It’s high time I got back to doing some short reviews and got caught up with my hard copy reviews, all too many of which languish in my to-read pile.
In issue number eight of this fine magazine, the editor’s thoughtfully present us with a space pirate tale that doesn’t quite reach anthropomorphic animal levels. J. D. Brink’s Littermates uses the first person narration of the Captain of the space faring pirate vessel Lion’s Pride to deliver a straightforward skirmish between rival pirate crews in a nominally neutral space station.
Our narrator has a great personality, full of the salt and vinegar and colorful phraseology you’d expect from an old seadog. Brink has knack for inventive slang terms that are descriptive and natural, and he uses this to great effect to create an atmosphere of sci-fi piracy that exceeds that of even the most faithful Northwest Smith character. If anything, he doesn’t go quite far enough in that direction – our narrator has the salty seadog dial turned up to about eight, where a full ten, even with half the jargon incomprehensible, would have really made this story shine. As it is, Littermates makes for a fun read with plenty of personality, great pacing, and enough violence to satisfy any reader.
Really enjoyed this one. Would read again, and would look forward to part two. Even though Part one ended at a suitable place and without anything resembling a cliffhanger.