Macy Minnot’s Last Christmas on Dione, Ring Racing, Fiddler’s Green, the Potter’s Garden • 2012 • shortstory by Paul J. McAuley

★★★

I haven’t read The Quiet War where Macy Minnot plays a certain role. But the story contains enough background of the quiet war that it can be read standalone.

It is the outer solar system of the 23rd century. The death of her father leads his daughter to the Saturn moon Dione where she gets to know the culture of the people inhabiting that zone. This is the frame story for the four connected short stories listed in the title – Macy Minnot builds snow-men, goes on a Saturn ring race, there is this stranded story and it finishes with the father’s special artistic profession. The story is as quiet as McAuley’s The Man. But it is also very different, more astronomical/technical, maybe somewhat similar to 2312.

As a side-note I have to add that McAuley didn’t get the facts correct: the Saturn moons‘ circumference are only half the given lengths (maybe he calculated it wrongly from 2*pi*radius and used the diameter instead of the radius).

It was a nice story but nothing that I haven’t read before.

/Update: After having read The Quiet War (cf my review), I’ll have to re-read this story.

Meta: ISFDB. Originally published in Edge of Infinity. I’ve read it in The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Thirtieth Annual Collection. From the Quiet War Series.

 

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