Review of “Apex Predators” by Lance J. Mushung

The unnamed narrator and his only companion, Krenote, man an early warning station. The narrator stares at the deep black speckled with tiny dots, waiting for something to happen.

Krenote decides to debate whether the unknown species known as Humans exist. It is an old debate. An official report from a Brontian prisoner told of Human mercenaries, but the Joint Command thinks his story is worth “slither snot.”

The question of whether humans exist is soon settled.
Thoughts:

Author Lance J. Mushung manages to create a credible alien race in a short space. They do not speak, but communicate by signs with “feelers.” In Krenote, he has created something universal: the quintessential annoying coworker. The narrator has nowhere to go. He may as well sit back and let things play out.

The mixture of humor and deadly earnestness is right. It doesn’t become frivolity. The reader becomes invested in the aliens. They become real enough to be humans. We’ve all worked with people like these.

I liked this little tale.

It can be read here.

According to his blurb, author Lance J. Mushung graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology with an aerospace engineering degree. For more than thirty years, he worked with NASA contractors in Houston, Texas performing engineering work on the Space Shuttle and its payloads.

In an interview with Theme of Absence, he admitted that he had to retire before he found time to write regularly. He began writing in 2008. According to the Internet Speculative Fiction Database, his first speculative fiction work was published in 2014.

Title: “Apex Predators”
Author: Lance J. Mushung
First published: Theme of Absence, September 28, 2018

Published by 9siduri

I have written book and movie reviews for the late and lamented sites Epinions and Examiner. I have book of reviews of speculative fiction from before 1900, and short works in publications such Mobius, Protea Poetry Journal, and, most recently, Wisconsin Review and Drunken Pen Writing. I'm busily working away on a book of reviews pulp science fiction stories from the 1930s-1960s. It's a lot of fun. I am the author of the short story "Always Coming Home," a chapbook of poetry titled "Sotto Voce," and a collection of reviews of pre-1900 speculative fiction, "By Firelight."

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