Before I jump into the last review for the June/July issue of Fantasy & Science Fiction, let me explain that I'm posting remotely. Today is my daughter's third birthday. She's crazy for trains and asked for a train ride on her birthday. So here we are in Sacramento at the end of the line for the Capitol Corridor. We've spent a fun day riding trains and looking at trains at the Train Museum in Old Town. Because of all this adventure, I'm exhausted and possibly a little loopy.
"Spaceman" by Mike O'Driscoll is set in Wales in a location that will bring to mind fantasy adventures rich in Arthurian legends but this takes the old magic and gives it a science fiction twist.
Three children meet a spaceman, Captain Paul, who claims to be looking for his lost crew mates. When he tells his history they can see the moon and experience the danger and adventure of space travel in the 1970s. As the kids start investigating Paul's claims his version of history doesn't add up and yet his rocket and moon seem too real to be a collective hallucination.
Here though is where the old magic of Wales comes into play. In many fantasy stories children go missing. Sometimes they are replaced by changelings and sometimes they are just lost to the faeries. Here though, the are lost to the call of a space adventure.
I really liked this story. I love the location. I love the mixture of ghost story, faerie story, and science fiction.