Friday, January 20, 2017
Short Fiction Month: Prott - Margaret St. Clair
The Prott are rumoured to inhabit deep space. No truly scientific documentation exists on them but there is a wealth of sightings. Enough to convince a researcher to take a space ship out where they are most likely to show up, and have a go at making properly documented observations. When he makes contact with them however, things don't quite go as expected. Soon, the scientist starts to slide from fascination to obsession.
The character in the story does not follow the pattern of the classic, lone astronaut faced with a challenge in space. Competence and ingenuity do not save the day at the end of the day. The main character slides deeper into obsession until he digs himself a hole he can't get out of. Alone, cut off from help, in the deeps of space, is not a good place to be when you bit off more than you can chew. I liked this story a lot. I think St. Clair might have been more popular if she had been writing today.
Author: Margaret St. Clair
Originally published: Galaxy Science Fiction, January 1953
Read in: The Big Book of Science Fiction , edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer (2016)
Story length: Short Story
Available online: Not that I am aware of