Thursday, July 10, 2014

Surfing the Human Wave: D. Jason Fleming's Spring That Never Came

As far as I can tell, no one has reviewed D. Jason Fleming's new novella, Spring That Never Came -- which means I have the privilege of being the first to share my impressions of his tale, which features an out-of-work Hollywood actress who's recruited to repel a Lovecraftian invasion at the precise moment her personal and professional lives have hit rock-bottom.

Overall, I liked Spring. The choice Fleming makes regarding Tammy's fellow soldiers is especially intriguing -- though, unfortunately, the short format doesn't allow much time to explore the tragic consequences of pulling potentially valuable human lives out of mainstream society. I should also note that I found the ending rather grim -- but given the principal theme of the story, I'm not sure that wasn't wholly appropriate.

Ultimately, Spring is not about battling eldritch monsters from a distant dimension in space-time. Indeed, if that's what you're seeking, you might want to look elsewhere, as said monsters are mere supporting players -- and minor supporting players at that. What concerns Fleming most, I think, are more prosaic forms of evil. The key villain, you see, is a human with a serious entitlement complex who's perfectly happy to make a Faustian bargain for the sake of exercising petty power over others. And yes, let's face it: While we're highly unlikely to confront Cthulhu-type beasts in our day-to-day lives, we will confront sociopaths who think nothing of scuttling basic morality and human decency for their own personal gain.

Whether you believe in the Biblical Fall of Man or not, there's no question that the human condition is flawed in a profound and fundamental way -- which means that our fight against corruption and evil will never truly be over (at least, not until the End of Days). In an oblique way, Fleming acknowledges this reality -- and out of all the positive qualities of Spring, this is probably what I appreciate most.

Final Verdict: Recommended.

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