2 of 5 stars.
“First Contact,” the moment when an advanced civilization is clued in to the existence of other advanced civilizations based elsewhere in the cosmos, remains a popular theme in science fiction. Humans could react poorly. Or perhaps be primed to be victims in an unequal partnership.
This vignette perhaps depicts a first contact–or–it’s the wild imaginings of a dying mind. Either way, an astronaut is sucked into the vacuum of space when a meteor strikes her space shuttle outside of Mars. Everything takes place within her head from there.
Amid memories of happy times on Earth, an alien voice reveals the conundrum of the Drake Equation which aims to solve the commonality of evolved civilizations throughout the universe. The one astronaut stands as the representative for all of humanity . . .
The tale is too short to give any real connection to the dying hero despite suggestions of kernels from her past. But a deeper tale developing the protagonist would surely shatter the psychological question of whether the events are real or imagined.
This tale was a quarterly contest winner appearing in Writers of the Future: Volume 33 edited by David Farland.
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