Sunday, February 09, 2014

REVIEW: Brass Stars

Title: Brass Stars
Genre: science fiction (novella)
Price: $4.00 (ebook)
ISBN: 978-1-932207-49-1
Point of Sale: publishers site (includes Amazon, Barnes & Noble links)
Reviewed by: Chris Gerrib

Tashndelu Sand has arrived on the planet Malachee to kill a man.  She’s brought her horse – a mechanical device into which a human’s mind has been grafted - and her revolver.  She rides her mechanical horse into town, stops off at the local whorehouse – a girl’s got needs too – and things happen.  These things include a fair bit of gunplay, both at the whorehouse and afterwards.

Now, lest one think that Brass Stars is entirely a Western in SF clothing, the fact that Synder – Tashndelu’s horse – has a mechanical body but a human brain is critical to this story.  So, if science fiction is a story that doesn’t work without the science, Brass Stars is definitely a SF story.  It also doesn’t have the typical Hollywood ending.

I guess that’ why I like Brass Stars.  A. G. Carpenter delivers a taut, capable tale, with believable characters and realistic settings.  It’s a revenge western, set in space, yet with the SF elements aren’t bolted on, but rather integral to the story.  My only problem was that the story was too short.  But then “leave them wanting more” is always good advice for any entertainer.


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