Habitat from Earbud Theater provides both entertainment and acts very much like a thought experiment. The idea behind the story is definitely a “what if” kind of experiment. What if a human was forced to live in an artificially created habitat?
The protagonist of this tale is an astronaut whose ship crashes somewhere out in the vacuum of space. She is rescued by a group of “super brains” who decide to study her in an artificial habitat and give her anything she needs to be comfortable. The problem lies in the difference between want and need as the protagonist goes back and forth on what needs to be happy. Everything from a life in isolation to materialism is addressed in one form or another.
The story does get a bit tedious near the middle. Some try/fail cycles could’ve been cut or shortened to allow a shorter, punchier running time. That said, this story is great for fans of science fiction. While the diehard fans will probably find the author’s use of a classic sci-fi trope to be unoriginal, the execution was brilliant.
Perhaps the best thing about this story is the ending. Right when you think it’s over, the story continues until it reaches a climax that is both powerful and inevitable. The cast does a fabulous job in bringing their dialogue to life, especially in the final moments of the story.