"Guest of Honor" is a 1993 science fiction novelette by Robert Reed. It is about a space explorer with 63 “parents”, who returns to give them all gifts.
Pico, a compilation of 63 rich immortals, was created to go explore different areas of the galaxy and then return to give her patrons those experiences. At her big return party she shares amazing stories, and is a bit judgemental of those who gave her life and a purpose. However, there is one man among them who seems different, and when he makes her an offer she can’t refuse her attitude towards everything begins to change… at least for a while.
My Two Cents
- Story: – This unique idea was very cool and I very much enjoyed reading about how things turned out. I found myself often thinking of how things could have gone differently, or what the other compilations might have reported.
- Writing: – I think Robert Reed is a good writer, and it shows here. The story, dialogue and flashback scenes all flowed together nicely.
- Fun Factor: – While I did enjoy the story, there was a bit of a gloomy note hanging over it which made it less fun than it could have been. There were lots of possibilities for the great story idea, it would have been cool to see where else it could have gone.
Where To Find Guest of Honor
- This story first appeared in the June 1993 edition of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.
- You can read "Guest of Honor" for free online at the ClarkesWorld web site.
- It is also included in the wonderful anthology The Best of the Best: 20 Years of the Year’s Best Science Fiction.
Craving More SF Stories Like This One?
If you liked "Guest of Honor" then you might enjoy "The Next Invasion" – which is also by Robert Reed. It is the story of a movie director who picks up an extraordinary, scary, hitchhiking teenage girl.