Title: Surveyor of Mars
Author: Christopher McKitterick
In: Westward Weird (Martin H. Greenberg & Kerrie Hughes)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Space, Weird western
Dates read: 29th September 2020
Format: Short story
Publisher: Daw Books
5th sentence, 74th page: Imagine what we can do without them.
John is part of the surveyor town on Mars. But when the governing bodies continuously ask for more and more of their tithe, it might just be time to give up his pacifist ways and start a new way of life.
It took me a little bit to get really hooked into this short story. Mostly because there was something that I thought was really good on tv. But, in irony of ironies. I can’t remember what was on tv in that moment. But I can remember how much I actually enjoyed this short story. It just took me that first page or two to completely fall into the spell…
I love that the lead “cowboy” (space cowboy) in this story is constantly focusing on trying to be a pacifist. That it isn’t about violence, but just trying to live and let live. Of course, being a weird western, this didn’t quite work. But I did love that differentiation in character that you don’t always get. Particularly when his reflection on his family indicate that they are most definitely not the same in their proclivities.
This story was definitely one that focused on the idea of power and community. I love that, ultimately, the community joined together and won the day. Even if there was a little bit of violence, mostly it was about unification and everyone joining together in a fight for their own freedom and… well, community.