Friday, June 21, 2024

Short Fiction Friday: Shooting Star by Joe R. Lansdale

Ok, I'm trying to get back into the swing of things and regular blogging. Part of my hangup has been that I've been reading so many manuscripts! And the other part is just fatigue. 

And yet, I find blogging does help in writing pitches (because as an agent I have to pitch the manuscripts to editors). 

I spent a weekend in San Diego recently for StokerCon and picked up some super fabulous books! A whole suitcase worth :) Including Joe R. Lansdale's recent novella, Shooting Star!

John and his friend Dudley were looking forward to their planned post-graduation fishing trip. But their plans are derailed when the train they're on is hit by by a flying saucer! 

Stranded in the middle of nowhere, the handful of survivors explore the ship but find the aliens inside dead. Or so they think. They decide to make their way to a nearby fire watch tower. But the creatures that crash landed have other plans!

This was such a fun and creepy read! It's a perfect throwback to classic science fiction tales, enhanced by the time period in which the story takes place. (Fitting considering the book is dedicated to those classic films!)

It's also classic Lansdale with his hallmark charm and quirky wit (both of which I absolutely love even in his darkest stories!.

So we have two newly graduated (college) men traveling on a train with a woman, Hilly, who intrigues them both. Which sets off a bit of tension in the beginning. And the woman in question is on her way to work at a fire watch tower. 

The time and place in which the story are set are never concrete but there are hints. The train, for one. The commentary about Hilly's new job, for another. 

It's a slim little volume that packs quite an enjoyable punch. Perfect for an afternoon lazing in the hammock!

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