View from a Height

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Vinge, Joan. "View from a Height." Analog June 1978. Collected Eyes of Amber and Other Stories. NYC: Signet-NAL, 1979. Reprinted The Best Science Fiction of the Year #8. Ed. Terry Carr. NYC and London, UK: Del Rey-Ballantine/Gollancz, 1979. For translations, reprints, and republications of Eyes of Amber, see Internet Speculative Fiction Database, as of June 2022 here.[1]

Listed in Benford and Zebrowski's Skylife: Space Habitats in Story and Science.

According to Raya, a high-school student writing on the website Young People Read Old SFF, 16 Mar[ch] 2017, "'View from a Height' is the internal commentary of an astronaut approaching the Oort cloud on an interstellar mission."[2] We're not sure about the implications of "interstellar" — though the Oort Cloud itself is interstellar — but "View from a Height" is a story of isolation in an emphatically "mechanical" environment of a long-range spacecraft (possibly one with a solar sail [Mel's contribution on this site]). According to the curator of "Young People Read old SFF," "Vinge's contribution," "View from a Height," "was the cover story" for this issue of Analog, its first "special Woman's Issue."

RDE, finishing, 15Jun22