For being only a novella, you get a lot of story and character here. Importantly, you get characters you care about and a story that is hard to put down. It is never a slog and a few asides give you glimpses of a larger, well-thought-out universe that the cast is partaking in.
I’ve read sci-fi with a similar feel and thematic elements. Those bored me. Pyre and Ice avoided every pitfall those other stories had. There are no painful info dumps that I couldn’t follow. There were no meandering trips into nowhere that did nothing to develop character or plot. The science speak you do get was quick and sounded real enough. The terraforming ideas and trials were intriguing and seemed fresh and clever. If only more science fiction was like this.
I didn’t know what to expect in making this purchase, and what I got was a wonderful surprise. The title might seem like a fun play on words, but about halfway through it struck me as downright ominous. After a while I still come back to thinking of the implications with a chill. If you’re looking for a brief sci-fi diversion (specifically, this involves the trials of terraforming), this is well worth the attention.
Author Josh Griffing is somebody I am going to keep an eye out for. I hope we all see more from him. This was good stuff.
Buy it here.