Ken Scholes is the author of Lamentation, the first in a five-book series called the Psalms of Isaak. For those looking for some other examples of Scholes’ writing (and if you read and loved Lamentation and need something else by him right away), then Long Walks, Last Flights and Other Strange Journeys is the book for you. Featuring sixteen stories and one novella, it is a great collection that shows the true range of this blossoming author, as well as his love for not just story, but strong characters.
The collection begins with a wonderful preface from Patrick Swenson and a glowing introduction from James Van Pelt. With the very first story, “The Man With Great Despair Behind His Eyes,” it is clear that Scholes has a knack for telling unique stories. The story is about Meriwether Lewis and his journey across North America after a special meeting with Jefferson; on the other side of the country he meets with a man close to death who is a supposed time traveler from the twentieth century. “One Small Step” explores a world where chimpanzees have been trained as workers and mount an uprising against the humans on the surface of the moon. “Edward Bear and the Very Long Walk” is the story of a toy robotic bear that is the last hope for the world, but with each step is brought closer to his demise, but first he must complete his quest.
With each of these stories, Scholes hasn’t simply created an incredible story, but unique characters that you immediately care about, whether they’re human or not. You are moved in their journey or quest, supporting them, wanting them to make it to whatever the end is. When they falter, you falter with them, sadness in your heart; when they triumph, you smile along with them. Long Walks, Last Flights and Other Strange Journeys will keep you comforted in the wait between Lamentation and Scholes’ next book in the series, Canticle, as you continue to enjoy the great writing from this new author.
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Originally written on May 3rd, 2009 ©Alex C. Telander.