Earlier this month I reviewed “Beyond Lies the Wub” by PKD, and the author of this story commented that he was inspired by the Wub while immersed in left brain creativity for Trixie and Me. Everything we do is inspired by things we interact with daily and historically whether we can admit it or not, in this case when pointed out you can see the minor similarities of the alien species in both stories.
Trixie, the story, not the woman is not as intelligent a read as Serengeti. But what it lacks in the immense technicality of Serengeti it makes up for in story content. Twice the pages as it’s predecessor, but read in half the time because the story flows and you just read and read, rather than having to read and re-read because you are trying to understand the complexity of astrophysics… unless you are Stephen Hawking or Brian Greene, then Serengeti is like Dr. Seuss.
Slight spoiler below, if you have not read the book I suggest stopping here and just reading the story, long story short, no pun intended because it is a short story, the book is good… read it.
The plot is fairly straight forward, man explores signal for intelligence, intelligence is hostile, man is captured, man tries to escape. But Cawdron adds some interesting visuals that are uncommon to the common theme of one of science fictions greatest plotlines. A spiraling gravitational pull that make for every surface to be traveled, imagine the freedom if you could make use of six surfaces in your home. What would you do with that open area in the middle of a room? Storage of course!
Other than a fun read it has a bit more, someone… cough-cough Peter Cawdron cough, mentioned something of a plot twist, unfortunately for someone as curious as a cat I was looking for any hint of what it may be and I was able to spot the authors clues. Normally I would say spotting the reveal ruins the twist, but I also found it interesting to admire the dynamics of how the simple change in relationship would be perceived by someone put in that situation.
Being only on book 2, i am only speculating here, but I did find it interesting that the Commander and his science officer shared the family names of the crew of the Serengeti. In book 1 they talk about cloning to maintain staffing for the multi-generational travels, understandably so, or you attempt to repopulate, but with so few options the family tree begins to run in a straight line soon. Curiously Anderson and Diana of the Serengeti viewed it as a person of valor to begin a voyage knowing they would never again see their families and never complete to their satisfaction, but could begin for the quest of knowledge. Now I question, were they so brave that they actually left Earth, or sent their clones in the ships and continued life in their homes, because it is clear they are not the same Anderson and Phillips, in no lifetime could they be in both galactic positions, it would take a thousand years.
If you have yet to read this book and ignored the spoiler warning I will not go any further than that, but I will say it does make the common anal probe a bit more humane and benign.
Wonderful work on the story makes it a true classic among indie authors, if I were compiling a list of collected short stories for a sci-fi book, this would make the cut. A-