Starship Fall by Eric Brown

Newcon Press, 2009, 103p.

 Starship Fall cover

This is a novella, second in Brown’s “Starship” sequence, in homage to Michael G Coney, and begun with Starship Summer. In its telling, though, it is more reminiscent of Brown’s “Bengal Station” trilogy than Coney.

In Starship Fall the former holo star Carlotta Chakravorti-Luna has come to Delta Pavonis IV and disturbed the quiet life of narrator David Conway.

The novella’s title refers to something which is not directly involved with the story we experience in Starship Fall but, rather, kicked it off. A nice Brown touch, though, is naming the holoes Carlotta starred in after Coney novels.

Once again in a Brown story religion makes an appearance; the alien natives undergo a ritual wherein they might die (or not) but see their destiny. David’s friend Hawk’s girlfriend is a native whose partaking in the ritual triggers the crucial events.

Seasoned Brown (and Coney) readers know not to expect everything to turn out perfectly but here Brown still manages to confound at least one of the possible expectations.

On the whole well-written and agreeably character based Starship Fall bears out the theory that the novella is an ideal length for a rounded SF story. Brown does however overuse the formulation [“time interval” later] whether that time interval is hours, minutes or seconds.

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