Sunday Night Yams at Minnie and Earl’s. Adam-Troy Castro. Novella.“‘You’re not going to enjoy this next bit except in retrospect. Later on you’ll think of it as the best moment of your life–and it might even be–but it won’t feel like that when it happens. It’ll feel big and frightening and insane when it happens. Trust me now when I tell you that it will get better, and quickly . . . and that everything will be explained, if not completely, then at least as much as it needs to be.’
“It was an odd turn of phrase. ‘As much as it needs to be? What’s that supposed to--'
“That’s when the barge reached the top of the rise, providing us a nice panoramic view of what awaited us in the shallow depression on the other side.
“My ability to form coherent sentences became a distant rumor.”
And while Sunday Night Yams at Minnie and Earl’s isn’t precisely saying to stop and smell the roses, the novella is saying that technology can’t account for everything, and that people might be a little happier if there was a bit more awe and tolerance for the world(s) around us.
The narrator is an old man who tells his story in a series of flashbacks as he journeys to the colonized moon to track down friends from when he was working at the first permanent moon base. He knows he’s dying, and he wants some sort of closure for the weirdest, most wonderful part of his life.
The flashbacks are about when he was an astronaut on the moon, working on a permanent scientific base and, immediately, he raises a good point. Visiting the moon would be awesome – and seeing the Earth from the moon defies description – but living there long-term would massively suck: quarters would be cramped, basic maintenance would be the most important and all-consuming task, and you live in perpetual fear of the one tiny mistake that would kill everyone.
All the people get run down and run the risk of falling out of love with the moon, but one thing keeps them going: Sunday night yams at Minnie and Earl’s.
And I’m not going to tell you what that means, except that the explanation of it brings up the limitations of science in a pretty interesting way.
In between the flashbacks, as the much older narrator is tracking his past down, you also get to see the colonized moon from the perspective of someone who worked to make that happen and isn’t too thrilled at the theme park it’s become.
Who Should Read This Story:
This story (if you couldn’t tell) isn’t really about alien invasions, but is instead about the we interact with science and space exploration. So, I’d recommend this story to anyone who is:
- Looking for a story to read for a couple of hours
- A fan of both feel-good and thought-provoking books
- Curious about what the future might look like
Sunday Night Yams at Minnie and Earl’s will make you smile almost as much as it will make you think and, even though I don’t do sweet, this story is really good. It’s a ~20,000 word read that hits on a lot of themes – progress, history, commercialism, rejection of civilization, and the psychology of interaction – in a pretty creative way. It’s free at this link here (and everywhere the title is a hyperlink, really), which makes everything even better.
There’re also gratuitous Ray Bradbury references, which always score extra points.
If you've read the book and have something you want to add, or you know of another science fiction story that can relate to alien invasions, be sure to leave a comment!
Rachel is the co-founder of How To Survive Alien Invasion Novels, and spends her time writing, studying, and reading what would probably considered far too many books. Connect with her and Rusty on Twitter and Facebook, and click here to read more of her articles about alien theories and how to survive alien invasion novels.