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Group reads > Ray of Light (July group read - spoilers)

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message 1: by Ivan (new)

Ivan | 2166 comments Mod
Ray of Light by Brad R. Torgersen Ray of Light by Brad R. Torgersen

Not your typical tale of alien invasion or apocalypse, "Ray of Light" is the story of Max and Jenna Leighton, father and daughter, trapped by catastrophe in the last place on Earth humans have been able to survive an endless, sunless night.

Let the discussion begin


message 2: by Phil (new)

Phil J | 70 comments You can read about 2/3 of it for free at:
https://www.analogsf.com/2011_12/exce...
but if you want the conclusion, you'll have to shell out $1.50 for the ebook. Or you could listen to a free audio version at: http://www.starshipsofa.com/blog/2014...


message 3: by Buck (new)

Buck (spectru) | 568 comments I heard the StarShipSofa podcast this morning. This short story takes less than an hour to listen to. The narrator doesn't sound like a professional voice actor, but he does a good job, as good as any I've heard on Librivox.

The story is a little unusual, but not absolutely unique, I think - The theme is a bit like people in a deep bomb shelter not knowing what's out there. Finally somebody has to go find out. (I know its been done but the only one I can think of is a silly movie, Blast from the Past, in which Brenda Frazer grows up in Christopher Walken's bomb shelter and emerges as a young man.)


message 4: by Phil (last edited Jul 05, 2016 10:47AM) (new)

Phil J | 70 comments I thought it was okay. The strongest part was the undersea setting. The main character was a little hard to take.

Based on Torgersen's reputation, I thought it was going to be an action fest. I was a little surprised that he went in the direction of character and theme instead.

Here's my somewhat tongue-in-cheek review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 5: by Phil (new)

Phil J | 70 comments My interest in "Ray of Light" had a lot to do with comparing it to "Six Months, Three Days." You can read that story for free in its entirety here:

http://www.tor.com/2011/06/08/six-mon...


message 6: by Buck (new)

Buck (spectru) | 568 comments "Ray of Light" was pretty good, but I didn't think it was special. One thing that seemed a little odd was that they didn't know the condition of the ice. Apparently they hadn't checked it in quite a while, several years. I would expect, since they were military, or ex-military, that they would routinely monitor the surface with sonar or remote sensors. I found that to be a plot hole.


message 7: by Phil (new)

Phil J | 70 comments Buck wrote: "I would expect, since they were military, or ex-military, that they would routinely monitor the surface"

I actually liked that part. Max is so focused on his family and the subs that he doesn't even think about going back to the surface. I see that in my life. When I was young, I wanted to change everything. Now that I'm older, I just want to be successful within the status quo. I don't want to rock the boat too hard while it's going okay. I thought it was a nice comment on the difference between generations. Or maybe I'm giving Torgersen too much credit.


message 8: by Buck (last edited Jul 05, 2016 05:55PM) (new)

Buck (spectru) | 568 comments The big question that Torgersen left for us is: What's left? How long will it take for the sun to thaw the ice? Did anything survive? Obviously there were humans, and maybe some pets and pests and germs. And of course they would have had some sort of agriculture which could regain the surface. Life thrives in the super-heated vents in the deep ocean, presumably that would have been unaffected. How much other sea life could survive the cold without light, without oxygenation. This would have been a super extinction event. Life on the surface for humans may be better than in capsules on the sea floor, but it certainly wouldn't have been what it had been before - and never would be.

Those teens got to see the sun - but then what?


message 9: by Phil (new)

Phil J | 70 comments Buck wrote: "The big question that Torgersen left for us is: What's left? How long will it take for the sun to thaw the ice? Did anything survive? Obviously there were humans, and maybe some pets and pests and ..."

I didn't feel the urgency of that question. The plot of the story was: lost teenager. The plot was resolved at the end of the story. To me, the whole ice crust thing was just part of the setting. If Torgersen made a sequel (and I think he did), I wouldn't look for it to resolve the bigger questions of the ice thaw; just maybe tell a different story (preferably with different characters) in the same setting.


message 10: by Enya (new)

Enya (enyaevans) | 2 comments Is this group still active? I'd like to recommend the novella, Too loud a solitude by Hrabal, perhaps for November.


message 11: by Phil (new)

Phil J | 70 comments Hi! I'm not sure what Ivan's up to, but I appreciated Closely Watched Trains, so I'd be up for more Hrabal sometime.


message 12: by Enya (new)

Enya (enyaevans) | 2 comments Thanks for getting back to me Phil. I'll just wait and see if he says anything haha!


message 13: by Buck (new)

Buck (spectru) | 568 comments This has been a good group. It's gone dormant a couple of times. But, we've had some good discussions here.


message 14: by Ivan (new)

Ivan | 2166 comments Mod
Enya wrote: "Thanks for getting back to me Phil. I'll just wait and see if he says anything haha!"

I was trapped under something heavy and couldn't get to the PC - but here I am.


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