I read six SF short stories last month and they were mostly okay

Well, three of them were good, the others were okay. All of them were from Amazon's The Far Reaches series of original shorts.

How It Unfolds by James S.A. Corey: This was meh and honestly pretty forgettable. In fact, I'm trying to recall enough detail to even talk about the plot and I'm struggling. Basically, Earth starts colonizing other planets using some MacGuffin transporter technology. Like, the whole thing makes no sense and it felt like Corey phoned this one in. I don't know if both Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck both worked on this or just one of them, but they probably should have just not. 1 out of 5.

Void by Veronica Roth: Murder mystery...in spaaaaaaace! I dug this one and it definitely cleansed the palate after the first story. A passenger on a starship is found murdered and it's up to the main character, a maintenance worker, to solve the crime before the ship arrives at port. 4 out of 5.

Falling Bodies by Rebecca Roanhorse: The best of the bunch, in my opinion. It's funny, but the meaning of the story didn't hit me until several days later. The main character is a human who was adopted and raised by a member of the alien empire that invaded and defeated Earth decades prior, but is now back among his own kind after an unspecified event (eventually revealed) that's caused me untold troubles. 5 out of 5.

The Long Game by Ann Leckie: One of the okay stories. In this one, the main character is an alien slug that goes on a journey to try and find a way to lengthen his species's lifespan. Not bad, but not a standout either.

Just Out of Jupiter's Reach by Nnedi Okorafor: The other okay story. Honestly, this thing was threadbare for plot, but I like Okorafor's afrofuturism enough that I will generally give her works a try. In this one, the main character and others are bonded to organic starships and sent out into space to explore and gather data. They're allowed to gather halfway through their mission for seven days and the story follows what happens during that week. 3.5 out of 5.

Slow Time Between the Stars by John Scalzi: My favorite of the six. This story has to be the most "unScalzi-like" thing I have ever read. It made me think of the Bobiverse. The only character in this one is the AI of an unmanned probe/ship that's launched on a mission to find suitable planets and colonize them for humanity by setting up the colonies, then growing new humans. Basically, it's like a seed ship, but instead of carrying fertilized embryos, it has the genome or whatever stored in it's memory banks.

We follow the probe as it travels the galaxy over eons and dwells on its mission and the nature thereof. It's pretty good. 5 out of 5.

All in all, the series was worth reading, even if one story sucked and two others were only okay. The others more than made up for it.

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