Monday, October 3, 2011

Radio Nowhere

Short Story by Douglas Smith
Read for Escape Pod by Wilson Fowlie

A physicist can't let go of his dead wife to see the obvious love right in front of him. His particle accelerator experiments seem to be causing flickers in time, moments where he is in the past, and moments where the radio seems to be broadcasting messages from a lone survivor in an apocalyptic future with no stars or people left. Ignoring potential consequences for himself or the world, he wants to use these time flickers to prevent his wife from having ever died, which will of course undo his unrequited love's years spent being friends with him, and any chance of consummating her love.

A very human story of a man hung up on the past for far too long, and a woman who can't make him realize her true feelings, and can't get up the courage to be forward about it, remaining only his shoulder to cry on. The resolution is a key moment of personal growth for our protagonist, and that's really what I ask for in a story. I'm glad Liam finally reaches the acceptance part of his grieving process.

3.5 Jesus-ducks out of 5.

P.S. The Escape Pod forums are filled with complaints about various perceived plot holes, and I don't want to deal with those other than to say that I agree with the interpretations of the minority who argue that they actually make sense. Ziggy's emotional state in particular, and the fact that the lake wasn't there fifteen years ago. I don't think you can claim to hate a story based on thinking an arbitrary number of years is an excessive number and this story really stands on the merits of character growth backed up by spooky atmosphere.

Originally Published in Campus Chills
Text for sale by Author for $0.99

No comments: