“Red/Shift” is a 2007 science fiction short story by Geoffrey Thorne. It is about an unstoppable killer ravaging his way through Martian aristocratic society. Yeow!
Today I am going to do something that I don’t normally do, and something that I generally don’t like doing: I am going to review a non-free story that was suggested to me by the author. This is, of course, a big exception to reviews that I usually do, however I felt this story was so good that it warranted a change of protocol. Geoffrey Thorne contacted me out of the blue and offered me a free preview copy of this story. After looking at some of the other stuff he has written I decided to take him up on his offer – and am I glad I did! It turned out to be a thoroughly enjoyable story, and one which I highly recommend.
Non-spoiler Summary in a Nutshell
“Red/Shift” is ultimately about a brutal, red-robed killer who is “working” his way through the upper-crust of society on a future Mars. The story, however, is told from a few different points of view. For example, there is officer Elzin who has heard some incredible tales but can’t quite catch up to him. And there is Amina – a woman with a deep, dark secret who seeks Mr. Red for her own brand of quirky justice. The problem is that this killer is more dangerous than either of them imagine – I hope they have some good back-up plans!
My Two Cents…
- I’ve mentioned before that I enjoy stories that don’t force details down your throat, but rather let the reader come to his or her own conclusion about what is going on. “Red/Shift” is excellent in this regard – bravo!
- I thought Amina was a great character! Both her secret and how she portrays herself was very well done – and a little bit sexy!
- The ending was awesome – and incredibly fulfilling! A fitting end to a great story.
- Page Count: 28
- Did you know that Geoffrey Thorne worked for a time as a staff writer on USA network’s Law & Order: Criminal Intent? Yep. You can learn more about the many activities of this talented author at Wikipedia.
Where You Can Find Red/Shift:
- This story was originally a finalist for Writers of the Future 22.
- Although “Red/Shift” is not available for free, you can sample the first 7 pages at Smashwords.
- This story is part of Thorne’s short story collection Dreamnasium, which you can purchase at Amazon.com. (The Kindle version is really inexpensive!)
Craving More Science Fiction Short Stories?
If you liked “Red/Shift” then you may also enjoy A Spy in Europa by Alastair Reynolds – a techno-thriller set on one of the moons of Jupiter.