There aren't that many weak points of Robin Parrish’s Offworld when taken by category.
Science. I found myself wishing that Parrish had simply invoked the supernatural to begin with, since that's where we wind up anyway. The invocation of "quantum determinism" is very odd, given that one of the hallmarks of quantum physics is indeterminism. (That's one of the things Einstein didn't like about it, in fact.)
Gadget logic. There were various aspects of the mysterious effect and its use that bothered me. Though it would be involved to explain, the loss of life would almost certainly be extremely high, and scientists ought to realize this. Also, anything that could identify a chromosomal pattern should be able to distinguish between weapons-grade fissionables and the other kind. (Of course, given that non-weapons-grade fissionables could be refined and upgraded, the easy route would've involved turning it all to lead.)
Bad-guy logic. I said the characters were believable, and the good guys are. The bad guys, not so much. If Roston is telling the truth about his motives, he shouldn't have someone like Griffin around--and yes, he should know very well what Griffin's like. This seems to derive from the old "evil military" meme, which I admit ticked me off.
To Whom It May Concern... There's a lot of basic prayer here (Commander Burke asks for "a little help" several times), but no mention of who it's directed to. God? Allah? The Flying Spaghetti Monster? There's clearly something mystical afoot, and on the whole it's not incompatible with Christianity. But neither does it point to Christianity so much as to the simplistic Man (Person?) Upstairs idea.
Don't Talk to the Dead Guy! This should be obvious: Christians do not get mission objectives from dead guys. Biblically, messages are delivered by angels (which means "messenger" anyway). This pushes the ambiguous theology away from Christianity into something else rather disturbing.
Conclusion While the story is a good yarn, the resolution is disappointing and the theology troubling at best. If you're aware of these issues, it may not be such a problem.
The Other Conclusion. This will be my last CSFF post for the foreseeable future. I'll explain that in my next post.
Meanwhile, check out the rest of the CSFF tour:
CSFF Blog Tour
D. G. D. Davidson
Todd Michael Greene
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Eve Nielsen (posting later in the week)
John W. Otte
Rachel Starr Thomson
1 year ago