Short Story Review: Homecoming: A Near Future Western by GW Quadpentic

In the aftermath of a second civil war, one man begins the long journey home after years of brutal combat.  The country may recover in time, but first it must shrug off the weight of local tyrants all too eager to take advantage of a power vacuum.  For John Paul Ribens, his personal journey cannot end without first confronting this persistent, lingering wound.

Homecoming is a classic story that hearkens back to such films as Walking Tall, and more recently, Open Range.  It is a familiar tale, told here with a science fiction angle that enhances the typical western theme with something more elaborate.  Indeed, it is the author’s use of interesting and plausible technology (perhaps only a decade or two down the road) that sets this story apart.

It is difficult to encapsulate an entire world in a short story, but that task is accomplished here.  The narrative itself is merely competent.  The author relies on too many cliches to let it really shine, though if one is hoping for a classic western feel then it may not detract from the story.  There are also a few inconsistencies in the narrative but they are so minor as to be almost unnoticeable.  Taken as a whole, this story will most likely appeal to die hard fans of this specific sub-genre.  However, there were enough positive aspects that new readers would do well to remember this author for future works. Hopefully they will appeal to a wider audience, and I look forward to checking them out.

Concept: 4/5

Plot: 3/5

Narrative: 2.5/5

About David Kantrowitz

I am the author of Reckless Faith, The Tarantula Nebula, and Bitter Arrow, a science fiction adventure trilogy, as well as The Fox and the Eagle and Dun Ringill, stand-alone sci-fi adventures. This blog will feature new fiction as I create it.
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