Sci Fi Short Stories/Novella

Fractals: (Not An) Aurora Rhapsody Short Story – Review

Amaranthe Short Stories Book 6 by G.S. Jennsen
Published by: February 20, 2019

My first thought after finishing this sci fi story was “What did I just read?” “What just happened?” I kept repeating it to myself to see if it could help sort things out. It did in a way. It told me to go back and re-read a certain section to see if it would help put a few of the missing pieces together again.

Description:

A mysterious signal coming from deep space attracts the attention of humanity’s scientists and the soldiers who protect them—the kind of attention the originators of the signal will do anything to avoid. When the two converge, first contact doesn’t go the way either side planned.
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FRACTALS is set in an alternative universe from the Aurora Rhapsody novels and short stories, but it features several of the same characters.

Thoughts:

Although the story doesn’t say Part 1 and Part 2, to me it feels like it is broken into 2 sections: Before a specific decision is made and then after the decision is made. I can go into Part 1 a little, but divulging anything about Part 2 would ruin things.

I should probably preface the review by adding that this is my first story I’ve read by G.S. Jennsen. I was specifically looking for a science fiction short story in Kindle Unlimited, but also wanted it to be a stand alone where I wasn’t in the middle of a series. However, I enjoyed this short story and everything in it so much that I am definitely going to have to check out other stories in the Amaranthe Universe.

At the beginning of the story we are introduced to the Captain of the Earth Alliance Science Vessel, Siyane, who is being told that their ship has picked up unusual readings. Personally, I always love the word “readings” in sci fi. There is just so much mystery to it and the story can truly take off anywhere with just that one word. However, at this moment in the story the captain isn’t as excited and I am by this news because the science vessel was already located in the Metis Nebula due to these unusual readings. This time though there was a new discovery. Marano, a science engineer guest aboard the Siyane, has an idea on how to filter some of the readings, which he acts upon. But all these unusual readings are leading somewhere and they soon find themselves in a first contact situation that they do not want to be in.

I love these type of sci fi stories. The ones where you are in a spaceship, unusual readings occurring all over the place, then characters using words and phrases I can’t comprehend to explain how they are going to resolve the issues they are encountering that then leads up to a potential confrontation with another vessel or species in space. A lot of mystery, speculation, and then confrontation – it’s difficult to beat that in my opinion. Since I have already admitted that I love the word ‘readings’ in sci fi, I will say I thoroughly enjoyed how this story took on solving the mystery of the readings and is really what sold me on Fractals all together.

The ending had me a little confused, but it is sci fi so being a little confused is normal for me. I’m still not sure I have it all figured out, but after re-reading portions of what I call “Part 2,” I am in a better place than when I started.

Recommended for sci fi fans who like adventures in space.

Rating: 4.5

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