Sunday, December 6, 2015
Recruiting Drive (e-short story) by Elizabeth McCoy
No read-alikes or watch-alikes this time around, since this story is a bit too short for that.
This takes place after the other Kintaran story I read, “Spoonfuls of Sugar.” Klarin-yal is now in command of the clanship Choosaraf, and she has a problem. Not only does the Choosaraf need more crew (which in turn means that the clan needs more members), most of the younger members of the current crew would prefer to leave and live planetside. At this point, that would destroy the clan.
Klarin-yal and her fraternal twin sister, Coli-nfaran, are able to find a few new crew members on Kintara Station, but not a Negotiator. That's when Coli-nfaran gets an idea: if their younglings were born on a ship but would prefer to live on a planet, couldn't it work the other way around? And so Coli leaves the Choosaraf in order to search Kintara for younglings that dream of living on a spaceship.
I liked this more than “Spoonfuls of Sugar,” but it was still disappointing. McCoy's greatest strength, in her novels, is her characters, and yet this story was too short for the characters to shine much. Also, Coli's strategy for finding suitable Kintarans was somewhat lacking. She basically just walked around on the planet until she stumbled into a clan, and then hoped that one of them would be interested in leaving with her.
I should mention that I still have zero familiarity with GURPS, which, according to a note in the copyright info, inspired at least parts of this story.
The story begins with a glossary and names list. Even though “Recruiting Drive” was very short, I found that I had to flip back to the glossary a couple times to check the meanings of certain words, because those meanings were not evident in the text.
There were at least two errors in the names list. First, both Ch'ichat and Neeri were listed as Coli-nfaran's mother. I thought maybe they were lesbians or that Kintaran family structures resulted in all females in the clan being younglings' mothers, but then the story mentioned that Neeri was Coli-nfaran's grandmother. Second, Coli-nfaran's grandmother's name was spelled a couple different ways, and I have no idea which one was correct. She was “Neeri” in the glossary and “Neerri” in the story.