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  • Writer's pictureTabitha Tomala

Merimnae: Outbound by William Altmann 2023 SFINCs Book Review


SFINCS 2023 Championship Banner
SFINCS 2023 Championship Banner

This review is part of the Speculative Fiction Indie Novella Championship (SFINCS). SFINCS, pronounced “sphinx”. This is a yearly competition to recognize, honor, and celebrate the talent and creativity present in the indie community. It’s a sister competition to both SPFBO and SPSFC, and it highlights greatness in the novella format in all areas of speculative fiction (fantasy, science fiction, horror, etc.).


To see more information on my team Behind the Musings check out this post!

 
Merimnae: Outbound by William Altmann book cover
Merimnae: Outbound by William Altmann
 

Book Review for Merimnae: Outbound


Tau Ceti is 11.7 light years away and the spaceship destined for it holds only four crew members. While they’ve prepared for what seems to be every possible situation, they did not prepare for the threat to be from within their own bodies. One member begins to have irrational fears and false memories. While the crew does everything they can to discover the cause and provide relief, the condition only continues to advance. With nowhere to go but forward.

Merimnae: Outbound is a hard sci-fi that focuses on how the body’s genetic memory could be influenced by biological differences. As Henry begins to experience unknown memories and their emotional responses, a scientific search is launched. William Altmann does a wonderful job making the science used easy to understand. Even those who know little about science will be able to connect the dots and see how each crew member draws their own conclusions.


The narrative is broken down into viewpoints from the crew members. Henry and his partner Constance have the most page time as Henry’s condition is a large focus point of the story. And each character brings to the story their own beliefs on how Henry’s condition could affect the crew. There is little conflict among the characters as the focus remains on the science behind what is happening to Henry.


Despite Henry’s condition escalating, there is a calm sense of acceptance. The crew does not emotionally respond to his condition but instead takes a rational approach to each occurrence. Whatever challenges they may face, the mission must still continue. I would recommend this novella for readers who are interested in biology and the study of the human biome.


To Purchase: Amazon


All or part of this book review may be used in marketing, I only ask that you reference Behind the Pages if you choose to do so.

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