Author Name & Publisher: Kim Fielding (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: June 26, 2015 – 210 pgs
Carter Evans is founder and editor-in-chief of Astounding!—a formerly popular spec fiction magazine currently in its death throes. Not only can he do nothing to save it, but stuck in a rathole apartment with few interpersonal connections, he can’t seem to do much to rescue his future either. And certainly all the booze isn’t helping. He snaps when he receives yet another terrible story submission from the mysterious writer J. Harper—and in a drunken haze, Carter sends Harper a rejection letter he soon regrets.
J. Harper turns out to be John Harper, a sweet man who resembles a ’50s movie star and claims to be an extraterrestrial. Despite John’s delusions, Carter’s apology quickly turns into something more as the two lonely men find a powerful connection. Inexplicably drawn to John, Carter invites him along on a road trip. But as they travel, Carter is in for some big surprises, some major heartbreak… and just maybe the promise of a good future after all.
It’s hard to know where to begin with this wonderful gem of a story. It’s equal parts funny, strange, and touching all at once. As soon as I started reading, I didn’t want to stop.
I don’t want to say too much and give away all the surprises—it seems like there’s something new in every chapter. Every character is complex and interesting, even the ones we see only briefly.
In the end, this is much bigger than the romance between Carter and John. The story has so many layers. It’s a commentary on what sparks us and brings us to life as well as being about friendship, hope, taking chances, and the big effect even the small things we do can have. A delightful and truly marvelous book.
I’m a little ambivalent about this story and I feel like I shouldn’t be. This is a well written story with a relatively unusual plot. The characters are well crafted, the descriptions are fantastic.
I just didn’t warm to the main characters. Carter made a wonderful transformation over the course of the book, but I found myself checking what page I was on far too often. John didn’t ever resonate as real for me and the relationship was too quick.
I didn’t fully understand or believe in the science fiction aspect of the story which is completely my problem. Fielding’s descriptions are great, but I was groaning and eye rolling, not getting involved in the story.
I think the problem with the book is mine. I’m really not a science fiction fan and I struggled here. It’s hard to relate to characters when I have very little interest in their lives or interests. I’m pretty sure that most science fiction readers will love this. So while it wasn’t my story, it is a well written, well crafted story that will appeal to a wide audience.
Kim Fielding lives in California and travels as often as she can manage. A professor by day, at night she rushes into a phonebooth to change into her author costume (which involves comfy clothes instead of Spandex and is, sadly, lacking a cape). Her superpowers include the ability to write nearly anywhere, often while simultaneously doling out homework assistance to her children. Her favorite word to describe herself is “eclectic” and she finally got that third tattoo.
All royalties from her novels Stasis, Flux and Equipoise are donated to Doctors Without Borders.