Steve Umstead’s science fiction short story ‘Incursion’ is a great sci-fi read: well-written and entertaining, creating a believable world and interesting characters quickly and effortlessly. The story takes place in rural area after an alien invasion, and it follows a very young boy who has been recruited to fight the nasty intruders. I really loved the way this child, who has been forced to take on a very grown up role in a terrible conflict, was portrayed in the story.
Umstead manages to give his story immediate depth and complexity: you can feel in his storytelling that there are layers of history and culture beneath the surface of the tale, and that is always a good thing in a science fiction story. You want to get a feel for the time and the world and the people in it without too much exposition, and Umstead manages that very well. ‘Incursion’ works on every level, and I really enjoyed his clear and vivid writing style.
Oh, and there is a twist at the end, and it’s a good one!
‘Incursion’ is my first introduction to Umstead’s writing, but I will be checking out more of his stories after this.
Umstead’s published works include the Evan Gabriel-trilogy; science fiction, suspense and horror short stories, and a science fiction novella. ‘Incursion’ is available as a stand-alone short story, or as part of the collection Wrinkled Shorts.