I am noticing that I form my opinion about a story very fast, within the first couple paragraphs, and rarely does the rest of the story change that opinion. Titanium Mike Saves the Day,” by David D. Levine turns out to be one of those rare exceptions.
I thought the opening paragraphs were stiff. Worse, I hate feeling obliged to care just because a woman and her granddaughter are in danger. Luckily, this story gets better as it goes .
In a series of frame stories, we hear the adventures of Titanium Mike, a Paul Bunyan-like character who pioneers the asteroids. These stories are fun, more fun than the frame stories.
The first two frames are familiar SF scenarios: two people who love each other running low on oxygen, asteroid miners in violent argument. Perhaps because they are familiar SF scenarios, they read like golden age SF in both the good ways and the bad. It doesn’t help that two very different characters both have sapphire-blue eyes.
The next three frames are a little closer to the present: venture capitalists, an ad man, a welder down on her luck. Perhaps because they are closer to present experience, they are better written and more convincing. I especially like how we also get an insight into where Titanium Mike came from.
A fun little story.
Tomorrow: A story that puts dangerous children in danger.