Saturday 9 July 2022

They Also Serve - Karina Fabian and Robert Fabian

They Also Serve
Karina Fabian
Robert Fabian
Laser Cow Press

True military fiction set in space! I love the books and published short stories by Karina Fabian, and like this the few co-written with her husband, Robert. I have not read anything that disappointed or even that was just so-so. Their stories enthral, surprise, make me laugh. But they also have an undercurrent that inspires and challenges. I have a personal devotion to Chaplain Emil Kapaun and Father Vincent Robert Capodanno, this story could easily be an episode from their life, service and sacrifice set in space. 

We are informed in the section ‘About  the Story’ that the story was 30 years in the making. Karina informs us that:

“There are so many ways my husband, Rob, and I are perfect for each other. Writing is one of them. We were both lieutenants in the Air Force when we met, and on a date, Rob told me about this wonderful story idea he’d been toying with about a young officer who did his best at a job that wasn’t vital…until it was. He had some notes and the title, “They Also Serve” from the quote: They also serve who only stand and wait.”

This story was previously published in the Planetary Anthologies: Saturn, back in 2021. I have picked up a few of those anthologies but have not got around to reading them yet. And the main reason I picked them up was Fabian’s offering.  The description of the story is:

“Lieutenant John Ezra woke up with 22 days left on a lackluster tour in a dead-end military watch station orbiting Saturn. By the end of the day, he would understand, as never before, the importance of duty and the value of every soldier, even those who sit and wait.”

The story is a perfect example of Karina’s work, and Robert’s contributions. At the end of the story Karina states about resurrecting the story idea that:

“I dug through the file cabinet and found his notes, written on notepaper during an uneventful mid-shift at El Dorado Missile Warning station, the inspiration for the story. It was bare-bones, but even three decades later, it had the promise of a great tale.

We had several enjoyable conversations discussing setting, characters, and how to best fit it into the Saturn system. As usual in our collaborations, Rob provided the big ideas, the technical details, the military tactics. I handled humor and characterization, and finally wrote down the words of the story that had been dwelling in his heart.

We’re both very happy with the result, but for me, the best part of the story was helping make one of Rob’s small dreams a reality. In that way, I, too, have served.”

The story is a perfect sample of their work. And to be honest a great piece of space military fiction. The story took me back over 30 years to reading the Vorkosigan Saga back in high school and early university. It is masterfully written and wonderfully crafted. It is an excellent short story a great read. I can recommend it without hesitation or concerns at all.  

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2022 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Karina Fabian:
Why God Matters: How to Recognize Him in Daily Life

Dex Hollister Series:

The Old Man and the Void
Dex's Way

Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator Series :
Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator
I Left My Brains in San Francisco
Shambling in a Winter Wonderland

DragonEye PI Series:
DragonEye PI Novels:
?.0 Magic, Mensa and Mayhem (Revised edition)
?.0 Live and Let Fly (Revised edition)

DragonEye PI Short Stories:

DragonEye PI Original First Editions:
Live and Let Fly

Space Traipse Series:
Space Traipse: Hold My Beer, Season 1
Space Traipse: Hold My Beer, Season 2
Space Traipse: Hold My Beer, Season 3
Space Traipse Stories

Mind Over Series:
Mind Over Mind
Mind Over Psyche
Mind Over All
Hearts Over Mind

Edited by: Karina Fabian:
Infinite Space, Infinite God I
Leaps of Faith
Infinite Space, Infinite God II

Contributed to:
Firestorm of Dragons
The Zombie Cookbook
The Book of Tentacles
Twisted Fayrie Tales
FRIGHTLINER: And Other Tales of the Undead
Mother Goose is Dead
Word by Word: Slowing Down with the Hail Mary
Image and Likeness Literary Reflections on the Theology of the Body
Corrupts Absolutely? Dark Metahuman Fiction
Weird Noir
The Complete Guide to Writing Paranormal Novels
Manifesto UF
Avenir Eclectia
Planetary Anthology: Jupiter
Planetary Anthology: Pluto
Planetary Anthology: Luna
Planetary Anthology: Uranus
FlagShip Science Fiction and Fantasy v2i5
My Little Book of Headdesks
To Be Men: Stories Celebrating Masculinity

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