Monday, August 29, 2011

New short Mars fiction: “Eleven Minutes” by Garth L. Powell

Interzone #235 (July-August 2011), the magazine that has long been “the backbone of the British SF industry,” has an interesting new work of short fiction by noted SF&F writer Gareth L. Powell entitled “Eleven Minutes”. I have not read the story, but critic Lois Tilton of Locus Online provides a spoilish summary in her review of this issue::
Gary and Carl are a couple of losers at JPL, operating a remote rover on Mars and carping at each other during the long minutes of boredom between sending of a command and the machine’s response. Gary nags Carl about his weight, which has nothing to do with the story’s revelation, and Carl is reading SF about alternate realities, which does.
According to reviewer Mark Watson of, the title “Eleven Minutes” refers to “the length of time it takes the protagonists to send a command from NASA JPL to a Mars Rover to take a photograph, and to receive back the photograph.” Watson also notes that the story is a solid “contribution to fairly well-trodden regolith.”

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