Flight of the Kikayon: A Space Opera Novelette
Author: Kary English
Length: 25 pages
As an avid reader, I am aware that there are different lengths to stories. Novels are usually the longest, followed by novellas and short stories, which are each shorter than the last, respectively. Up until now, I had never heard of the “novelette,” which seems to sit somewhere between novella and a short story. Considering Flight of the Kikayon only took me about a half-hour to finish, it was definitely shorter than a novella. I’m just not sure if defining a new term for short story is necessary. In either case, there were some details that I think could have easily been added to make this a fully fleshed-out novella.
What starts as a story that could have been an exciting look into surviving on an alien planet pretty quickly pivots into a flashback. I’m not sure this backstory was entirely necessary, especially since the main antagonist seemed like a one-dimensional “husband villain” that is practically a cliché by now. Sure, it explains how the main character got into this predicament, but getting out of these situations tends to be the more interesting story in these cases. Then again, perhaps that’s just my preference.
I will give credit to the world building accomplished in such a short page count. The universe seems to be fleshed out, and the necessary details of some of the politics and technologies were sufficiently explored. It could have used some more depth here and there, but if there was a word count limit, it might have precluded exploring them. I’m also not entirely sure if this is merely part of a bigger story (like the story of survival), and it’s only purpose is to provide some semi-relevant background for it. By itself, it works well enough, though.
An amusing ride if you have 30 minutes to kill, I give Flight of the Kikayon 3.0 stars out of 5.