The Exchange Officers

Reviewed by:
On July 14, 2014
Last modified:July 14, 2014


22399099Title: The Exchange Officers
Author: Brad Torgersen
Genre: Science fiction, space, near future

This is part of my Hugo award reading. It was nominated as a part of the best Novelette category. This is the part of my 100 Short Stories in 2014 challenge.

This is not my kind of story, let that be said from the get go. I don’t particularly like stories that has a lot of exposition – especially not when it isn’t better handled. To me the exposition was done clumsily and most of it was really not needed for the story. Particularly a very short discussion of American foreign politics seemed out of place – it wasn’t new in any way, it didn’t move the story along and it didn’t develop the characters.

This is very much a story about tech, and if I were to tell you what the story was about, I would be left fending for an answer. 

Dan our protagonist is remote-operating a robot in obit – building a space station (or something like that). The chinese tries to steal the platform and they defend the platform from attack. End of story. I might of course have missed something – but I think that was what was going on. We also learned a bit about his training. But that was only interesting from a pure technical point of view.
To me Dan wasn’t a particularly likeable or even interesting character. Good at his job but rather arrogant. He never does anything interesting other than goof around a bit.

Overall it felt like a very old fashion story. It is the first story I ever read from Analog, and I hope for the magazine’s sake that this wasn’t the best story they put out last year. I am sorry to say that I am disappointed.

The stats

Published:  February 2013 by Analog Science Fiction and Fact
Read: July 14, 2014
Length: Novelette
Format: e-book

The author: male, white, USA
The protagonist: Dan Jaraczuk, straight, American, able-bodied.


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