Astounding! by Kim Fielding
Published by: Dreamspinner Press on June 26, 2015
Rating: 4 stars (★★★★☆)
Carter Evans founded the speculative fiction magazine Astounding! because he wanted to have an impact on the genre. And while he did help launch several authors–including his ex-boyfriend–the magazine is on its last leg. He expects he may only be able to publish one more issue. Which is why the stories from J. Harper are a distraction he doesn’t need. They’re among some of the worst writing he’s ever read, they follow the same general format, and they just keep coming. So Carter writes a brutally honest rejection letter on a lark while he’s drinking one evening with no intention of ever sending it. But when he wakes up the next morning, he realizes he’s done just that. Feeling awful about being so rude, Carter drives from Seattle to Portland to apologize in person. And when he meets John Harper, he discovers that he is a sweet and charming (and attractive!) man, who is a fan of the magazine and graciously invites Carter into his home. There’s something else: John also claims to be from another planet. It’s a lot for Carter to take in, but as a fan of science fiction, shouldn’t it follow that some aspect of those stores might somehow come true? Despite his uncertainties, Carter decides he wants to get to know John better. What could it hurt?
This is a fun and entertaining read. It’s not necessarily a comedy, but there’s a lightness to it that I really appreciated. Carter’s in a rut, but he doesn’t wallow. And John is just so incredibly endearing that I think it would be impossible for a reader to not be drawn to him. Another great romantic journey from Kim Fielding that I highly recommend!