, a story which has had many inspirations in media, such as Halo for example. While I personally have never read the book, I want to sometime review works done by famous authors who still write even to this day.
Especially from an author who’s been writing since the 60s. That takes a huge amount of dedication. Perhaps I’ll write until my last breath, and while that would be a goal for me, I can’t get ahead of myself. Anyway, let’s begin.
The story involves an astronaut named Dardry, who escaped to Pluto after being on the run from a world she ended up crippling through her hacking methods. While she is a runaway on a planet so far from human contact, she is escaping its inevitable demise. Along the way, she encounters a series of robots who all form one single entity. The main robot, whom she calls Frank, is researching the planet. When they aren’t debating, they watch as a meteor hurls towards them, threatening to end Dardry’s life. Though apprehensive, the robot agrees to help and with Dardry’s hacking methods, they push the comet off course.
The story is simplistic and straightforward, which isn’t a bad thing. Sometimes a good story is what you need to get through the day. There is one plot point I should mention and that is the sun itself. Throughout the story, it is engulfing in a huge ball of fire consuming everything in its path and will one day consume Dardry’s new world of Pluto.
Science has always mentioned the possibility that the sun will die out and take all of us with it. Maybe not tomorrow, but someday. It continues into the ending where it’s in the process of consuming Venus. It’s an ambiguous ending that is left up to the imagination if our heroine is going to die, if ever. Perhaps she escapes and ventures further into space.
This story is what I’d call true science fiction. Something that could happen that isn’t too unrealistic. Even though I’m more interested in the fantastical side, it’s nice to see something written so effectively.
Only two notable characters here. The first is Dardry. She’s an escaped criminal from Earth who was wanted for a hacking job that “everyone wanted her head” for. She’s stranded on Pluto and while the sun is blowing everyone up in the solar system, she’s dealing with another character.
That character is Frank, short for Frankenstein. The robot is on a mission to study the sun, but its true goal is unknown. It’s not evil, but it doesn’t want Dardry to use its equipment and disrupt its research.
The dynamic between what is essentially an alien robot is interesting since Frank isn’t sure what to make of Dardry, who assumes she’s a robot as well underneath strange skin. Frank is rightfully curious since he’s more than likely never seen a human before. He’s also cautious about what Dardry will do to him and his experiments.
The writing feels modern but simplistic. Many authors back in the early days were simplistic in their writing, but it’s always an interesting thing to see veteran authors continue to write even to this day. That, to me, shows a love for their craft. While I’ve heard stories about authors hating to write, despite being famous, deep down, they know they love the stories they tell.
Not much else to say, other than this was a good story overall.
That’s all for today. Take care, and remember, the inn is always open.
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