Thursday, January 14, 2010

The House Left Empty by Robert Reed

In a future of Self-Governing Districts where central government has withered away to powerlessness, two old friends deceive a delivery man into leaving a package at an empty house. The relationship and dialog between the old friends is well observed and it’s the best part of the story. The contents of the package turn out to be meaningful, symbolic of interstellar space program that no longer exists.

Telling science fiction readers to get misty-eyed about the lost opportunity of a government space program is preaching to the choir. The story is well done, sure, but it’s a little too obvious, a bit too on the nose.

“The House Left Empty” by Robert Reed first appeared in Asimov’s, April/May 2008
Link: Year’s Best SF 14 summation and table of contents

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