Available to read over at Uncanny.
I can’t say anything else but that this story was a disappointment. Either that or i completely missed something, and it’s not that exciting a story to go back over and check.
So what we have is a planet with an orbital that gets too close to its star during perihelion, but it needs to be mined because it has stuff that people want, hence the orbital.
For some reason there’s a mind ship that isn’t allowed to leave the planet during perihelion and so the ship mind has to be moved to a shielded safe room in the orbital to survive as the heart room in the ship isn’t shielded enough.
I have no idea why the mind ship can’t just potter off a few light minutes away, or shield itself on the dark side of the planet. For some reason, it has to stay and suffer the worse of the solar storm.
There’s also no mention as to why the orbital can’t be moved to the dark side of the planet either. One would think that a civilisation this advanced, that knows exactly when perihelion will occur, would have the simple, basic, common sense to alter the timing and orbit of the orbital to put it perfectly in the centre of the dark side of the planet at perihelion. They could also make that place and time the orbital’s aphelion with the planet which would add even more distance from the star, and give more time in shadow. It really is such a basic thing that unless the writer explains a very good reason why this hasn’t been done it utterly ruins the story.
So yeah, this one sucks.
And now i’m off back to re-read The Tea Master and the Detective, which was my first Xuya book, and the one that set me off on this long literary journey: so it’s nice to work my way back to it and read it again in it’s real context.