I downloaded these thinking they were full length novels, but they both turned out to be novellas. I don’t know whether they are short novellas or long stories. Such a blurry line between the two.
They are both ‘hard’ sci fi, both are quite fascinating, and both get you thinking not only about the plot, but about the mechanics of story telling.
Peter Cawdron’s Little Green Men is a bit more somber than the Dustman story, although its title would suggest otherwise. A mining exploration team is sent from the mother ship to explore the possibilities of a fairly inhospitable looking planet. They arrive in the middle of a powerful storm, with constant periodic lightning strikes. There is a possibility that it is a permanent storm, somewhat like Jupiter’s Red Spot storm.
One guy of the two man team exploring the surface is anxious to return to the ship, although his partner is finding examples of beginning life forms. He mentions jokingly about being nervous of little green men.
So what do you think happens? Of course, little green men appear, and they aren’t all that friendly. In fact, they are downright hostile. That’s all the plot you get, because since it is a short story/novella, if I give you much more, I’d be giving you the whole thing.
This little work gets philosophical and introspective,
Most people would have been intimidated by Vegas, afraid to speak up, not out of a fear of being wrong, out of a fear of appearing stupid in front of her. Michaels had never thought that way. For him, being shown to be wrong was an opportunity to be right.
which mixes nicely with the scary parts. Oh, did I forget to mention the scary parts? So sorry. There’s scary parts.
K. McLachlan’s The First Dustman in Space is a quirky little tale about all that crap floating around in space and getting in everyone’s way, not to mention quite a bit of it having some salvage value. Space is messy; someone’s got to clean it up. Harry Martin is part of a two-man salvage ship that he had to save up for in order to buy into it. But the salvage collected could be worth a pretty penny.
Somebody else is well aware of that: his new partner. We get awfully suspicious of the new partner, since things begin to go fatally awry once he showed up. You’ve heard of karma? Yeah. The wheel goes round…
This is subtitled The Space Salvagers Chronicles, so I am assuming we can look for more tales of the cleaning crew.
I like the idea of some organization responsible for hauling in all those floating ham and cheese sandwiches that nobody wanted, and the odd parts from when stuff blows up. Clutter-free, that’s my style.