Pilots and Normal People: Short stories from a different attitude

General Fiction, Mystery & Thrillers, Science Fiction & Fantasy

By Walt Shiel

Publisher : Slipdown Mountain Publications LLC

ABOUT Walt Shiel

Walt Shiel
Although born in Michigan, Walt Shiel was raised across the US and around the world as an Air Force “brat.” He started school on the Pacific Island of Guam during the Korean War and finished high school in France during the Vietnam War. Shortly after graduation, Charles DeGaulle kicked More...


Is it really possible to forget a prejudice earned during combat?
Does death really close the door to life?
Can a grounded pilot find another way to return to the sky?
Are physical laws the same throughout the universe?
Is aviation mostly intellect or mostly emotion?
Are criminals just as smart as the law-abiding?
Can one man fight back against societys increasing crudeness?
Do space explorers really need a spaceship?

In Pilots and Normal People, Walt Shiel explores these and 13 other intriguing questions about pilots, aviation and normal people facing the mundane, and not so mundane, issues of daily life. This eclectic mix of 21 tales of aviation, mystery, science fiction, drama, and the paranormal includes:

'Remember'--Pete wasnt proud of his private hate, his personal war that never quite ended, but it had become an indispensable part of him. (Honorable Mention, AIM magazine short story contest);

'Grounded'--His flying skills and love of flying never waned, but his body turned on him;

'By a Nose' and 'Give Him a Hand'--A small-town police chief deals with big-city crimes in his own inimitable, easy-going way;

'Force of Will'--When asked what had turned him into a living legend, Miltie talked about the meaning of life, spiritual perfection, and his "life-force." He was about to add a new episode to the legend;

'Degrees of Desire'--He watched her, and Susan watched him watching her, unaware that her past, present and future would soon intertwine in the wake of his unwanted advances.

It's a testament to the high quality of these short stories that I could easily imagine several of the being published by Ellery Queen. Also, there are several science fiction stories that would be of interest to the Asimov magazine. Another measure of how good these stories are is the fact that we identify with the characters even when they are doing something that most of us have never done, like flying an airplane. We all do different things, but human emotions are coomon to all of us. This would be a good book to put on your nightstand if you are the sort of person who reads in bed...This is the sort of book that you could give as a gift with great confidence that the recipient of your gift would like it...I have no idea if Shiel plans to continue writing short stories, although I would encourage him to do so. I do say I'm looking forward to any future books he may write. --Andrew Grgurich, Marquette Mining Journal