Anneque G. Malchien’s Our Cosmonauts Are Dying, published 2013, is a short story with astonishing depth. Once I started, I didn’t want to put it down, and it’s a long time now since I found a story like that. It’s intelligent, detailed and emotional – science fiction that is believable and insightful.
This is an end-of-the-world story, an asteroid on a collision course with Earth. Echoes of Armageddon and a hundred other such films, always fun to watch; also When Worlds Collide. Or, on the subject of books, there are echoes of Stephen Baxter’s Ark, for example. But of course this is a short story, not an epic. The protagonist is a Swedish scientist, not an all-American hero like Bruce Willis.
This made me laugh:
“Kill all the gays!” shouts his cameraman.
“Hey!” Johnson cries.
Someone throws a punch. “I’m gay! And I say we kill all the Muslims!”
“Well I’m Muslim!” someone else shouts, “And I say we sacrifice the non-believers!”
The asteroid in question is 10 Hygiea, the fourth largest in the Solar System. Hygiea is a goddess from Greek and Roman mythology. As our hero Jens Ottosson says: “A goddess, at least. Of cleanliness. From her we get the word hygiene. Now she’s the patron god of social warfare. Perhaps the social workers brought her down on us.”
Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, goodreads, Anneque G. Malchien’s blog
Thanks so much! I’m humbled that you enjoyed it so thoroughly.
Reblogged this on Anneque G. Malchien and commented:
A review for Cosmonauts? Oh my!