“Penelope Waits” is a 2017 science fiction short story by Dennis Danvers. It is about a college-aged woman whose boyfriend claims he was abducted by aliens.
A New Short Story Review Site
Recently I discovered a new web site that reviews speculative fiction short stories on a daily basis: SFF Reviews. I was thrilled! I was happy to see another site in the game giving short fiction more love, and I immediately subscribed so I could become aware of new SF stories to read. Their premise is that each reviewer takes an entire site or anthology and reads all the stories for it. It has been fun seeing what they think of their chosen stories, and I recommend it to all of you who want more short story reviews, or from a broader range of genres. Anyway, it was there that I read about this story and decided to give it a try – and I was not sorry I did!
Cindy is a young woman who works at a dog grooming salon, attends the local community college in order to better herself, and has a crappy boyfriend. You know the type of guy – the one that makes you wonder what women see in him. Anyhow, when he goes missing for a week and blames it on an alien abduction she figures he was cheating on her. But when the aliens start to visit her she begins to re-think the purpose of her life. She becomes more interested in her college literature course, and realizes that she is pretty smart. She is smart enough, in fact, that she comes up with a brilliant plan – now if she can just convince the aliens to go along with her!
My Two Cents
- Story: – There is nothing terribly unique about alien abductions, or even visits. I did like how the aliens acted towards Cindy though!
- Writing: – The writing style and tone of this story was great! Getting full access to Cindy’s funny and entertaining thoughts ratcheted up the charm factor.
- Fun Factor: – That a perfectly average story idea could be so much fun to read is, I think, high praise for the author. I’m going to have to check out some of his other stuff now.
Where To Find Penelope Waits
- This short story first appeared in the October 2017 edition (#101) of Apex Magazine.
- You can still read, or listen to, “Penelope Waits” for free online at the Apex Magazine web site.
Craving More SF Stories Like This One?
If you liked “Penelope Waits” then you might also enjoy “Outside The Box” by Brian Winfrey – about a young man who must give a strange, magical object to an unknown person everyday at the exact same time and place.