Early Retirement: Luke Ethan Knight
Reviewed By Steve Stred
This was a book that’s caught me at the exact right time with what my reading desires are.
I’ve been wanting to read more space/alien/thriller/horror/sci-fi stories lately and while the cover wasn’t one that really spoke to me, the synopsis was exactly what I was wanting to read.
This one’s a very short read – 28 pages – but Ethan Knight packs a ton of story into that small page count.
What I liked: The reader gets thrown into the middle of the story, with the background details lightly sprinkled in later on. The rookie, William is outside of the complex, somewhere on a freezing, snowy realm, adjusting some settings or switches.
We learn everyone thinks he’s odd, but that’s not unusual for the people who work in these places.
Luke Ethan Knight does a great job of having interpersonal conflict while having an unsettling hum spliced throughout, that familiar hum that something is about to go wrong and when it does it’ll be horrific for all. This is true.
The story itself doesn’t travel new ground if you’re a fan of space/sci-fi/horror, and this was as much an ode to ‘Who Goes There?’ by John W. Campbell as it was an original story, but it was still a fun time.
What I didn’t like: We don’t get any answers. Not a one. We don’t get any Earthly history about why the people are where they are now or why certain things need to be done. So, in that sense, it can be frustrating.
Why you should buy this: For people who’ve never read ‘Who Goes There?” this will be a really fun story and will make you want to go back and read that. For those who have, this was a fast-paced story that walks that edge well of original and fan-fiction. I was pulled along the entire time and absolutely wanted to know more and the why’s, which made for an engrossing read.
A lifelong production operator who’s been dragged from boiling-hot reactor cells to outdoor polar pipeline arrays, Cap Jenkins figures he’s seen just about every ugly thing that life on an extraterrestrial corporate mining colony has to offer.
But when a fresh, unnervingly innocent young operator clocks in for his first night shift with no warning and no introduction, Cap and his small crew of surly workmen are quickly reminded that things can always get worse.
As Cap’s woes progress from minor equipment failures to inexplicable and horrific happenings in the shadows, one thing becomes increasingly clear: there’s something very strange about this rookie.
Steve Stred is the author of a number of novels, novellas and collections. He has appeared in anthologies with some of Horror’s heaviest hitters.
He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada with his wife, son and their dog OJ.
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