Re: The Moment

The Moment,” by Lawrence M. Schoen is told in a series of moments, a comic-tragic succession of galactic entities all drawn to a footprint on the Moon. The prose is filled with cerulean imagery and technophilic vocabulary; to a large degree the wordplay carries me along in reading it. And yet, this story bugs me.

There are no humans, except in the awe-struck regard of the other intelligences that come looking for the beings who left that print. They hold humanity in such wonder, I am left — for a moment — feeling that the story panders to  the old Campbellian dictum that we must be the baddest beings in the universe. There are also moments when I see how the story recaptures the hopes and visions that revolve around that footprint. It just doesn’t quite get there for me.

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2 responses to “Re: The Moment

  1. I feel your pain.

    It had a lot of potential, some very interesting ideas. I even liked where it went at the end, mostly. But it just wasn’t firing on all cylinders. It was over-written in places and (my primary complaint with just about everything I read or hear online) it was much longer than it needed to be.

    “Who can tell me when this moment really began, and why?” I didn’t care by the time this question got asked; I wanted this “Moment” to have ended 15 minutes earlier.

    The ‘douglas-adams-like’ fictional vocabulary (and other HHGttG tropes early on) were too cute by half. While the real vocabulary …goddammit, why do people write like this? I spend half of every semester teaching my college freshman not to, and then people write in a style like this and get praised. The idea of clear communication needs to be taken seriously, even in fiction. Especially in fiction!

    Okay, end rant. I had at least two other things to go off on, but I’d better stop with

    The story just didn’t seem Hugo-nomination worthy to me.

    (And, as always, I thank you for being an ongoing recommendation source for new spec fic.)

    • What can I say? Science fiction fans are a sentimental lot. A story that reassures us that the “first step for a man” is really, really, for sure, the first step on a long journey, is going to make a lot of people happy.

      And, as always, I’m glad you like enough of my picks to keep reading.

      Thanks.