Sunday 5 December 2021

These Three - Karina Fabian - A Rescue Sisters Story

These Three
A Rescue Sisters Story
Karina Fabian
Laser Cow Press

First! Wow what an excellent story, but I did not recall it specifically. Second please let there be many, many more stories of the Rescue Sisters to come. With every encounter with the Rescue Sisters, I love the world Fabian has been creating even more.  

I stumbled across this and another Rescue Sisters Story, Moonboy, shortly after they released as short stories. Fabian had not even posted about them yet on social media. Having loved the other two Rescue Sisters works, I picked these up and jumped them to the top of my reading list. They did not disappoint! I encountered this story previously in Infinite Space, Infinite God, edited by Karina and Rob Fabian, and published in 2006, I read an reviewed it in 2008 and am thankful I still have the eBook edition, my physical copy was lent out years ago and is lost in a black hole somewhere.

While reading this it felt familiar, but I could not recall enough. The description of this volume is:

“Peter has always had dreams bigger than his motivation. When he gets a job on a run-down freighter doing the earth-moon run, he thinks he’s finally made the grade. Then Le Poubelle has a catastrophic accident that leaves the ship in shambles and him broken and concussed. With Le Poubelle on a collision course with the L5 Station, Peter must make the painful trek across the half-destroyed decks to activate auxiliary control. His only help is his own motivation, the prayers of his sister, and an annoying vision that bullies him to action.”

This story is wonderful on many levels. First the main plot is excellent. Second, the characters are amazing. Fabian’s characters are part of what makes her writing so appealing, and among my favorite contemporary authors. And third the religious elements, and I do not just mean Rescue Nuns in Space. 

The spirit leading and guiding a nun to prayer.
That nun being oblivious to everything around her while in prayer.
The appearance of guidance of Blessed Gillian in a vision to guide.

In the story we see:

““He blushed for the first time in years. “Not me, Mother Superior. I just...gave God permission to use me.” He grinned. “Even without my consent.” He didn’t expect her to understand, but the elder nun nodded.

Peter shrugged. “No. It was something she—the vision—told me when I didn’t think I could go on.” Then he laughed, wincing as he did so. “Of course, she also called me a ‘dirtsider wuss.’ But just before she faded away, she said, ‘Good work, dirtsider, you’re spacer—’” 

“‘—born today?” Sister Magdalena whispered, her eyes wide. 

“Yeah. How’d you know?” 

“This vision—you saw her? Can you describe her?””

About the history of the Rescue Sisters we are told:

“The order started on the L5 station, which is on the LaGrange trailing the moon. Gillian (Later St. Gillian of L5) was the wife of the inventor of artificial gravity. Ironically, he was so severely injured in an accident with his machine that he could no longer manage in Earth’s gravity, so she left Earth to join him on L5. After his death, she took holy vows and petitioned to start an order of religious sisters in outer space. 

While they do many things, Gillian chose search and rescue for the mission because it was a high-demand, high-risk operation that commanded high prices. By doing the work for “air, supplies and the love of God,” they paved the way for their religious order to grow. 

Skirts would be inconvenient and potentially embarrassing if the artificial gravity cut out, so Gillian chose wide-legged pants and a simple T-shirt under the skinsuit. The practical habit caused some scandal but was eventually accepted on stations and low-gravity environments, and grudgingly allowed “dirtside.”

Under Gillian’s leadership, the order grew to several locations, including L5 and Phobos, where there’s a training convent. When she died, spacers claimed to have seen her apparition and credited her with saving them from accidents or other perils. Many of these miracles were confirmed and she was sainted.”

These are those stories! This is another wonderful story in an amazing series. Fabian has several series that I love. But the Rescue sisters are among my favourites. Many years ago I read Sacred Visions that was edited by Father Andrew M. Greeley, since that time I have read some terrible stories and some truly inspired fiction. Some of my all time favourite stories now are religious, and specifically Catholic Fiction. The Rescue Sisters are among the best! 

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2021 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Karina Fabian:

Dex Hollister Series:

The Old Man and the Void
Dex's Way

Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator Series :
Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator
I Left My Brains in San Francisco
Shambling in a Winter Wonderland

DragonEye PI Series:
DragonEye PI Novels:
?.0 Magic, Mensa and Mayhem (Revised edition)
?.0 Live and Let Fly (Revised edition)

DragonEye PI Short Stories:

DragonEye PI Original First Editions:
Live and Let Fly

Space Traipse Series:
Space Traipse: Hold My Beer, Season 1
Space Traipse: Hold My Beer, Season 2
Space Traipse: Hold My Beer, Season 3
Space Traipse Stories

Mind Over Series:
Mind Over Mind
Mind Over Psyche
Mind Over All
Hearts Over Mind

Edited by: Karina Fabian:
Infinite Space, Infinite God I
Leaps of Faith
Infinite Space, Infinite God II

Contributed to:
Firestorm of Dragons
The Zombie Cookbook
The Book of Tentacles
Twisted Fayrie Tales
FRIGHTLINER: And Other Tales of the Undead
Mother Goose is Dead
Word by Word: Slowing Down with the Hail Mary
Image and Likeness Literary Reflections on the Theology of the Body
Corrupts Absolutely? Dark Metahuman Fiction
Weird Noir
The Complete Guide to Writing Paranormal Novels
Manifesto UF
Avenir Eclectia
Planetary Anthology: Jupiter
Planetary Anthology: Pluto
Planetary Anthology: Luna
Planetary Anthology: Uranus
FlagShip Science Fiction and Fantasy v2i5
My Little Book of Headdesks
To Be Men: Stories Celebrating Masculinity

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