A couple of years ago I tried reading some of John Varley novels, but didn’t find them interesting. Reading his short stories is a completely different things. There are so many interesting stories from him the 70s and 80s, and this is just one among many in the big collection The John Varley Reader.
The basic setup for this story is really something else. A young girl stranded alone on an abandoned space station with only some dogs and plenty of alcohol for companionship. After years of living like this a Lunar police officer manages to get in contact with her, after it is discovered that someone is actually alive aboard this station that is about to crash. The mystery of who she is and why she is alive on the space station reveals a fascinating back story about a terrible virus that ravaged decades ago.
It is a very tragic and sad story, but not overly so because Varley often writes with a little added humor and lightheartedness. It wasn’t a particularly sad reading experience even though the actual story is.
Read in The John Varley Reader
Originally published in Blue Champagne