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Stars Above

by Alexandria Baker profile

Science Fiction

Web Site

(based on 1 rating)
1 review

About the Story

We are not the only life in the cosmos.

The question is, when we look at the stars above, are we prepared for what's looking back?

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
A laboratory of sci-fi endings, June 30, 2020

This is a trope-heavy choicer which feels most like an exercise in writing a range of standard-issue conclusions to a stock "isolated farmer alien abduction" scenario. It does have distinct voice and style, occasionally marred by imperfections in formatting and language.

Your first choice is to be either Roger or Ellie. Although both are described (before the choice, that is) as loner, isolated Wyoming cattle farmers, "alone so often these days that sometimes you have to remind yourself of your own name", the choice quickly has more than a cosmetic impact. Roger is terse, gruff, and wholly go-it-alone. Ellie at least is on a first-name basis with a barn cat named Milo and has the option of calling a veterinarian for assistance. And the circumstances that spark their alien encounter relate to their herds but are very different challenges.

The two character branches have multiple distinct limbs with a relatively small number of choices. The situations and the outcomes are strictly mainstream/pulp sci-fi writing.

Where the game distinguishes itself is in the different voice given to the two characters. Not simply Roger's point of view but his plotlines tend to be rougher, more direct, more abrupt, and less florid than Ellie's. Her tales frequently have longer, more elaborate prose even for some of the less-than-ideal outcomes. (Arguably Roger's overall "happiest" ending is probably the most abrupt non-death ending, (Spoiler - click to show)when his indefinite alien confinement is relieved by the arrival of his half-alien son.)

Indeed, the characters seem to get generally better outcomes when they make different types of choices, (Spoiler - click to show)Roger doing best when he plays a confident, strong, but not-reckless brand of masculinity, Ellie doing best when she demonstrates compassion and patience.

The storylines of Stars Above are easily digested because chances are you already know them on some level. But it's a fun diversion.

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This is version 2 of this page, edited by Alexandria Baker on 29 June 2020 at 6:27pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item - Delete This Page