Thursday, July 21, 2011

Sean McMullen's "Eight Miles" (novelette, free): Helping a Martian(?) warrior stranded on earth!

While there is not much new about the plot, I liked it for reasons I cannot explain - perhaps simply because it's a fast moving story that doesn't bore?

Story is set in 19th century London.

Story summary.

There are 3 main characters:
  1. Angelica: A "deformed" "human" from "perhaps" a very high altitude unexplored place in Himalayas. She was on display as a freak in a circus from which Lord Gainsley purchased her.
  2. Lord Cedric Gainsley: A very wealthy & ruthless individual who's learned a great secret about Angelica.
  3. Harold Parkes: Narrator of the story. A balloonist hired by Gainsley to build machines that can ascent to unbelievable heights - heights where Angelica will be comfortable.
Parks will learn the intrigues of Gainsley, foil them, & hopes to have unbelievable adventures.

See also.

  1. A E van Vogt's "Cataaa" (download): Intelligent alien exhibited as a freak in a human circus.
  2. Eric Frank Russell & Maurice Hugi 's "Mechanical Mice": A man has found a way to tap the minds of those far more technologically advanced, so he can built their machines even if he doesn't understand first thing about those machines.

Fact sheet.

First published: Analog, September 2010.
Download full text from author's site.
Rating: A.
Nominated for Hugo Award 2010 in novelette category.