Jupiter XXV: Erinome - July 2009
Edited by Ian Redman
Cover Artist: Daniel Bristow-Bailey
Review by Sam Tomaino
Jupiter ISBN/ITEM#: 1740-2069
Date: 27 July 2009
Links: Jupiter website / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
Another issue, another moon! This time we travel to Erinome for Jupiter XXV, the July 2009 issue and yet another fine one.
The issue begins with "Radio Free" by Sam Kepfield. Eric Stone and Sarah Zelansky operate a pirate radio station, mixing news, political commentary and banned music. They are on the run in the middle of Kansas and wondering when the repressive government is going to find them and put them in prison. There isnít really much science fiction here but its chief problem is that it's outdated. It was probably written a year or more ago and doesn't really describe the current United States of America. Maybe thatís what makes it science fictional but it still doesnít make it any more relevant.
Fet Milner's "On the Commodore" improves the issue considerably. The setting is a place called Crane's World. Half of this world is called the Dark. It never sees sunlight and the clouds cover most of the stars. Our narrator is a seamen on a fishing boat that must spend a long time navigating through the Dark. To make matters worse, the captain has died and they refuse to bury him at sea in the Dark. His body shares the only cabin with them and this makes for an effective, unsettling tale.
The settling of "The Oracle" by Kate Kelly is a near-future Italy in which Naples was covered by ash from Vesuvius, the same way Pompeii was. Aldo Martinelli leads a group of archeologists into an area where they discover an ancient antechamber. When they descend, they are overcome by gas and hallucinations. What they find is something that even predates Pompeii. Kelly contributes a fine story here.
"The Mariner" in the story by Neil Clift is a man named Duncan McAlabder, who went sailing by himself in the Atlantic when his friend, Stephen Warhurst sprains his ankle. Now he is missing and Stephen searches for him, aided by an intelligent bee named Redford and a robotic tuna named Bruce. All this comes together in a delightful, touching tale.
Last of all, we have "Dusting Tycho" by Vera Sepulveda. Our narrator has just mustered out of the Navy, having been stationed just outside of the asteroid belt. He is currently living in Tycho City, on the Moon, while he weighs his options. Should he return to Earth? He can do that for free! As he ponders his future we get to meet some colorful characters in one more fun story that I enjoyed a lot.
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