Sunday, July 5, 2020

Flyboys, by Stanley Schmidt

★★★★☆ Quite a Ride!

(Colony SF Thriller) Bob, one of the bat-like Zoeys on New Horizons, helped architect the peace treaty that ended the war with the humans, but some Zoeys who don’t want peace plan to use his son against him. (20,425 words; Time: 1h:08m)

This is a sequel to the author’s novel, “Night Ride and Sunrise.” I read this novella without having read the novel, and didn’t get the feeling I was missing anything. However, I did decide the novel sounded interesting, so I bought a copy and read it after I finished the novella. This novella is full of spoilers for the novel. That said, I did enjoy the novel a lot, but I’d advise reading the novel first; it’s worth it.

"Flyboys," by (edited by Trevor Quachri), appeared in issue 07-08|20, published on by .

Mini-Review (click to view--possible spoilers)

Review: 2020.328 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: I think the best part of this story is Bob, Jr. He may be a bat-like alien, but he’s very much an adolescent dealing with grownup problems. More than anything else, this is his coming-of-age story, which even his own people recognize at the end of it all when he gets his official name. Bob, Jr. is an awfully nice guy who really wants to do the right thing, and he’s not above seeking adult assistance when he needs it. My favorite moment was when he’s being chased and decides the one who can help is his mom, given her nature and location. I can’t think of another story where the protagonist ran home to mom, and I felt like cheering.

Bob’s part of the story is solid, albeit less exciting. I liked the way he and the human settlers worked together smoothly to deal with the threat.

Con: Once Bob, Jr. makes his escape, things go too easily. The rebels are way outclassed by the Zoey government, and it’s just a matter of catching them.

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Stanley Schmidt Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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