Review of Liz A. Vogel, “Dix Dayton, Jet Jockey”, Analog Science Fiction and Fact March/April (2020): 113–116 (Kindle) – Purchase Here. Reviewed by John Atom.
In a future when humanity has colonized the solar system, a lone spacer is flying his ship Euphrosyne to Peekaydee. On the way he sees a pirate ship attempting to board an unmanned freighter headed to Neptune. Determined not to let the pirates steal the contents of the freighter, the protagonist changes his ship’s course to intercept. Though unarmed, he manages to stop the pirates and incapacitate their ship.
This was an enjoyable adventure story reminiscent of the pulp tales preceding the golden age (i.e. the 10s, 20s, and 30s). While Vogel is not as cavalier with the science as the pulps used to be, there is a “free-spiritedness” about the story drives the reader to believe anything is possible. There’s a hero and there’s a villain, and as such, it becomes easy to root for the protagonist’s pulp-style bravery.
The style of narration also matches the adventurous and carefree tone of the story, resembling the (tall) tales recounted around a warm campfire, or a cold rainy night at a bar. Even the author’s tendencies to meander or over-explain things seem justified in the given style. Overall, I had a blast reading this story.