Alone Out Here

Alone Out Here (2022) by Riley Redgate, has been described as “Lord of the Flies on a spaceship” and there are similarities between the two. But Alone out Here is better, in that it’s more inclusive (Redgate includes women and girls, and people of color as lead characters) and, though there is still brutality, the relationships are more nuanced.

Leigh Chen, the “first daughter” of the President of the United States, is visiting the spaceship designed to save humankind from a super-volcano eruption when she is awakened by the disaster happening early–sirens go off and there is a huge explosion, and all of the other children of world leaders (teenagers and young adults) run to the ship to evacuate earth. There are only 53 of them on a ship that is designed to hold thousands, including a crew of hundreds.

The ship is launched, but the only adult, who was trained as a pilot, dies in the process. Her daughter takes over piloting, and Leigh does what she has done her entire life–not give in to her own anxiety so that everyone watching stays calm. They do their best to divide the work and limited food fairly, and they try their best to avoid turning against each other, but hunger and isolation make it hard to continue to recognize each others’ humanity.

Although you have to suspend your disbelief in some ways (How likely is it that a group of untrained, inadequately educated teenagers would be able to run a complex spaceship with only a fraction of the needed crew? And point it towards the most habitable planet?) I was still hooked by the story. And I enjoyed the twist at the end–I did not see it coming.

I would consider it weight-neutral; there was not really any mention of a character’s weight in a positive or negative way, although there was quite a bit of discussion about calories and how many each person would need to survive because of the limited food included on the ship when it launched. So if calorie discussions or food-hoarding behaviors are triggering, you might want to skip this one.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: