Published: May 28, 2019
Genre: Science Fiction
Pages: 140 (Hardcover)
My Rating: 5.0/5.0
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
My name is Gary Rendell. I’m an astronaut. When they asked me as a kid what I wanted to be when I grew up, I said, “astronaut, please!” I dreamed astronaut, I worked astronaut, I studied astronaut.
I got lucky; when a probe sent out to explore the Oort Cloud found a strange alien rock and an international team of scientists was put together to go and look at it, I made the draw.
I got even luckier. When disaster hit and our team was split up, scattered through the endless cold tunnels, I somehow survived.
Now I’m lost, and alone, and scared, and there’s something horrible in here.
Lucky, lucky, lucky.
I don’t pick up novellas too often, but when I do they either sound irresistibly appealing or they’re written by authors that consistently write awesome books. Walking to Aldebaran falls into both of those categories, having an amazing synopsis and having been written by an author that produces out of this world stories (pun entirely intended).
Clocking in at 140 pages, you would expect to be left wanting more but that isn’t the case with this book at all. It is ENTIRELY sufficient as a novella and reminds me of one of the creepier episodes of the Twilight Zone. Gary Rendell is walking through a wormhole in the dark, lonely expanse of space. He just wants to find the other astronauts that survived the trek into the depths of what he calls the “Frog God” and go back to Earth. He’s the narrator, which is particularly handy for knowing his inner thoughts and also for being slightly unreliable… like maybe we’re not getting the whole picture here. He recounts his experience, what led he and his crewmates to the reaches of space beyond icy Pluto, and his horrifying journey through the dark, endless passages of what he calls the Crypts.
It’s truly haunting and so well executed that I devoured this in a single sitting. Not usually a big deal for me, especially since this is a teensy little book but I’ve been in kind of a reading slump lately. I think this successfully pried me out of the rut I was in and now I can’t wait to read more weird stuff. I would HIGHLY recommend checking this out, and Tchaikovsky fans won’t be disappointed in the least. Heck, I’m considering reading again so I can reprocess all that weird goodness.