His Name In Lights

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A novelette originally published in the Universe Annex of the Grantville Gazette. Why does company boss Eilin Gunnarsson care so much about two young clones that she sends them warnings written on the clouds of Jupiter? More
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Published: Jan. 13, 2011
Words: 11,750
Language: English
ISBN: 9781466095342
About Patty Jansen

Patty Jansen lives in Sydney, Australia, where she spends most of her time writing Science Fiction and Fantasy. Her story This Peaceful State of War placed first in the second quarter of the Writers of the Future contest and was published in their 27th anthology. She has also sold fiction to genre magazines such as Analog Science Fiction and Fact, Redstone SF and Aurealis.

Her novels (available at ebook venues) include Watcher’s Web (soft SF), The Far Horizon (middle grade SF), Charlotte’s Army (military SF) and Fire & Ice, Dust & Rain and Blood & Tears (Icefire Trilogy) (dark fantasy). Her novel Ambassador was published by Ticonderoga Publication in 2013.

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Patty is on Twitter (@pattyjansen), Facebook, LinkedIn, goodreads, LibraryThing, google+ and blogs at: http://pattyjansen.com/

Also by This Author


Review by: seandblogonaut on April 18, 2011 : star star star star star
His Name In Lights is a hard SF novelette by Australian Writer Patty Jansen. Now don’t let the tag ‘hard SF’ scare you off, there’s no Astrophysics or hard science to turn you brains to mush. It’s hard science in the background, in the setting.

The Story

Allion Aerospace Ltd. has been contracted by the ISF(International Space Force) to carry out construction work on the volatile surface of Io (one of Jupiter’s moons). Owing to the dangerous environment Allion have sent two of their aggregates(advanced human machine hybrids), who operate without the need for space suits.

Meanwhile, the Allion ship Thor III is lacing the cloud bands of Jupiter with balloons(hydrogen filled and with remote controlled lights) as part of the solar systems greatest bill board display.

Io being the hazardous environment that it is, causes problems and a mayday signal is sent from one of the aggregates, the Thor III can’t reach them and the ISF grudgingly responds, but things are not as they seem and what started out as a simple tale of construction and human fancy in the outer solar system becomes one of intrigue, danger and surprisingly love.

Plausibility is the name of the game

As a I mentioned above, those of you who aren’t Scifi fans or prefer Star Wars to 2001: A Space Odyssey will find His Name in Lights an accessible story. Jansen does a wonderful job of presenting a plausible setting and plausible technologies (and this is where it deserves the Hard SciFi tag).

I was hooked by the little background details that Jansen sprinkles throughout the text – The Mars war, the tension between pro human ISF and Allion, the political situation this side of the asteroid belt, the briefly mentioned technologies for dealing with space radiation on a huge scale.

Jansen has managed to give the reader a nice self contained story, and at the same time left us with a vision of a much larger ‘universe’- one that I want to read more stories set in.

Five stars from me, Patty’s just scored herself a fan.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Tsana Dolichva on April 10, 2011 : star star star star
This novelette follows two characters in the midst of large engineering projects centred about Jupiter and Io. What I particularly enjoyed is that, despite a fairly narrow primary plot focus, it read as though it was happening in a large, well-realised universe with lots of other things going on in the background.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Conrad Wong on April 01, 2011 : (no rating)
I've always enjoyed stories about human near-space colonization, so it comes as a breath of fresh air to have a new author writing in this setting!

That said, I do wish the story were a bit longer, with more details on the setting. It's hard to imagine Daniel and his brother Oscar since there's little to no introductory description. I can piece it together from the narrative, but I hope that the author will give her stories more room to breath in the e-publication framework where there are no page constraints as there would be with magazines.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Greta van der Rol on March 09, 2011 : star star star star star
Set on Io, arguably the most dangerous of Jupiter's moons, this hard SF novelette reminded me very much of the late, great Isaac Asimov's work. It is a mixture of well-researched science, robots and politics with a very clever technological twist and a good dose of humanity. Mind you, it is now some years since Dr Asimov passed on and our knowledge of robots, computers and the like have come a long way. Jansen has done her homework. The setting and the tech are convincing and the political situation is all too plausible.

The story is written from the point of view of Daniel, half human half robot, and the female boss of the company which created him. Eilinn is a tough, hard nosed woman with a softer side. I particularly liked the way Jansen described the internal wars between Daniel's robot and human sides. Whether there is any significance in her choice of Daniel as her hero's name I don't know. But I, like many Asimov fans, remember Daneel.

This novelette is the forerunner to a novel. I shall look forward to reading it.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

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