Published: 2013 in Rayguns Over Texas
Genre: science fiction
Setting: the spaceship Carpathia, far future
Interest: I was provided a copy of the anthology and I’m slowly reviewing all the stories in it.
Summary: The four crewmembers of the Carpathia were promised overtime for a special mission – carrying a rock back from a planet where the rocks crawl around. Since it’s a long journey back to headquarters (and promised vacation time), the science officer starts a round of experiments on the rock. They quickly discover the rock has electromagnetic abilities that it can turn on and off at will. The rock goes from pulling out drawers to using surrounding materials to kill the science officer. The rest of the crew realizes they need to send the rock out the airlock before it kills all of them. They get it out, but are pulled back to the planet and the spaceship is crushed around the two remaining crew.
Final thoughts: A fine enough story. The most interesting thing about it was one of the crewmembers was Muslim. It was Ramadan, and she was cranky because of fasting, and disappointed she once again wouldn’t see her family for Eid. We even get a Muslim proverb as the ship is being crushed by a planet of sentient rocks.
Title comes from: One of the crewmember’s flippant theories about why the rocks on the planet move – it’s where the guy in the 1970s who invented pet rocks got his rocks.
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