Before, After, Alone

A Planetfall Universe short story collection

Englisch language

Published March 29, 2023

ASIN:
B0BXB92N8M
4 stars (24 reviews)

Acclaimed author Emma Newman returns to her Planetfall universe with a collection of ten short stories set before, during and after the four interconnected novels of the Hugo-nominated Planetfall series.

From a shipwreck survivor struggling to appease the monster keeping him trapped on an island, to an elderly woman at risk from being declared a non-person, each story offers a new glimpse into this dark near-future setting. This collection features stories that focus on some of the characters from the novels, including Arnolfi (Before Mars), Travis and Carl (After Atlas and Atlas Alone) and Mack (Planetfall).

1 edition

Review of 'Before, After, Alone' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

It all started with a seed.

Planetfall reminded me in some ways of Annihilation, but less weird and more human. Ren is a 3D-printer engineer on a colony at the base of a mysterious alien structure called God's City. Twenty-two year's prior, Lee Suh-Mi led her faithful followers into space to find a new future for humanity.

Then a stranger walks up to colony, claiming to be the son of one of the survivors from planetfall. They believed all the others were dead, how could this happen?

It's a slow reveal kind of story, and bit by bit, the pieces start to come together. I did find it a little slow to get into because there were a lot of terms to get to grips with, but one I was in, I was hooked. There is a constant feeling that there's something being hidden, a secret at the heart of …

Review of 'Before, After, Alone' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

This was a hard book for me to judge during the reading, as the main character has a condition I know very little about, aside from what I've been fed by Hollywood. I'm not even sure if all the traits she displayed were part of a single condition, or if Renata had multiple illnesses, or if any or all of them were faithfully portrayed.


For a while, Sung-Soo's "treatment" of Renata's condition seemed aggressive and hurried, and I wondered if Emma Newman was showing her readers how to authentically engage with someone similarly afflicted, because I felt uncomfortable with this approach. When it's revealed near the end that he's not at all interested in Renata's wellbeing, I felt better about my initial hesitations. That WASN'T the way to talk to (and possibly help) an anxiety-prone hoarder. Good to know.


The end felt very 'deus ex' to me, and I thought …

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