Review: “Every Hill Ends With Sky” by Robert Reed

2 of 5 stars.

Two stories of two different genres uncomfortably meld in this tale of exobiology and post-apocalyptic, war-ravaged Earth.

The opening scene is of the daughter, her parents and boyfriend are dead from the war. She leads a small band survivors that hides out from monsters in the basement of a destroyed building. Supplies and hope are running low . . .

A generation earlier shows her mother, as part of the Crypsis group, running computer simulations on the likest spawning and evolutionary developments of life for various bodies in the solar system. Nineteen simulations in a row show Venus achieving extraordinary levels of complexity and intelligence, and even spreading out into space, all before the Earth’s system reaches multi-cellular complexity. Venusians are out there . . . god-like, possibly not even recognizable . . .

The two tales barely correlate beyond the blood relation of the two focal women. A final scene aims to tie the post-apocalyptic plot-less vignette to the involved story based on sketchy science.

“Every Hill Ends With Sky” appears in The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy: 2015 edited by Rich Norton and published by Prime Books. It first appeared in Carbide Tipped Pens.

I’ve also reviewed Reed’s “Pernicious Romance” which appears in this same anthology. 
[Check out my other reviews here.]


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