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.
An interesting (in a good way) short story.
The story starts slowly with Connell waking from a dream. As he wakes, he flashes back to his dead lover and their life together. Working the transport business he and his partner co-owned, Connell runs into trouble, making him wonder whether he’s cut out to continue as a transporter. As he questions his life choices, the dreams become more frequent, vivid and detailed; specifically, his dreams feature another man on another planet.
At first, I wasn’t sure what to make of the story – it starts slowly, found it to be a bit abstract. But I’m glad I stuck with it. Once Connell’s dreams get more explicit, the story becomes more focused. Connell investigates and finally identifies the planet and man he’s been dreaming of. He meets Wystan and the story continues with them adjusting to their ‘new reality’. It’s not all rosy, but they work it out.
I liked that the MC’s were older, world-weary and somewhat broken. When Connell and Wystan get together, they are pretty much in love with each other, but that didn’t seem strange – after all, they had been dreaming about each other for a while. Overall, it’s a good story. Interesting premise.
3.5 stars out of 5