A to Z Reviews: “Captain Starlight and the Flying Saucer,” by S. Ivan Jurisevic

A to Z Reviews: “Captain Starlight and the Flying Saucer,” by S. Ivan Jurisevic

A to Z Reviews

An interesting coincidence occurred when I hit the Js. The first author in my collection was Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen, whose story “The Haunted House on Rocketworks Street” appeared in an anthology put together in honor of Worldcon 75 in Helsinki, Finland. The final author in my collection in S. Ivan Jurisevic, whose story “Captain Starlight and the Flying Saucer” appeared in Interzone issue 146, which proclaims that it is the “Special Australian WorldCon issue.”

Although this is Jurisevic’s only story listed in the Internet Science Fiction Database, the about an author blurb at the end notes that he previously published a story about Captain Starlight in the magazine Omega. In any event, this story is a typical tall tale about a folkloric character. It reads as if Paul Bunyan or Pecos Bill had relocated to the Australian outback and helped form the landscape.

Cover by Nick Stathopoulos

This is the sort of story the reader must simply accept, as the actions don’t really follow any logic or laws of physics. Captain Starlight’s airship goes where (and when) it does simply because at any given point of the story, the author decided it would be cool for the protagonist to make a detour.

“Captain Starlight and the Flying Saucer” is not a story with a message and really isn’t even a story that attempts to engage the reader’s sense of wonder. Instead it is a kitchen sink story, in which Jurisevic tosses in everything he can think of. The result is a rambling, but enjoyable story that the reader doesn’t have to take seriously.

Given the light touch the story has, it is too bad that Jurisevic hasn’t written more science fiction. One can only imagine that his book Exhibitions and Trade Shows has a very different flavor and is not meant for the same audience.

Steven H Silver-largeSteven H Silver is a twenty-time Hugo Award nominee and was the publisher of the Hugo-nominated fanzine Argentus as well as the editor and publisher of ISFiC Press for eight years. He has also edited books for DAW, NESFA Press, and ZNB. His most recent anthology is Alternate Peace and his novel After Hastings was published in 2020. Steven has chaired the first Midwest Construction, Windycon three times, and the SFWA Nebula Conference six times. He was programming chair for Chicon 2000 and Vice Chair of Chicon 7.

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