David Erik Nelson. The Bold Explorer in the Place Beyond. (Asimovs Feb 2010).

Another author making his first appearance in Asimovs, and its a neat little story – an intriguing setting, and an inebriated storyteller.

The storyteller, Dickie Turner, a one-eyed Johnny Reb, has stumbled out of Sadie’s Dancehall, the worst for drink, and as he staggers around the dusty streets, hugging his bottle of liquor, he regales the almost empty night of the tale of a cephalod for whom the call of that which existed beyond the sea was too much. Said cephalod made hisself an undiving suit, and braved the dry lands – only to find himself at the mercy of the local denizens when his suit stops working.

Collapsing into a drunken stupor, he is helped home by the clockwork soldiers who made such a difference to the recent war.

It’s an engagingly told story, with an interesting background, partially glimpsed from a vantage point behind the bushes outside the dancehall.

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