Once We Flew: book review

Cover of Once We Flew by Nikky Lee

Once We Flew by Nikky Lee* is an intriguing sci-fi novella that ponders how we, as humans, survive beyond our coping strategies. On the sand-ridden planet Savene, survivors of a colony-destined space mission struggle to cope in a world not completely suited to human life, and without the support of their failed technology.

The Plot

Our protagonists are not the first to investigate Savene as a home world. An alien race, visiting the planet long before the crash-landing of the humans, did what they could to life-form the place for future residents even as their own chance at survival disappeared.

The only problem is that their well-meaning alien safety methodology isn’t particularly suited to human life.

Marsa, one of the elders, is called from her chosen hermit-style life by Koby, the son of her old friend. A dying vision, gifted by the crystal ‘curse’ that affected both women, offers hope in the face of futility.

Marsa and Koby race across the sands to find a possible way forward for the entire space-ship-wrecked community.

My take

With a rare gift for narrative, Lee delivers a great deal in this slim, elegant novella. Her characters are instantly likeable, and the reader quickly gets onside with the older, disabled woman (Marsa) who leads the way for young, confused but brave teen Koby. It’s rather nice not to be looking to the east for a hero or a wizard on a white horse. These characters are much more relatable.

For me, this little gem is up there with The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers (and the others in the Wayfinders series.) In fact, I’d love Lee to craft some companion novellas to flesh out this world! Please?!

Just released, this is perfect for Christmas! Just saying …

And another thing…

*You might remember Nikky as one of the AWESOME authors who contributed to From the Waste Land! Her story there is amazing too!

From the Waste Land: announcing the stories!

wooden bridge in snow

One hundred years ago…

TS Eliot’s The Waste Land, a masterpiece of modernism, reaches back into legend and forward into dystopia. First published in October 1922, the poem resonates with the grief of the Great War.

You know, ‘the war to end all wars’…

A hundred years later, we can easily empathise with that mood. But we also know that, despite our fears, humanity continues its struggle to find the goodness and the light.

Autumn 2022

I’m thrilled to announce that later this year PS Publishing UK will release our anthology From the Waste Land: stories inspired by TS Eliot (edited by Clare Rhoden), marking the centenary of publication!

PS Publishing UK
PS Publishing UK has acquired our anthology

Meet the stories

With a mix of ghost stories, sci-fi, fantasy and apocalyptic tales, these original stories conjure wastelands from the 1500s to many centuries ahead.

You’ll also find hope for humanity and a belief in our shared future.

You’ve already met the wonderful team of authors; now let me introduce the contents.

Delightful, shocking, unique, extraordinary… you’re sure to find something amazing in these gems of speculative fiction.

From the Waste Land: contents

Death by Water, by Grace Chan
A Winter Respite, by Clare Rhoden
She Who Walks Behind You, by Leanbh Pearson
The Watcher of Greenwich, by Laura E. Goodin
Exhausted Wells, by Tee Linden
Rats Alley, by Jeff Clulow
Fragments of Ruin, by B.P. Marshall
Dead Men, by Cat Sparks
A Dusty Handful, by Aveline Perez de Vera
Lidless Eyes That See, by Geneve Flynn
A Witch’s Bargain, by Rebecca Dale
And Fiddled Whisper Music on Those Strings, by Eugen Bacon
Mountain of Death, by Austin P. Sheehan
Fawdaze, by Rebecca Fraser
Over the Mountains, by Tim Law
A Shadow in This Red Rock, by Louise Zedda Sampson
Dry Bones, by Robert Hood
April, by Francesca Bussey
The Violet Hour, by Nikky Lee

Autumn sunrise … hope for the future (photo C Rhoden)

Keep an eye out for more news as this exciting project nears completion.

Personally, I can’t wait for the cover reveal!