Strange Soul Mates
Author: C.L. Gordon
Rating: B+, 3.5 Stars
What I’m Talking About:
Strange Soul Mates has been out a year, but only recently came to my attention. The story begins with Steven, an unsympathetic character, who is getting drunker and angrier by the minute. He suspects that his girlfriend Emily is cheating since she is frequently gone, doesn’t answer his texts or calls, and often comes home smelling of alcohol. While in this tenuous state of mind, Steven is approached by an odd man, George, claiming to have invented a machine which will allow him to keep tabs on Emily by linking them together in an unconventional way. Steven is as curious as he is desperate.
The machine’s description is more like a 1950’s sci-fi movie in a world with smart phones and smart houses. Perhaps he was intentionally giving a nod to those who came before. Someone compared Gordon to Philip K. Dick, and I just don’t see it. I think this story reminds me more of Rod Serling’s work in the Twilight Zone television show from the early 1960’s. In particular, I’m reminded of the episodes Dead Man’s Shoes and Penny For Your Thoughts. Many of Serling’s characters weren’t especially likable either, often depicting common, but less admirable parts of everyone’s personalities. Many of Serling’s efforts left the viewer feeling unsettled because of their thought provoking nature.
Gordon’s short story is slightly unsettling, but doesn’t quite rise to Serling’s level. While working within the confines of a short story, I felt the writing could have used just a little more polish. Nevertheless, it’s a good little piece and I liked it.
3.5 stars: Liked it – recommend (B+)
About the Book:
Steven has some serious trust issues and has done some serious drinking at the bar.
Emily, his girlfriend, has unknown whereabouts and won’t respond to any of Steven’s alcohol-fueled and accusatory texts.
George Packard, an ex-government engineer and fellow bar patron, claims to have the solution: a machine that promises to link the couple in a permanent, unconventional way.
Steven isn’t sure that Emily will agree to his selfish designs. Though, if they truly are soul mates, Steven’s sure he’s allowed to take some liberties …
Release Date: June 26, 2012
Publisher: Xenotransplant Press
Genre: Sci-Fi, Short Story
Book Source: Author
Strange Soul Mates: A Short Story