The solar system has been made inhabitable to huamns, thanks to the technology of the alien Wergens — and all they asked for in return was our time and cooperation, because the Wergens are simply infatuated with us. Covert experiments with Wergen DNA by Maxwell and Rossi produced a drug — a love potion in all but name — which was stolen by Rossi, who used it on Max’s wife, Miranda, before fleeing with her to a colony on Triton. And Now Max has travelled there to find his love and bring her home.

One of the interesting things about blogging Interzone in this way has been that it’s made me reflect on what makes a story good, or better than good. Take Mercurio Rivera’s piece, for example. I like it — which is not hard, as it’s a very likeable story — but have ended up with reserations about it nonetheless.

There are many things about the story which are good — it combines thrills, appropriately exotic aliens and scenery, and philosophical questions. But, still, I needed it to do more. If the descriptive prose had been that bit more evocative, or the action sequences that bit more thrilling; if the aliens and their technology had been that bit more remarkable, or the examination of love that bit more developed… Even one of those would have taken the story up a notch. As it is, Rivera’s tale is good enough — but, somehow, ‘good enough’ still doesn’t feel quite enough.

Mercurio Rivera’s website