Title: Astronaut Nick
Author: Brad R. Torgersen
In: A Fantastic Holiday Season (Kevin J. Anderson & Keith J. Olexa)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Christmas, Science fiction
Format: Short story
Publisher: World Fire Press
5th sentence, 74th page: “Meters deep,” Tessa said.
Jimmy lives on Mars and he misses his old home on Ceres. But, his new friend Tessa has been telling him about Astronaut Nick. An Astronaut who travels around at night in a giant rocketship sleigh and delivers toys to the children.
I loved the science fiction spin of this short story. I’ve read / seen / heard a lot of short stories that feature a child not believing in Santa, finding out he’s real and learning a strong life lesson. This,however, managed to give a great science fiction spin to a fairly traditional tale. It also worked as a way to remind us of the old adage that “home is where the heart is”.
I found the flow of this story a little slow, until I reached the point at which Astronaut Nick actually arrived. The description of his suit was brilliant – and highlighted how a space Saint Nick would work. I loved how every small, traditional thing that I recognise from traditional tales is reflected in Torgersen’s version. Yet, it is completely new and unique – certainly not the kind of story that I was expecting.
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