The term “space western” can be pretty divisive, for many reasons. But when it’s done right, it combines the best of two genres, and the result is great. That’s why we were pretty excited to find Past Another Sky, by Scott Birrenkott, which is mournful, gritty, and brash. Even if the idea of a space western doesn’t strike your fancy, this one deserves a shot.
By Scott Birrenkott
The shuttle came down as a blaze from the distant sun. I watched it slow in an instant, landing just outside the town and beyond my view. Above me, just past the hazy atmosphere that didn’t belong on this moon, was the outline of the ship the shuttle had come from. I wouldn’t have even known the ship was there if not for the way it blocked out the stars. I tried to guess at why Earth had sent such a ship to this place, our moon being nothing but another humble claim to space, but I already knew too well.