Tom gets thrown in the brig.
An interesting story weighed down by a clunky narrative device, and some overall didactic environmentalism. I generally dislike framing stories pretty strongly, and starting with Tom being thrown in the brig doesn’t help. It’s an old writing trick to start with the climax of the story, as it creates interest and draws the reader in early. But it’s a cheat, it undermines suspense, and in this form it chews up screen time in the framing story that could have been used in the main story.
For instance, time that could have been used to better explain the beauty of the environment, or to make the conflict between industry and environment a little less cliche. Or to give one of the aliens a character beyond the stock book of ‘politicians and their flunkies’.
550 down, 187 to go.