I used to only fancy reading one or two stories in most short-story collections and it felt very unsatisfying leaving most of a book unread. Carrying around a whole book that I only wanted to read a few pages from was also a waste of space in my bag. Now with the Kindle, I can download individual stories that I really like the look of and have them on my Kindle ready for when I’m in-between books or only have half an hour spare for reading – and I love that.
I hadn’t twigged this until I downloaded Elle LaPraim’s short sci-fi story Displaced.
I also hadn’t read any science fiction since I was a teenager. I’d been put off by too many novels and TV programs which were more about technology than people and I found I couldn’t relate to any of the characters. Elle’s short story is a wonderful human, soft science-fiction piece, where the characters are vivid and real and society is recognisable.
Here’s the description from Amazon:
When Abigail was twelve she discovered something in the woods behind her house; something that would destroy everything it touched. Fifty years later, after America is nothing but a memory, Mr. Brown shows up to interview Abigail in her London home. Haunted by his own terrifying dreams, Mr. Brown must find out why this is all happening and if there is anything they can do to stop it from obliterating human-kind. The conversation that transpires will either be the salvation he is so desperately seeking or the haunting realization that nothing can be done for any of them.
The writing and description is wonderfully efficient, enough to create detailed images in my head without getting in the way of immersing myself in the story. I loved the dialogue at the beginning – perfectly balanced with the rest of the narrative – and it sounded real. My favourite parts though were the vivid images from the child discovering what was at the back of the woods. Elle adds lovely detail that everyone can relate to that make the memories feel genuine.
I will be reading more of this type of science fiction, now that Elle LaPraim has reminded me how much I used to enjoy it. I will also be reading more from Elle LaPraim – she has a novel out later this year and her website can be found here: http://ellelapraim.com/
Displaced is available on Amazon and got 5 stars from me.