Aloft: A Tale of a Man who Found a Wicked Heaven on Top of a UFO
Aloft by Joe Hill
So I read a very boring book and after being disappointed by the novel, I typically read a short story or two as a pallet cleanser. So after a long break, I decided to return to the Joe Hill short story collection, Strange Weather. Least to say the story collection has been a mixed bag so far, so with this next story I’m hoping for something great. So here is my review of Aloft by Joe Hill.
So what is it about? It follows a hapless man name Aubrey. Aubrey has a friendship with June and a crush on Harriet. When June dies, Harriet wants everyone to skydive for June, to honor her death. Being the hopeless romantic he is, Aubrey agrees, even though he’s terrified of heights. But something goes wrong in the process. Aubrey and the parachute partner crash into a disc flying in the clouds. Aubrey unclips himself from the professional, who he calls Axe, who has broken a bunch of bones on impact. But before they can figure anything out, a gust of wind comes by blows him away, leaving Aubrey stranded on the UFO. And as Aubrey is trapped there, he finds the flying disc is doughy and cloud like in nature, and in some strange way the machine tries to take care of him like a pet, giving him everything he could desire except for food and water. Aubrey has to find a way to get back him and also he goes on a sort of personal journey where he realizes that he must let go of the thought of loving Harriet to do something with his life.
The good? The story is so unique. The concept is a bit goofy but very original. But how it plays out is wonderful. For example, the UFO is a flying saucer made of this doughy pudding like substance that somehow holds his weight, entirely surrounding by a few inches of swirling clouds. And when he wants something, it will appear before him made up of a combination of clouds and the doughy substance. Every image is heavenly despite the fact it’s slowly killing him. As he learns more about the ship, I love the questions that are answered and how it all wraps up. Then as he’s there, he thinks a lot about Harriet; how they met, how he madly loved her and did everything for her and how June told him from her death bed that Harriet used him. And the story goes into detail about this in a poetic sense as the UFO supplies him a cloud fake Harriet because it’s what he longs for.
The bad? When this story starts, it starts with a couple paragraphs about Aubrey farting. Apparently he doesn’t like the guy he would be parachuting with so he was sending farts in his direction. This is a really embarrassing start and does not represent the story all. I remember starting the story and then thinking, what the hell am I reading? This is stupid. So Yes. It has a terrible introduction, which is so strange for such a fantastic story.
Overall, this is an amazing scifi tale. It also is an amazing character study of Aubrey. Its so unique and different. This is a must read.
4 smoothies out of Four.
Overall Rating: A Tale of a Man who found a Wicked Heaven on top of a UFO