The Space Opera Renaissance: Robert Reed

Robert Reed is one of the most prolific writers of science fiction – though he falls far short of Asimov’s prowess. He has written over 200 published short stories since 1986. He has won several awards for his stories as well, proving either that if you write enough some of it has to be good or that it is possible to write a lot and do it well. His stories are quite popular and he has created a fan base for his short fiction. They are almost always science fiction but sometimes deal with fantastical elements. He has written a few novels but they are generally not as highly regarded as his short fiction.

Some people are short fiction writers. Some people are long fiction writers. Some people can switch between the two at will. Robert Reed seems to be one of the firmly entrenched short fiction writers.

“The Remoras” is about a ship – built but some undiscovered, extragalactic civilization and abandoned for no known reason – that is so huge that it could hold millions of earths on its inside surface. It’s a self-contained world that depends on a race of mutants that live on the outer hull. Clinging to the outside of the ship like the remoras of our ocean they patch holes caused by meteor showers and maintain the outer surface. This story is filled with big ideas and told in a very clear manner. Robert Reed is eloquent at describing emotion and scenery as well as depicting strangeness on a scale that I have not seen before. The surprise ending really did surprise me, though it came about awful fast.

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