Thursday, January 8, 2009

"The Certainty Principle," a new short story by Colin P. Davies

Published in the February 2009 issue of Asimov’s magazine, “The Certainty Principle,” by British author Colin P. Davies, is a short story about a space naval officer who checks into the Red Planet Low-Gravity Retreat on Earth after being dishonorably discharged because of an incident on Mars that cost several lives. A likeable tale about the political and cultural tension between mother-born humans and vat-born beings, there’s plenty of action, a bit of romance, and even a sleek maroon Porsche.

While it's still a bit early to be digesting "The Certainty Principle," at least two other readers enjoyed it. Sam Tomaino of SFRevu calls it “an effective, well-written story” and Stephanie Young deems it “a thoughtful examination of prejudice ... Not Hugo quality but could have been with a little tighter story.”

Conversely, Val Grimm of The Fix: Short Fiction Review announces in an insightful analysis that main character John Hale “reads as hollow as his surroundings," while Lois Tilton of The Internet Review of Science Fiction concludes that “The Certainty Principle” is “unsubtle and clumsily didactic."

Author Colin P. Davies has written at least two other short stories set on Mars: “A Touch of Earth” (1995) and “The Girl with the Four-Dimensional Head” (2004), both of which were published in his collection Tall Tales on the Iron Horse (2008).

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