In 2075, two Latter-day Saint scientists (an archaeologist and a zoologist) who are part of a larger Norwegian team discover a startling relic above the Arctic circle which may hold the mystery of the Ten Lost Tribes.
The Doomsday Factor
Published by: Horizon Publishers (Bountiful, Utah)
Year published: 1988
Book blurb from publisher:
The Quest V, a NASA deep-space probe, is returning to earth with its passenger: a rhesus monkey. Only scientist Morgan Hart knows that the monkey has become a vector--a carrier of Satanic spirits--during its voyage through hyperspace. Caught in a living nightmare, Morgan and his on race against time to keep the Quest V from touching down and unleasing its hellish contamination upon an unsuspecting world. However, a mysterious cult also realizes what the craft contains and is determined to do whatever it takes to thwart Morgan's efforts. Truly exciting Latter-day Saint-oriented science fiction!
Short story in Washed by a Wave of Wind, an anthology of Utah/Idaho science fiction edited by M. Shayne Bell.
Published by: Signature Books (Salt Lake City, Utah)
Year published: 1993
This book is available for purchase Signature Books for $9.00. * Highly recommended for serious sf fans! *
Many of the stories in Washed by a Wave of Wind are by authors who are published in the mainstream, national science fiction market. Authors such as Orson Scott Card, Dave Wolverton, Elizabeth H. Boyer and M. Shayne Bell have been published by the major New York publishing houses such as Tor, Bantam, Del Rey and Ballantine. Prior to reading "Shannon's Flight," all I knew about Glenn L. Anderson was that he was the author of two out-of-print science fiction novels sold in the market by Horizon Publishers and that he had written the screenplay for the Disney Sunday Night movie "Thanksgiving Promise." I'm a big fan of positive, even uplifting fiction and the first to agree that writers who write dark fiction for darkness's sake are simply juvenile. Nevertheless, I admit that Anderson's bio (two Latter-day Saint market novels I hadn't read and the Disney family movie I hadn't seen) left me unexcited about reading "Shannon's Flight," and worried that I would encounter something with more saccharine than flavor. It's also one of the longest stories in the anthology, and I left it until last.
As it turns out, this was one of the best stories in anthology, easily one of my five favorites. This is a considerable achievement among twenty stories, nearly all of which are excellent and could easily have appeared in any of the national sf magazines such as Amazing Stories or Asimov's.
"Shannon's Flight" was very well-written, original, and alternatively humorous, warm, exciting and frightening. It also surprised me by being one of the most "gritty" stories in Washed. In fact, although the story takes place in southern Utah, none of the characters are explicitly identified as Latter-day Saints, although some may be. This is a story with very universal appeal, easily enjoyed and understood by members or non-members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, religious or non-religious readers.
The main character, Shannon, is married to an unemployed, self-centered, cocaine-snorting philanderer of a husband. She is fiercely loyal to him, strongly in love with him, but a part of her realizes that she's trapped and going nowhere with this man. Shannon's cycle of constantly enabling and forgiving her husband's behavior is depressing to read about, but also very realistic. I simply hadn't expected Anderson to choose such subject matter.
The two other important characters in the story are a paleontologist and his teenaged daughter who Shannon is tutoring in math. This single father has made it clear he would like to see Shannon socially, an offer Shannon has rejected, but finds tempting, because this man, with his genuine and generous nature, is such a welcome contrast to her husband.
The story isn't really about Shannon's dysfunctional life, however, but about her flight from that life. The story is also about Shannon's discovery of wild ghost horses on a mesa near Moab, Utah, and the problematic remains of a prehistoric dinosaur. These fanciful elements combine seamlessly with the bleak realism of Shannon's life in an impressive, tightly crafted tale. Whatever prejudice I may have held about Anderson's writing were dispelled completely by "Shannon's Flight." This is a story by a talented author with surprising depth, insight, an originality.
Short story in Leading Edge, no. 17 (summer 1988): 80-89.
Reprinted in Leading Edge, no. 24 (September 1991): 154-62.
"Run Fast, Rat Mother"
Short story in Leading Edge, no. 12 (fall 1986): 8-22.