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Spaceman of Bohemia

by Jaroslav Kalfar

'How unlikely. Yet here we are.' The first Czech spaceman faces an alien encounter and death but he fears the communist past more than anything. Will he always have to atone for his father's sins? Can fame give meaning to his life?

Extract

What I'm sure of now is that there is a stranger who sees my father in me and hates me for it. I am hated, and perhaps he wishes me harm, true harm. For a moment I wish to take it all back, the revolution, the fall of the Party. I want to be back at our big apartment in Prague, with my parents cooking together and tossing food at each other, the steam of the radiator fighting the annexation of winter. I don't care what reigns outside our house - capitalism, communism, or anything else - as long as my parents will return to me and keep me safe from men like the stranger. Yes, perhaps my father could even torture him a little. I would allow it. I would ask my father to torture the man until he stopped hating me.

Parallels

The Book of Strange New Things by Michael Faber
The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
 

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