Today from the No Shit ToC, I bring you a favorite of one of my slush readers: Leaving Bordeaux by Lou J. Berger.
On its face, Leaving Bordeaux has a similar feel to The Pursuit of Happiness: gritty, military-ish scifi. This one’s just got some added time travel in it, and the aliens are both less and more disturbing, depending on how you think about it. It rolls along, with battles, man pain, people smoking in silence, just like you’d expect.
And then you get to one sentence that you could probably miss if you were reading too fast. When I hit it, I burst out laughing and literally shouted: “Lou, you son of a bitch!”
This is the problem with this story. I love it, but if I tell you any more detail about why I love it, that’ll ruin the fun. I may have already said too much. Lou did an incredible job putting this story together and building it in just the right way. He made it just as long as it needs to be to make the denouement work well. And beyond that, the concepts he’s come up with for this world are fun.
But the punchline. The goddamn punchline. Hats off to you Lou. You got me fair and square.
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