Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Alan Campbell's "The Gadgey" (short story, science fiction, free): When an alien spaceship crashed in England!

I might have called it good story, but it targets only readers with English as first language - perhaps only British readers. There is too much slang, & too much transliteration of local accent - making it a rather tedious read for me.

Also, it's a very naive story - but that's probably a feature.

Story summary.

An alien spaceship has crashed in someone's backyard, & a couple of TV-smart kids spot it. All crew are dead, except a little child who will also die near end of the story. "Gadgey" of the title is the name the human kids give to alien child.

Story is the reaction of these kids to the event - along with reactions of a teenager, an adult, & an old woman whose help they enlist through the story. They will eventually each make a pile of money - exhibiting the alien kid after his death for fees, & cutting up the spaceship & selling it as scrap!

Through out the story, we don't see any government involvement or even curiosity!! It's purely a local event - of interest only to local characters!

Fact sheet.

First published: Strange Horizons, 5 May 2008.
Rating: B
Download full text.


Denni said...

The ship crashed in Scotland, not England.

That is an important difference.

tinkoo said...

Thanks for correcting, Denni.

PS: Where I live, "England" often means all of UK, & Ireland too! And I grew up at a place where "Englishman" meant anyone with a European descent! It's like being referred to as Asian when I travel west - a label that is actually meaningless if you are from the region (half of all humans are Asians - you might as well call me Human!).

This is not to say that I claim to know of the distinction between England & Scotland - at my distance, they seem to be just provinces of UK, a country? I can sympathize with sensitivities, though - I'm an Indian only to outsiders; here, I get much finer labels.