Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The Vivisection of Sgt. Shane Eastwood

In just about 650 words, Matt Mikalatos managed to write an interesting and complete sci-fi flash fic titled "The Vivisection of Sgt. Shane Eastwood."  The extent to which managed to do so is rather impressive.

There are two characters in this story: an alien and a sergeant.  The POV is 3rd-limited from the sergeant's eyes.  I really like both characters' personality.  The sergeant acts as a protagonist very well, as he garners sympathy, is competent, and acts proactively.  Besides having all three boxes checked, he's a genuinely cool character.  If I were old enough to drink, I would say that I would enjoy sitting next to him at the bar.  The alien is threatening, competent, taunting, and also proactive.  These traits together make him a very good villain.

The plot in this story is basic, but it is definitely there, and it follows a fairly traditional pattern.  It ties into the characters splendidly.  I (and the story) would have been fine with a few hundred words extra to develop things more, although as a fan of stories in the 400 to 800-word range I'm not disappointed.

It's a futuristic story with aliens; standard SF setting, right?  Not exactly.  While there are probably several stories out there with very similar settings and world-building elements, this story manages to include a few unique elements that help the idea of the story (a conversation during a vivisection) work well and afford very intriguing aliens.

It'll (more than likely) take less than five minutes to read this story (conveniently linked to above).  So, if you like SF, especially SF with aliens, why not read it right now?  I highly recommend it (and most other stories published by Daily Science Fiction).


  1. Hey Patrick, I'm generally not a huge fan of science-fiction, I don't know why, aliens and space ships just don't seem to appeal to me. But I gave this little piece a read and I thought it was great, so thank you for sharing your thoughts and the link :)

  2. Thanks for the link and the rec- I just went and read it, and got some delightfully creepy shudders out of the whole thing. One of my favorite things about sci-fi is it's ability to give some startling (and often upsetting) insights into humanity.

    1. Sure thing. Yeah, sci-fi can definitely be startling in ways that no other genre can be.