RACERS OF THE NIGHT is Brad R. Torgersen’s second collection of short science fiction. I loved his first collection, LIGHTS IN THE DEEP, so I was excited to pick this one up at Salt Lake Comic Con this month. Brad leans a bit toward hard science fiction, a bit toward military science fiction, even maybe a bit toward writing so-called “competent men” (and women), but above all else, cracking open this volume I knew I’d get stories that were fun.
Little else connects the tales. They range the gamut, including science-fiction noir (the inhouse detective of an exotic bordello featuring professionals surgically altered to resemble birds investigates the death of the brothel’s “Flamingo Girl”), a story about hexed sexist lunar racing circuits (“The Curse of Sally Tincakes,” source of the imagery for the collection’s epic cover), and a bit of military science fiction so near-future it refers to “that ancient bastard Putin” (“The Hideki Line”). True to Torgersen’s brand, these tales are essentially optimistic and humane. A Torgersen hero doesn’t always win, but he always comes away wiser, and probably carrying just a little bit more sorrow in his heart.