When the rebel-hunter Pyke chases a teenage girl into a dark alley, he expects to have a bit of fun before turning her over to his alien masters. What he finds will turn his world inside-out.
This short story by geek icon Wil Wheaton feels like the preface to something larger. The exposition is handled beautifully, setting the atmosphere of a world under siege in a few words, without feeling clunky. While this story is strong enough to stand alone, I would be very interested in a reading a novel-length work in this world.
Although his descriptions are definitely a strong point, Wheaton’s characters are intriguing as well, particularly Nina. I did find the main character’s evolution a bit less than convincing, though. For most of his life, Pyke is himself a resistance fighter, and then one day suddenly decides it’s more practical to work for the enemy. There’s certainly a streak of sadism involved in his decision, but mention of a precipitating event might have given the character more depth.
I really enjoyed this piece, and I hope it will be followed up by many more!
Author: Wil Wheaton
Genre: Science Fiction, Short Story
Publication: February 10, 2011, Monolith Press
Price: $0.99, Kindle
Author’s Website: http://wilwheaton.typepad.com/books