Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Short Story Review: Not with a Bang, by A. Andrew Tanita

Not with a Bang, by A. Andrew Tantia, is funny, irreverent, and poignant. 

Set in an ordinary extraordinary garden, the story is a short comedy featuring John Wayne (no relation) and Robin (who inexplicably has no last name). “This otherwise unremarkable patch of land had perhaps just one distinguishing characteristic: it was the last garden left from what had formerly been the planet Earth and was now instead the loose collection of rocks and debris Earth.”

Faced with being the last men alive (“two Adams and no Eve”), they prepare their last words: “The world began with a garden. How appropriate that it should end in one.” A thundering voice halts them as they are about to end it all. MAL, their self-aware space ship, offers an alternative, and a confession.

I will stop here at describing the plot. Rest assured, the fun continues all the way to the end.

At first, I paused often to pay picky attention to the over-done dialogue attributions (use of excessive synonyms for “said” is a pet peeve), but as the story progressed I was able to forgive the majority of these distractions.

I wanted to give this story a Recommended rating, but I will have to settle for recommend with the above-noted reservation. This is a fun read for those who enjoy comedy science fiction with an end-of-the world bang.

Rating: Recommended with reservations

(Rating system: Recommended with reservations, Recommended, Highly recommended. I will not review books that I find unreadable.)

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed this short story. It was very Douglas Adamsesque. I think Tantia is a gifted writer and I can honestly say that I would take another stab at one of his stories. I suspect the author is British judging from the heavy use of British-speak and again the strong resemblance to Adams' style. I can also say that at times I felt like I was reading from a Monty Python script. I enjoyed Tantia's absurd imagination and the quick development of buffoonery. All in all it was a delightful read with ear to ear grinning insanity of which I respond to so well. Should I be worried?