Title: Tunnel Vision
Author: Rachel Nussbaum
In: The Mammoth Book of Dieselpunk (Sean Wallace)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary, Dieselpunk
Dates read: 27th April 2019
Format: Short story
5th sentence, 74th page: I stick it in the padlock and swing the doors open.
The prospector has two leading ladies in his life – Alma and his drill, Jules. But when one of them is threatened he finds out what he is truly made of.
We all get tunnel vision sometimes. Decide that something is or isn’t going to happen and do anything that we can to ensure that it turns out the way that we want. But, I’ve never had tunnel vision in… well, a tunnel. Underground.
I thought at the beginning of this story that it would be a bit of a romance tale. After all, it starts out with a prospector visiting a woman that he clearly has feelings for. And one that seems to return those emotions. But then he goes to his second love, a giant drill, and things start to go a little skewy… he discovers illegal activity, is forced into giving up one of his most treasured possessions, and finds a way to triumph in the end.
Unlike some of the other Dieselpunk stories I’ve read so far, this is one that has a clear, happy ending. There isn’t anything in it that is ambiguous, and it is just incredibly sweet and fun.