Carter Evans is founder and editor-in-chief of Astounding!a formerly popular spec fiction magazine currently in its death throes. Not only can he do nothing to save it, but stuck in a rathole apartment with few interpersonal connections, he can’t seem to do much to rescue his future either. And certainly all the booze isn’t helping. He snaps when he receives yet another terrible story submission from the mysterious writer J. Harperand in a drunken haze, Carter sends Harper a rejection letter he soon regrets.
J. Harper turns out to be John Harper, a sweet man who resembles a ’50s movie star and claims to be an extraterrestrial. Despite John’s delusions, Carter’s apology quickly turns into something more as the two lonely men find a powerful connection. Inexplicably drawn to John, Carter invites him along on a road trip. But as they travel, Carter is in for some big surprises, some major heartbreak… and just maybe the promise of a good future after all.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
"That’s what they’d called the magazine from the very beginning—the baby. It had been born when they were a young couple, their hearts light with hope and optimism. But while Freddy’s career took off like a rocket, their relationship fizzled into friendship and the baby remained stunted and underfed. And now the baby was very close to dying completely." When I read the description for 'Astounding!' by Kim Fielding, I got a flashback of the movie K-Pax with Kevin Spacey. This was not a bad thing, not at all. I really enjoyed that movie, it made me think, and it left me wondering what if? Since this author has been known to do that same thing to me on many occasions, I was very interested to read about Carter and John. My heart went out to Carter right from the start. The magazine is all he has, begun in his twenties with his then-boyfriend, Freddy. The Internet boom has been slowly killing Astounding! for years now but Carter's stubbornness has him holding on. If he could just stop getting these horrible stories every month from J. Harper life might be a little better. In a drunken fit of pique Carter mails off a not-so-very-nice rejection letter that, if I had received it, would have crushed me. Instead, Carter receives another submission and the sweetest letter from Mr. Harper begging Carter to publish just one of his stories and then Carter will never hear from him again. Instead of sending another reply, Carter gets in his car and drives to John Harper's home, not knowing his life is truly about to begin. “You tell me honestly why this is such a huge deal. Tell me even if you think I won’t believe you. And I’ll publish one of your stories in the next issue.” “I can… I can tell you. But you won’t believe me.” Carter sighed and put down his glass. “Well, make it good, then. I never could resist a good story.” Now Carter has sent the final issue out, with John's story at the end, and his good friends, Freddy, his husband, Keith, and Carter are taking an RV vacation for fun. They end up picking up John and bringing him along. Carter doesn't believe John about being an alien, but there's something about him. Something that every day they spend together grows deeper and more intense. As this author has done to me time and time again, this book went in a direction I wasn't expecting. I'm not even sure I have the words to describe John except he was sweet and innocent, in some ways, and loving beyond belief. Carter had been a bitter, stubborn, man who didn't see anything positive for his future but John changed him. Carter's experiences with John changed him and made him a better man. In order to avoid spoilers there's a lot I can not reveal, just trust me when I say it's all worth it. I fell in love with John and Carter, and their love story. There were moments where I cried and times where I just held my breath in hope. 'Astounding!' was beautiful and lovely and I highly recommend it. NOTE: This book was provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review on Rainbow Book Reviews
Oh, boy. I loved this book. It made my m/m romance and science fiction heart happy. Carter is the creator/editor of a spec fiction magazine, Astounding! that has been slowly fading into the sunset. His life isn't much better. That changes when a rude and drunken reaction to J. Harper, a person who has been submitting stories to the magazine for months, makes him feel guilty. Meeting J. Harper changes everything in many ways. A lot of this story was quiet and gentle, which made me sink into even more, considering the nature of what was going on. I loved what Carter brought to John's lonely life and what hope and light that John gave to Carter. I loved the secondary characters: Freddy, Carter's ex and famous author and Keith, Carter's boyfriend. Ery and Karl. Tammy. They all added to the enjoyment I had with this story. I tell you what. I need to find out more from this 'verse, especially to find out Ery and Karl's backstory. And if I could peek at how Carter and John are doing, that would be serendipitous.