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The Price of Silence: 06/27/09
"The Price of Silence" is a return to FSF for Deborah Ross. She originally wrote as Deborah Wheeler. It's the first story I've read by her but I hope to read more.
Delvin, new to the crew of the Juno recounts how they are sent to an out of the way colony to deliver a military man for an unknown reason. What they find is complete and utter destruction where the colony once was.
I would consider this story hard science fiction in that Ross remembers the basics of space. An explosion witnessed from the outside is bright but silent. The problem on the planet is first noticed by a combination of radio silence and a change in albedo.
In tone "The Price of Silence" reminds me of another science fiction I'm currently reading, Project Starseed by J M Snyder. Both share a sense of claustrophobia and the dangers faced by colonists.