After a short break, something jarred the desire to hear more sci-fi. As usual, what I found were more interpersonal relationships, suspense, and mystery than hard-core sci-fi, which is fine, really.
Maybe it was because The Husband and I have been relaxing running through series or series of movies more evenings than not, and the most recent has been “Murder, She Wrote” that I chose one story:
“Sunset Stays”, by Craig A. Falconer.
The story opens with recent-widow Lorraine Green leaving her home of more than fifty years. She had meticulously planned this move down to the last detail with her husband. He knew that he would not be able to make the trip she was heading out on, but the two of them made many detailed plans.
Lorraine and Bill had already given their children furnishings and what little they had gathered in their house. They had not collected much, but the two grown children who remained were doing well. The last look into the room of the son who had died as a teen was the only really hard part for her. The others were not happy with her leaving them, or spending all of her money doing so, and she left the house alone in a taxi.
Lorraine headed off to a man-made world on the opposite side of the Sun. It is a retirement community, but Lorraine has plans, big plans and she is far from kicking back. We do not immediately become aware of what the plans are nor why she is so driven to complete the promises she made to Bill, and to herself.
There is one problem that bothered me about the story. Lorraine judges people very quickly She is very easy to become trusting, because (I’m somewhat paraphrasing here), “not even the most A-list actor could not pull off the sincere look…”. Maybe, had Falconer added, “at the spur of the moment” or the like, it would have been better because I have seen many incredible jobs of acting where actors blew me away and made me believe in their sincerity.
When we do become privy to Lorraine’s plans, there is a curveball thrown at her right away, and everything, absolutely everything she thought and had driven her, changes.
This is a novella. In audiobook form, it runs approximately an hour and twenty minutes, but it is a full story. Even if sci-fi and space travel hold no intrigue for you, it is a good story of good versus evil, true strength of character, doing the right thing, helping others for the greater good, conversion of attitude, compassion, and willingness to be openminded to the truth, not what just you perceive to be the truth.
Although the writer is a man, he does a good job with a woman’s POV. Megan Carter, the woman narrator, (which was the right choice), does a very good job of it. I hope that you check this story out on YouTube.
I had been waiting for more information from my next guest and just as she came through, I got tied up with an 18-year-old grandchild moving in with less than a day’s notice, so I fell back on this review I had started thinking that I would add more, but I hope that this is enough to carry us through. I do hate leaving the slot empty, so to speak.
Please give Sunset Stays a listen, when you have an hour and twenty, and let me know what you think.
sounds like an interesting mix: what appears to be a fairly “contemporary” theme / characters… but set in a sci-fi context/setting.
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Yes, Elaine had noticed that many of the sci-fi stories lean more toward the emotional and psychological than are about science. They just use some sci-fi as a setting. This is a nice story of redemption and letting go of hate.
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Sometimes a shorter story is just what I need. Sci-fi settings are fun to read, as long as the characters have motives and feelings that we understand.
This sounds like my cup of tea. This is the way I enjoy my Sci-Fi.