Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Last Man by James Bailey

Three Stars
"Satisfying sci-fi short"

Elim is piloting a ship through the depths of space, as his species has left a dead world in search of life elsewhere. Carrying a thousand people via stasis tubes - effectively freezing them in time - and having traveled for thousands of years, resources are low and hope is dwindling. According to the ship's monitors, there are few habitable planets left, but Elim is rejuvenated when he eventually finds signs of life. Bailey does an excellent job of building the story to its eventual climax. The ending, however, falls a little flat. While I am fine with the way the story resolves itself, and it may catch some readers by surprise, I found it to be fairly predictable. Also, given the length of the journey and how much focus Bailey places on it, the ending seems rushed. I would have loved to see it drag out longer, giving the reader a false sense of security in the process. In any event, this is a well-written story that satisfied me for the most part.

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