Flying ships in the upper clouds of Venus is a classic setting and this intense story we follow a couple of young thrill seeking teenagers doing a hull run on the outside of a ship.

Even living on Venus a flying airship, teenagers will likely always seek out to do dangerous things to feel alive. The story follows Chioma and her friends who sometimes practice the dangerous sport of running on the outside of the hull of the airship they are living in, flying in the Venusian atmosphere. There do take safety seriously and are tethered to the hull, however on a specific part of their route they have to unhinge their safety line and do a dangerous jump and re-attach again. But this time there is a hefty storm, so their running competition is a tad more dangerous than usual. Unsurprisingly something goes wrong and Chioma will have to be brave and conquer her fears to save her friend Laura.

It is a fairly straight forward story in a style well known to Analog readers, but it is very intense - I read it in one sitting, which is a bit unusual for me - and well written by David Goodman, fleshing out an interesting detailed background for Chioma as we follow her battle with the dangerous situation in addition to an inner battle with a traumatic past.

Read in Analog January/February 2024
Rating: 3+