by Les Broad
Science fiction has no limits except those of the writer's imagination. This trio of short stories is evidence that some sci-fi writers have very strange imaginations. The first story, 'Ogod's Enigma', tells of a happy planet ruled by the vastly overweight King Ogod. But all is not well, which is why the entire population is put into suspended animation until things get better. They do get better, but by then billions of years have passed, and the planet has drifted from one galaxy to another. Some people wonder why their blue sun has turned yellow, but that's insignificant set against the disappearance of Ogod and the imminence of a really disastrous day.
In 'Alans!' readers are introduced to two simpletons living in England's West Country. These two talk in a peculiar accent, drink huge amounts of strong cider and discover a crop circle. When a visitor, even stranger than them, arrives some bizarre things happen leading to the disappearance of all three.
'Firetower' is set on an unnamed, Earth-like planet where some cavemen live. Those cavemen speak in the confident, cut-glass tones of the English 1920s and lead a pleasantly ordered life. Then they meet an astronaut and mistake him for God.
It's all very enjoyable, but the stories do poke fun at certain prejudices and obsessions. Nothing is meant to offend because these stories are just that – fun.
- Les Broad, August 2011
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