Hull Zero Three: a neatly-done amnesia mystery on a spooky old spaceship. So, what did I take away from it as a writer? I warn you: spoilers.
The setting is a character. It’s moody. Fickle. Mean. It doesn’t care if you die. It wants you to die. It provides for you. It reacts to your touch. You wonder what it wants from you, if it even knows you’re there. These are the makings of a complex and memorable character. It’s even called “Ship”, as if it were a person by that name.
You don’t have to explain it all. Why the strange bodies of the characters? They vary widely in size, shape, and color based on some sort of functional utility — but were they like that on Earth? Or were they created on-ship? The honking people had their own language; was it developed before the ship launched?
Many questions, but it’s OK. I didn’t need the full history of the world, just enough to keep me going in the story.
Everyone is superstitious, even in the future. The issue of the silvery beings was my favorite of the novel. Hearing sci-fi characters talk about something as if it were a fairy or a yeti or the Virgin Mary rang very true to they way people actually act. Everyone has experiences they can’t explain, and the most logical solution isn’t always the right one. Giving characters an odd phenomenon to react to provides an opportunity to show (or discover) more about who they are.
All in all, a good take.