Gregory Benford needs no introduction to SF readers. He received his first Nebula Award in 1974 for “If the Stars Are Gods,” a novelette he wrote with Gordon Eklund. His 1980 novelTimescape won the Nebula Award, the John W. Campbell Memorial Award, the British Science Fiction Association Award, and the Australian Ditmar Award. Among his many notable SF achievements are the Jupiter Project, Artifact, Against Infinity, Eater, and the six Galactic Center novels.
Benford is a professor of physics at the University of California Irvine and has published extensively in the areas of plasma physics, particle physics, and condensed matter. His wide-ranging contributions also include several papers in biological conservation. The consummate storyteller, Benford has the ability to make scientific principles approachable for nonscientists. In the space adventure “Backscatter,” Benford spins a tale of survival and discovery that is very much in the SF Grand Tradition. It left me yearning for the chance to upload Claire’s AI assistant, Erma, to my desktop. “Backscatter” was originally published by Tor.com.
Erma said, Your suit indices are nominal but declining.
“Seems a bit nippy out,” Claire said. She could feel the metabolism booster rippling through her, keeping pain at bay. Maybe it would help with the cold, too.
Her helmet spotlight swept over the rough rock and the deep black glittered with tiny minerals. She killed the spot and looked up the steep incline. A frosty splendor of stars glimmered, outlining the peak she was climbing. Her breath huffed as she said, “Twenty-five meters to go.”
I do hope you can see any resources from there. It is the highest point nearby. Erma was always flat, factual, if a tad academic.
. . . Read the full story in Far Orbit: Speculative Space Adventures.