“”When Jerry parked at Castle Rock and stepped outside his car, his heart caught inside his chest. It was as if the landscape knew he was leaving and had written a love letter on its shores.”
So begins “The Husked Heart,” the story of an alien living in a human-appearing husk. After twenty years, Southern California is the closest thing to home that Jerry has ever known. Now he must relocate to a strange new place, where he has to wonder whether he has left the feeling of home behind forever.”
This short story is being expanded upon to create a full-length novel, for which I’m grateful. It was beautifully written and the most original idea I have come across in a while. The powerful contemplation of the concept of freedom is delivered through the portrayal of an alien creature of ‘lower intelligence’ (akin to a manta ray) who has been thrust into the life and body of a synthetic human with all its accompanying complex thoughts and emotions.
Torn between following the orders of his creators on threat of death and attempting to live peacefully in a simple existence as his prior form, the main character considers the meaning of life from both the viewpoint of natural experience and that of evolved thought. It is in a discussion with the AI of his new human body that he finally establishes a sense of peace as to what freedom truly is, if it does in fact exist.
As a short story alone, it is excellent, but there is so much more to be explored within the philosophical aspects and the intriguing science fiction setting alike. I believe the author stated the tentative release of the book version is in early 2020 and while I wish it were much sooner, have no doubt it will be worth the wait.
You can purchase the ebook here: https://amzn.to/2VxbaB5
Also find Kasey Anderson’s other work and follow their profile to receive email notifications when new stories are published here: https://amzn.to/2L7FhLz
Thank you for reading and please stay tuned for future reviews.
~Sahreth ‘Baphy’ Bowden