Series: 7&7 Anthology
Publisher: DSP Publications (May 2016)
Bonus: Free on publisher’s site
Rating: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
DSP Publication’s anthology covers 7 virtues and 7 vices, and the theme of Serena Yates’ short story is the virtue of temperance.
In this science fiction setting, a crew in hibernation for fifty years is awakened to prepare for colonization of a remote planet. As the story progresses, it seems a key thing they were counting on isn’t quite working correctly, with potentially dire consequences for all aboard. In order to get through it, a significant dose of temperance may be required.
The intergalactic setting was interesting, especially the contrast between the skeleton crew that manned the ship and aged while the bulk of the party was in cryogenic suspension. Fans of the rigors and difficult practicalities of space travel in the not-too-distance future will finds some nice attention to the logistics of just how to make this happen. As far as the theme of the story (temperance) goes, the characters find more questions than answers as the importance of that virtue is clearly central to their ongoing story, including just how much of it can be generated from society and how much personal will is involved. One aside is that some powerful interests believed that temperance was not a useful virtue for one specific type of occupation, posing (but not answering) questions about the role this even-keeled attitude should play in a person’s life and social relations. I enjoyed an ending which underscored the importance of such a virtue while leaving the broader questions wide open.
On a side note, the LGBT aspect of the story was present but very minor. This is an interesting science fiction story with a character who was incidentally gay, so it’s an LGBT friendly piece with a focus on broader social, personal, political, and space travel issues.