The “R” stands for Real.
Brad Torgersen has been a friend for a few years, a guy I’ve seen around conventions several times a year and on social media more frequently. I’ve known him as something of a dork (that’s a compliment), a hold-out for real science fiction in full knowledge of the fact that it’s a hard sell for many readers, quiet, friendly, a cheerful warrior for his causes, and a genuinely nice guy. I’d never read him.
My mistake. This week, having bought a copy of Torgersen’s anthology of shorts, Lights in the Deep, at Salt Lake City’s FanExperience convention, I finally made right my error. Torgersen’s ten stories are genuine science fiction, not space opera, which means the emphasis is on extrapolation from current science to storylines rather than on rayguns, lightsabers, and desert skiff slave babes. The stories are thoughtful and thought-provoking, with plots ranging from interspecies war to environmental disaster-caused apocalypse to remote transhumanist futures, in every case with a humane kernel touching on faith, intimacy, trust, self-sacrifice, love, or other root human experiences.
Interspersed among the stories are several introductions and interludes that collectively narrate Torgersen’s career to date, and give further charming glimpses of Brad the nice guy, smart, excited, and willing to work hard.
Do yourself a favor. Here’s the link again.