Thursday 1 November 2018

Mutiny! - David Vining - A Collection of Short Stories

A Boy and His Satellite
A Collection of Short Stories
David Vining

ISBN 9781980762898

This book was the fourth collection of short stories by David Vining that I have read. And I have also read his novel, The Battle of Lake Erie: One Young American's Adventure in the War of 1812. I find that I am approaching this work with mixed feelings. Part of me absolutely loves David’s wiring, but a different part of me is disappointed because after finishing this collection I only have one more collection of his stories and I have read all his published works. Before I had finished two of Vining’s works, I had purchased all 6. I was enjoying the writing so much I knew I would want to read it all. As is obvious by the title this is a collection of 5 stories about Mutinies. And the specific stories in this collection are:

Making New Orders 
View from the Brig 
Fishing off the Coast of Limnos 
A Question of Principles

The description of this book is:


It's easy, isn't it? Pushed far enough, a son will turn against his father. Pushed hard enough, old friends will turn against one another. Driven to the edge, young people will try to overthrow whole systems without understanding why they stand to begin with. 

Who will win? Who will lose? What will happen when it's all over?”

It is an intriguing collection, spanning from ancient maritime ships, to the far reaches of time and space as a vessel makes it way through the universe. The book will spark the imagination, and recall images popular in movies, television, and other books. From the story of a young man chafing under his father on the family fishing boat while his brothers get to go to way for Athens. To a story written in homage to Star Trek Voyager. All 5 stories are very well written, they are a great collection. But to be honest the first two stories are the cream in this collection. The first story ‘Making New Orders’ had such a twist that I went back and reread it after finishing it before going on with the collection. And the Second story ‘View from the Brig’ has a certain hook to it, I can still hear maniacal laughter just thinking about the story. 

Writing short stories, or at least good ones is an art form unto itself. In a novel you have a lot more time and space to work things out. Great short stories need to be tightly written. David Vining has that skill. His stories are complete but often leave a reader wanting more of the story, or more stories with the characters. His stories remind me of the works of J.F. Powers, who published numerous collections of short stories, but only 2 novels over his career. He was probably one of the best American short story writers of the last century. And yet even his novels, often contained chapters or sections that had previously been published at short stories. I have read, and reread Powers works many times, and I know the same will happen with Vining’s. 

Another great collection of short stories, dive in and give these five stories about Mutiny a chance, I am sure you will be captivated by them. 

Books by David Vining:
A Quest Through Winter Sleep
The Battle of Lake Erie: One Young American's Adventure in the War of 1812
Crystal Embers

The Sharp Kid

Collections of Short Stories:
Shoes for Two Soldier Sons
Old Magic in a New World
A Light in the Darkness
A Boy and His Satellit


Author profile and interview with David Vining.

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