“The Concurrence” by Nicholas Jennings is the third story in the Megan Survival Anthology. Below is a review for the story. The full story is available as an ebook here. The print anthology is available here.
Every time I would complain about having to do something that was difficult, my parents would say, “It builds character.” I hated that saying then; why did building character have to be such hard work?
I’ve since learned that building character isn’t just hard in real life, but it’s tough when writing too. That pesky arc the characters are supposed to go through and have their lives and their attitudes changed by the events that happen is tough to get across, especially with a word count limit, but Nicholas Jennings has mastered the skill of a finely-rounded arc.
The characters in “The Concurrence” start out exactly as you would except them to, having just crash landed on an alien planet having most of their resources destroyed: short-tempered and fighting over whose plan is better for their survival.
Stanley did not like Karin, and she did not particularly care for him.
These characters have a lot to overcome if they’re going to save the colony, or even survive, on their new, alien home. That’s a lot of character building in very few words.
To Karin’s surprise, instead of his usual cursing, Stanley laughed. He laughed so hard that Karin couldn’t help but join in.
Do Karin and Stanley continue to laugh together? Or does that arc turn full-circle and have them fighting until the bitter end?
You’ll have to read on to find out.