“The Finite started as a dream; an image, really, on the edge of waking. My daughter and I, joining a stream of people walking past our house. We were marching together, and I saw that many of those behind us were sick, and struggling, and then I looked to the horizon and saw the mushroom cloud. I remember a wave of perfect horror and despair washing over me; the sure and certain knowledge that our march was doomed, as were we.
The image didn’t make it into the story, but the feeling did. King instructs us to write about what scares us. In The Finite, I wrote about the worst thing I can imagine; my own childhood nightmare, resurrected and visited on my kid.” – Kit Power
Title: The Finite | Author: Kit Power | Publisher: Black Shuck Books | Pub. Date: 12 July 2019 | Pages: 164 | ISBN: 9781913038359 | Genre: Science Fiction | Language: English | Triggers: N/A | Rating: 5 out of 5 | Source: Provided by the author for review consideration
The Finite review
I reviewed Kit Power’s short story collection ‘A Warning…’ for Sci Fi and Scary some time ago and enjoyed it hugely. So, when his novella ‘The Finite’ was offered for review I leapt at the chance to read it. It turned out to be a very different beast but, for my money at least, even better.
On paper it sounds like a lot of other things. There is an apocalypse, a man (Rob) and his young daughter (Charley) struggle to survive. What’s different about Kit Power’s take on the end of the world is that there are no zombies or plagues or any of the other stuff that is in vogue at the moment. Instead there’s a good old-fashioned nuclear bomb. At least that’s what the protagonist thinks has happened, we never really know for sure. The closest thing to compare it to would be Cormac McCarthy’s ‘The Road’. By being unashamedly English and much more low key, it manages to be sufficiently different to that book to justify itself.
Unlike many of the cinematic post-apocalyptic thrillers that focus on action and macho survivalist fantasies, ‘The Finite’ is uneventful. It’s about the day to day struggle to find enough food and clean water, rather than running battles against vicious, scavenging gangs or monsters. Rob is a deliberately unmacho and as a result he’s extremely relatable and sympathetic. That means that despite the lack of drama, the book is extremely tense at times. At first Rob types his story on a laptop and we read the resulting documents. Everything is filtered through his anxious eyes, a fact that becomes one of the many strengths of the book. The focus is so narrow and personal that it all feels like it matters more. I cared about the small struggles matter, because I cared about Rob and Charley .
When the laptop battery runs out, Rob uses a tape recorder instead and we read the transcripts. In this second half of the book the daughter Charley gets a voice as well, which ramps up the emotional impact significantly. By the time the end of the book comes I was so attached to both of them that I didn’t want it to finish. I’ve thought of them both since, which isn’t something that happens to me often.
You’ll have figured out by now that I liked ‘The Finite’ a lot. It’s a tense, thoughtful examination of human relationships that’s gripping, very readable and emotionally engaging on a deep level. It is also harrowing and upsetting, so read it with that warning in mind.
You can find this book at many retailers via clicking on the appropriate link on Goodreads (Buying direct from retailers is a good way to support indie authors); however, in the spirit of supporting literacy programs, we would like to point out that you may be able to purchase this book through BetterWorldBooks.
Olly joined the team in August 2018. He is our first non-American team member, and lives in the UK. He is the head of our UK team. Olly reviews both science fiction and horror books and movies for the site. He also enjoys writing articles when time allows.
This one wounds amazing! I have added it to my TBR! Reading Reaper Moon by Ted Neill right now and will read Kit’s next!! Neill’s book is an awesome Sci Fi and well worth the read!
Comments are closed.