Wednesday, November 7, 2012

SP5: The Zeppelin Conductors' Society Annual Gentlemen's Ball by Genevieve Valentine

Sometimes, short stories have a full plot and conflict resolution. Sometimes, they're more descriptive and not much happens, but the reader is still pulled into the story regardless. This, is one of the latter moments.

Valentine's story describes society in the airship days, and the hardships that the airship conductors go through as a result of spending their lives in helium-filled balloons. The author manages to convey in just a few short pages how, even though they are outsiders to the 'regulars' who are not affected by helium on a daily basis, conductors still lead fulfilling, happy lives. I also liked the comparison to ship captains, or really anyone who starts something out of love and passion for that something, but then it becomes a job, a routine, and the passion is lost. These men love what they do, day in and day out, even if the captains of the airships become desensitized and lose their love of the skies. After reading this story, I think I'd still rather be a conductor than a captain.

Like I said, there wasn't really too much actually happening in this story, it was more the narrator describing life as a conductor. I still loved it, because of the emotion that you can feel through the narrator's voice. Sometimes it's difficult to really feel something from a short story, because you don't spend much time with the characters. These unnamed characters were relatable in their desire to simply live their passions, and it really brought a lot to the story. Well played :)

- Justin

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