It was finally time for Creepy Or Cool? to make its first foray into the realm of science fiction, but the question is whether it was paradise reading Jason K. Lewis’s debut short story or not?
It starts off with family man, John, and his darling daughter, Jemina, queuing; that’s right, queuing. It’s for a pretty good reason though: they’re about to be whisked away from the depleted and dying planet Earth to man’s idyllic new colony across the stars.
Earth’s resources have been drained and overpopulation (24 billion worldwide) has led to a single-child cap being put into effect in “The Country.” A pretty depressing outlook for the future, eh? If only we could keep it in our pants.
There is a spark of hope, a lottery where the winners earn a one-way ticket to Paradise (it wasn’t mentioned but I do hope this song was playing overheard while everyone waited in line). A lush and resplendent new world, untapped, it offers a chance of salvation to the lucky few. John and his family are some of those making the trip and hoping to start a new life free from the mistakes of Earth’s past. John sees only the potential this new world has to offer and his daughter Jemina is bewitched by the images which have filtered back from Paradise of tropical creatures and gorgeous vistas. Of course though, someone has to have some reservations and John’s wife Sarah is that person, “Why aren’t there any predators, John?” Good question… What exactly is this place they’re travelling to?
Now this is a short story, only 34 pages–which explains the $0.99 price tag–so I won’t delve too much further into the plot, other to say that some other characters are introduced into affairs aside from John and his family. Similar to Stephen King’s short story, “The Jaunt,” you can sense the trepidation slowly starting to build as the family draws closer to their scheduled departure. Surely this pioneering solution to the overpopulation on Earth can’t be so simple? This is science fiction; it rarely is.
A short tale and so a short review from Creepy Or Cool? this time. It’s a well-written, albeit brief, story and for a self-published novella the quality of the editing and proofreading has been the best of all that I have reviewed to date. The conclusion leaves things open for a follow-up but I don’t feel that a sequel is entirely necessary; having said that though, I would probably be intrigued enough to read it.
A promising debut from a young author whose first full-length novel, Hope, is scheduled to be released later this year, and which I now have high hopes for.