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F&SF MiniReview: The Star to Every Wandering Barque, by James Stoddard

This piece brought a smile to my face. It was an interesting read; less a story than a ‘what-if’ scenario. The scenario is ‘What if, in an instant, everyone on Earth became enlightened?’ Enlightened is a loaded word, but I believe it to be the best one. Everyone is suddenly unselfish, loving of self and neighbor, and far more understanding.

The narrative is told through the perspective of Greg Stoll, a senior A/V supervisor for NASA. We read about the Challenger and Columbia shuttle disasters and politics in the organization and the state.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story, but it is another piece that I have problems calling a ‘story;’ there really isn’t much conflict. While reading, I had assumed that only some people would be enlightened, or there would be aliens, or at the least social strife coming from the sudden change, but none of these really occurred. This really shouldn’t be taken as a negative, I just thought it was odd.

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