Reviewed by Cinnamon
TITLE: New Reality
AUTHOR: Jessica Payseur
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 52 pages
RELEASE DATE: November 8, 2017
It’s lonely running a small transport ship across the galaxy when you’re as old and as single as Connell Smyth. So when the dreams start up, Connell assumes they’re his mind’s way of working through what his life has become—until he discovers the man in his dreams might be much more than a figment of his neglected imagination. Connell can’t quite believe it could be real, but he can’t help becoming obsessed with this new lover on an unknown luscious planet.
Seventeen years ago, Wystan Kreeger’s survey mission crash-landed on a hard-to-reach planet. Sole survivor Wystan turns desperate after his computer, the only companion he’s had since, gives out. Even in the improbable event that the man in his dreams is real, he’ll face the same risk from the planet’s storm-charged atmosphere if he tries to track Wystan down, and he could end up just like Wystan’s former crew. But finding each other across so many light-years can’t be a mere coincidence. Now they must find a way to realize the happiness they’ve found in sleep during the light of the day.
What a great story. Jessica Payseur is a new author for me but I am glad to bump into her. She has a vivid, descriptive writing style, great portrayal and fantastic imagination. New Reality is not my usual MO. Ninety percent of my reads are contemporary stories but I really like to get out of my comfort zone every once in a while. When I read the blurb of this one, I knew I had to take that step and dive into some science fiction and I am happy I picked it up.
This was a fun, entertaining read and no matter how short it is, I got emotionally invested in our MC. Writing short stories is a special kind of art. Giving a whole picture in such a brief time needs skills and our writer here has all of that in spades. The descriptions are vivid and my fantasy was flying with it. We also got some great feels and a very satisfying, heartwarming ending.
Our MC is Connell who is traveling in his space ship on his own now as he had just lost his lifelong partner a couple of months back. I really like that he is a mature character at the wonderful age of fifty-three. Along the way he is evaluating his life, their past relationship and what we see is that he deserves something more, something better. This more and better comes to him in his dreams and when he has a chance to turn his dreams into reality he grabs it and doesn’t let go. It is never too late to start anew, to find happiness in the most unexpected places or planets.
I am quite down to earth but I could let go of my realistic mind and not needed explanation of how things are possible in space like that, but I really would have liked a bit more about the dreams. As they played such a significant part of the plot-line a bit more details on how it all happened, how it was possible, would have been nice.
Overall I would say it is definitely a great sci-fi short story of finding love at the most unexpected, unorthodox way. If you enjoy science fiction or just want to know what happens to Connell on his journey, read this short story. You will have fun.