Tuesday, January 10, 2017


There are a lot of elements I really like in "Spaceman" by Florence Vincent, published in the sixth issue of Shoreline of Infinity, but there are a few that I question.

I really enjoyed the characters in "Spaceman."  There are two of them, and they're both very interesting.  It took me a few scenes to realize that there are two characters, with alternating scenes taken from alternating viewpoints.  The characters' voices have some level of distinction, but I question whether they are separate enough from each other, at the very least in the first few scenes.  The backstory of the second character is engrossing, and the first character is strange enough to draw the reader in.  I could've went without the handful of crude sentences sprinkled throughout, but those sentences definitely helped with the voices of the characters.

Shifting slightly from voice, the general writing style of "Spaceman" is beautiful.  No, it isn't beautiful like poetry; this style is plain glass with great execution.  There are several fantastic sentences (that I won't spoil for you).  The flow was only interrupted, for me, by that whole character confusion, as well as one slightly-crude sentence I wasn't expecting.

The true setting for this story is fairly basic, which is fine by me.  The overarching world, commented on by the first character, may have strayed a bit too far to the weird, but it was certainly interesting.  The setting worked well with the characters and the plot, always a "plus."

I have a few reservations regarding the plot of "Spaceman."  The second character has a compelling storyline up until the end, where it felt a bit like a cop-out.  The first character gets the real ending, and it fell flat for me, unfortunately.  It kind of made sense for the character, but not incredibly-so, and I never really felt like the two characters "belonged" in the same location at all (allowing them to interact with one another and bridge the viewpoints).

There are plenty of reasons to still read Ms. Vincent's sci-fi short story from the Scottish Shoreline of Infinity, even if it had some potential problems.  For one, you may decide that everything works out for you.  The writing style and characterization present are quite good, so "Spaceman" can yet offer some instruction on those fronts (thinking like a writer).  So, why not give this story a read?  You'll need to pay a few pounds for the issue in which it appears, but I think it's worth it, for this story and others.


  1. Great breakdown of the story. Thanks. It's always a disappointment when the ending is a bit flat isn't it?