Wednesday, September 15, 2010

“Martian Walkabout” – a 1980 short story by deceased pack-rat F. Gwynplaine MacIntyre

Thanks to File 770, Mike Glyer’s fanzine about the news of SF fandom, I’ve been following the bizarre story of the recent death of acclaimed science fiction writer F. Gwynplaine MacIntyre, who was just profiled in an intriguing article in The New York Times. An eccentric pack-rat with a mysterious background, MacIntyre wrote a novel, poems and several short stories, including “Martian Walkabout”, which was published in the March 1980 issue of Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine. I haven’t had a chance to read the story, but here’s how one fan over in an forum describes it:
Not a bad story, but far from memorable. Mild. Like drinking luke warm coffee. Tolerable enough but not pleasurable. Infused with a distinct why botherness.

Ran in Asimov's back in 1980.

Young aboriginal man fails tribal walkabout, runs away, ends up a crewman on a mission to Mars, finds salvation there. More or less. Well, really, more but less. More story. Less meaning. Sure, pumped up with some abo lingo, to give it the semblance of foundation. Felt forced. Like the terms and phrases had been plugged in later, as an afterthought, after thumbing through a dictionary, and that the story itself was generic. A little dreamworld spirituality and Chariots of the Gods-ish ancient visitation mumbo jumbo. Parablesque ending.
The opening paragraphs of “Martian Walkabout” are posted on Fictionwise, where the 25-page story sells for less than $1.00.

No comments:

Post a Comment