Nautilus #3, July 2013

Nautilus #3, July 2013

Reviewed in Nautilus #3: In Transit, July 2013:

“On the Wilderness Continent” by Scott Geiger

In reading this story, I was reminded of Tom Godwin’s “The Cold Equations.” Here, Geiger shows us The Continent, an enormous terraforming project that enables subscribers to live in various biomes. The Continent is such an entrenched reality that even husbands and wives can be separated if it is believed to be for the project’s greater good. Geiger’s protagonist is a bureau chief who oversees Activities Estimate (AE) externs. Among them is one older man, Everett, who has been transferred from the field by none other than the face of the company, Trevor Rus. During Everett’s stint as an extern, he witnesses the sudden onset of illness followed by the deaths of some subscribers in the remote, isolated area where he had previously worked—a preserve where the flora and fauna are real. That The Continent refuses to provide the subscribers aid, and one of the subscribers who dies is a child, does not sit well with Everett. He requests a transfer back to the field. However, before the request has even been generated, Trevor Rus comes to take him away again. Like Godwin’s, this story is cold and calculating. In keeping with this issue’s theme, the story is an excellent view of the transitory nature of things we sometimes take for granted.

A version of this review appears on the Tangent Online website.

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