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The Last Rail-Rider [Kindle Edition]

Jason Gurley
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $6.99
Kindle Price: $1.99
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Book Description

"Jason Gurley will be a household name one day." – Hugh Howey

(The Last Rail-Rider is a short story.)

He doesn't remember the days before the sickness.

He only knows the world since it went bad. The empty towns. The rusted-out cars. The corpses, everywhere.

He doesn't know why he rides the rails. He just does. The trains never take him away from the ruin. The trains never take him anywhere.

Until one day they carry him to a little town called Black Hole, Kentucky, and he meets a strange woman who knows him.

Who knows everything.


Jason Gurley is the author of the Kindle Worlds bestseller Greatfall, and the novels The Settlers, The Colonists and The Man Who Ended the World.

Editorial Reviews


"Jason Gurley will be a household name one day."
Hugh Howey, New York Times bestselling author of Wool and Sand

"An amazing talent... brings the human side to science fiction."
Matthew Mather, bestselling author of CyberStorm and The Atopia Chronicles

"A gorgeous study of the most beautiful, aching facets of humanity... an emotional tour de force."
Kate Danley, USA Today bestselling author of The Woodcutter and Queen Mab

"A glimpse into a beautiful mind... gripping and surreal. Jason Gurley creates worlds I deeply want to explore."
Michael Bunker, author of Pennsylvania and Wick

"Powerful, profound and personal... will leave you breathless."
Ernie Lindsey, USA Today bestselling author of Sara's Game

"Engrossing, consuming... put this down at your peril."
Peter Cawdron, author of Feedback and Xenophobia

"Proof that science fiction can be as emotionally evocative as the finest literary writing."
William Hertling, author of Avogadro Corp: The Singularity is Closer Than it Appears

"A marvel of storytelling. Gurley's works have the precision of memoir, finding that delicate balance between the fantastic and the poignant. Suffused with a haunting clarity, these stories occupy that rarefied space between science fiction and literature. Bravo!"
Samuel Peralta, award-winning author of How More Beautiful You Are

About the Author

Jason Gurley is the author of Greatfall, The Man Who Ended the World, The Settlers, The Colonists and Eleanor. Born in the squelchy bogs of Texas, then raised in the icy caves of Alaska, he relied on his imagination to keep him warm and dry. As a result, he firmly believes that Superman isn't Superman if he's not wearing red undies, and that Darryl Strawberry had the sweetest swing of all time. He may be the only man alive who believes both, and that's okay. Jason lives in Oregon with his family, and is a creative director in Portland. He can be found online at, and, and probably a few dozen other places, if you look hard enough.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2436 KB
  • Print Length: 38 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #245,232 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More Than Meets The Eye January 16, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Jason Gurley has given us a story to ponder. I'm always excited and intrigued whenever I download a J. Gurley story. I know there will always be more to think about than meets the eye. The prose in Rail-Rider is clean and compact. Jason never gets in the way of the story. It is said that you know you are in the hands of a great writer when the writer doesn't get in the way, and when you're not constantly dragged out of the story by some stumbling block or another. In this, Jason reminds me of Elmore Leonard, though Jason's stories are very different than Leonard's. I hesitate to say much of anything about the actual story, because it is a short story and there is an otherworldly twist in it that takes this train to a vastly different terminus than where you think you might be going. Let's just say that I am always pleased with Jason's work, and I am never disappointed. Rail-Rider is exceptional, and for the price it is quite a bargain. Hopefully, one day Jason will give us an anthology of just his short stories, because I think he excels in this art form like few other people in our generation.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More like 3.5 January 14, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
The writing itself is good, enjoyed descriptive passage in the first 50% or so. Some questionable details, maybe not quite enough information? Bogged down a bit after we arrive at Black Hole, Kentucky. Liked this better than previous work of Gurley's I've been exposed to (Greatfall pt 1), still trying to figure out how I feel about the ending.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
In The Last Rail-Rider, a nameless child survives in a world so far-gone the horrors of the fall are commonplace.

Jason Gurley's writes an excellent tale so descriptive you'll look out your window to make sure the world has not already fallen into disarray and you missed it. The ending is as poetic as it is unexpected.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars End of the Line March 7, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A very interesting short story. A young man rides empty freight trains across a dying world. Everything stops when the train's engine blows up in the small town of Black Hole, Kentucky. There he has a front row seat to something beyond phenomenal.

This is a very well written, thought provoking story. I will end now since I don't want to give anything away. My sincere thanks to Mr. Gurley for making this available. He is an author I haven't read before but certainly will from now on.

P.s. There is a link at the end of the story to an early version. It was very interesting to see not only how the story morphed over the years, but also the author's writing style.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Last Rail Rider February 12, 2014
By kczar
I have now read all three of Jason Gurleys recent short stories. Each one is unique and enjoyable for different reasons. With The Last Rail Rider I found the story perplexing. I am hoping that is what the author was going for. It is a “simple” post apocalyptic story about a young man who travels as a stowaway on rail cars and appears to have no purpose in life other than to not be caught by the rail men. In “our” world, we might find some comfort in our daily habits that are somewhat fixed. We have a general understanding of the laws of nature. So reading through The Last Rail Rider, things get strange and then stranger. It will whack you out of your comfort zone. It’s a theme or style in Gurleys writing and I love it. I like his use of metaphors. It’s the end of the world after all, how can it be anything but hard to wrap your head around. This is a story to be read and enjoyed. Analyze it or not. A simple story about a most complex idea. Though I don’t think I would have wanted to be Henry, in the last scene I am sure I would have thought of Chicago style pizza. As a final note, I highly recommend Jason’s short story that is contained in the anthology “From The Indie Side”. After each story, there is a commentary by the author. I found Jason’s author notes to be the most insightful that I read. If only we can get in an author’s head to answer every question we have about the thought process of their writings. With a good short story, you should have questions and also fill in some blanks. Look at the “simple” details and it will tell you a lot.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable tale of the rail January 29, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Not what I expected. Quite dreamy and pleasant read that left me filled with a sense of wonder of what may come next.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jason's Imagination is out of this world! January 21, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Ok, I will admit I didn't see the end unfolding the way that it did in this story and that's a good thing. I always see the end
coming. That's what I do. Figure out endings. Jason has a great imagination and The Last Rail Riders is a wonderful work of SciFi.

Thanks Jason for putting a smile on my face.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting! January 20, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
I don't usually read this genre but decided to give Jason's short story a try. I didn't know where to expect it to go (it's already been years into the apocalypse--what else can happen?) but the story took a direction that was surprising and thought-provoking. Nice job!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great short story. Nothing was as I expected.
Published 2 days ago by Samuel L. Worley Jr.
5.0 out of 5 stars A finely textured, somber oil painting at a museum
The Last Rail-Rider is an amazing short story. It drew me in, not like a black tar pit in a field, but like a finely textured, somber oil painting at a museum. Read more
Published 15 days ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Unexpected. And Good.
"The Last Rail Rider" was unexpected, in a very good way. I prefer this current version of the story so much more than the original one that appeared in the Eclectica... Read more
Published 3 months ago by shigoel
5.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyale rail ride.
Nice little end-of-everything diversion. I really enjoyed it.
Published 3 months ago by C. J. Peter
5.0 out of 5 stars The end is the beginning.....
I moved into the Jason Gurley fan club with Greatfall. The Last Rail-Rider had me wanting a full book worth of story in the first couple of pages. Read more
Published 4 months ago by harleychic
5.0 out of 5 stars In love from page one
I'm only a few pages in and already in love with Jason Gurley's storytelling. I stopped reading to myself and started reading it out loud to my toddler to better appreciate his use... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Axie Barclay
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
I loved this. Elegantly written, and I really cared about the characters. The only thing I could fault s how short it was, because I wanted more of it. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Great start, but lost me on the back end.
I was intrigued by the premise of a young man riding the rails across a post apocalyptic landscape. I was sucked in by the Gurley's description of the hero's spartan existence. Read more
Published 4 months ago by brodiew
4.0 out of 5 stars A Short and Pleasant Distraction
This short story is a pleasant distraction from the every day, detailing the travels of a nameless man in a post-apocalyptic world. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Blaine Moore
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!
This story was one of the best short stories I have read in a long time. It was not what I expected at all.
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
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More About the Author

Jason Gurley is the bestselling author of Eleanor, Greatfall, and The Man Who Ended the World, among other books and short stories. His work has appeared in a number of anthologies, including Help Fund My Robot Army!!! and Synchronic. He lives and writes in the Pacific Northwest.

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