- File Size: 3320 KB
- Print Length: 73 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publication Date: October 3, 2014
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00O5UIC9W
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,377,794 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Once Upon a Time at the End of the World (Part 1): A Post-Apocalyptic Western Kindle Edition
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All that said, I'd like to think that my familiarity with Elliot did not cause me to inflate my perceptions of how much I enjoyed Once Upon A Time At The End Of The World or prompt me to approach it with any undue bias.
The simple fact of the matter is, I freaking loved it. I loved the idea as soon as he told me about it, and after reading it, I love it even more.
The execution is terrific and his handling of the android in a western setting is adroit and even-handed. I was really thrilled with how well the high-tech science fiction aspect of his central character worked in the forsaken, dying Earth environment. This is a classical western story with some nifty, much-welcomed twists.
Once Upon A Time... is also a richly dark world. The author clues us in on the world's future-history, teasing out the information without sacrificing the story's quick pacing or bogging us down with overly long, dry lessons of background details. There was a war, and nukes and antimatter bombs decimated the world. Androids were enlisted into the military to fight the war on behalf of the humans, taking US drone policy to the next level. It's a smart way of bridging the two seemingly disparate genres of science fiction and western, but Brandis makes it work. Think of it as an old Eastwood spaghetti western flick by way of Firefly, but without the quirky humor or space travel.
In fact, there's not much to laugh at in Elliot's latest dystopian, with so much of the world bombed back into the hardscrabble living of two hundred-plus years past. Humanity has been stripped raw, and it seems like there's only two class of people left to fend for themselves: victims and potential victims. It's a stark, grim read, with a cast as dangerous as the desolate desert they inhabit.
While I can't help but think there's a good deal owed to Eastwood and Sergio Leone in terms of inspiration, there's also some pure Peckinpah at play here. This is The Wild Bunch by way of The Android With No Name. It's a bloody affair, right from the opening pages, where the android teaches an explicit lesson to an unlucky drunk on the difference between robots and androids. The scene is chillingly effective, and Elliot gets off to a fine start with his crazy genre hybrid.
Once Upon A Time At The End Of The World is the first in a four-part series of novellas, with the second due in December. Like I said earlier, do yourself a favor and sign-up for his newsletter. Not only will you get the first two parts of his post-apocalyptic western for free, but you'll also get to stay up to date on somebody that I believe is going to be a huge up-and-comer in the indie sci-fi/speculative fiction corner. Conversely, you can also buy the individual parts of this serial as they release, which is also a terrific way of supporting this author. Either way, S. Elliot Brandis is one to watch out for.
A little bit of sci-fi, a little western, a bit of vigilantism and a tiny bit of sexual tension, unlikely to be resolved. The author made the world real to me. I could picture the scenes he described. He is clearly going places if he can get of his a$$ and finish this first!
Read the previous reviews; I found them very helpful.