Spies! Teenage hackers! Nuclear secrets! And above all else, 1990s nostalgia!
All these things are in Phillip McCollum’s short story A Nuclear Family. I can’t really explain how they all fit together without spoiling the whole deal, but what I can do is praise McCollum’s gift for telling a tale. Remember, this is a man who once wrote 52 short stories in a year.
The same blend of teenage tech culture and mysterious goings-on uncovered by the youth of California that formed the theme of McCollum’s The Almost-Apocalypse of Apple Valley are present, but in a more potent, concentrated form. McCollum’s skill at concisely telling a good story is on full display, as is his way with words:
“I was way past wondering if what we’d done was a smart thing–it wasn’t. The question, now, was did we do the dumb thing smartly?”
A question familiar to anyone who has ever been a teenager, I’m sure.
A Nuclear Family is a gripping and suspenseful short story, that keeps you off balance from the start and doesn’t let up. It’s like a Hitchcock movie, updated to the ’90s and in literary form. A Phillip McCollum Special, through and through.
Am I wrong, or did McCollum disappear from Twitter? Same with Noah Goats?
You’re right. He vanished from Twitter. I’ve tried emailing him, but haven’t heard back… :/
Bummer. Hope everything is okay with him and Mr. Goats.
This sounds interesting especially with the ’90s nostalgia. Granted, I was way, way past being a teenager but I enjoyed the films and stories of that era.
That line about doing the dumb thing smartly could easily apply to any age 😂
Very true! 🙂