Spoiler Free Summary: Tinkerman by Jake Bible is the 15th story in the Four Horsemen anthology, For a Few Credits More. Tee, called Tinkerman by those he provides cybernetic implants to, is in hiding. Sooner or later, people are going to come looking for him because of the secret he carries. When they do, he’ll be prepared, as will the world that’s protecting him, such are the terms of his care for those same people.
Character: Tee is a fantastic character. He’s proactive and capable. He’s got great depth. He’s sympathetic, but not in that he’s just likable or just unlikable. Indeed his range of emotion is a part of the story, and it’s the best part. I was hooked on this story from the moment I started the story as Tee was in his shop.
Exposition: This was perfect. I got the back story I needed as I needed it. Perfect isn’t a story that has no exposition, it’s exposition that provides exactly what the reader needs to be able to progress through the story.
World building: So for a few reviews now, I’ve been talking about one story I loved, and this is it! This world is every bit as amazing as its characters. This planet feels real. It has textures and minute details that make the feeling of the location visceral. In every scene, I truly felt like I was there. The more I learned, the more I was able to suspend disbelief. We’re not overloaded with aliens and tech. We’re exposed to a cast consisting of different species of aliens; we’re exposed to tech and gadgets that are immediately relevant to the plot. I’m probably going to read on of Bible’s books just because of this short story.
Dialogue: Powerful. Relevant. Realistic. Bible’s conversations move the plot forward without sounding like some sort of plot direction. It’s snappy. It’s entertaining.
Description: Just as I’ve mentioned in the world-building, the feel of this story is amazing. The movie theatre in my mind was on full IMAX-powered overload in all the best ways. I wasn’t bogged down by details, but I always had all my senses active.
Overall: Here’s how much I liked this story. First, there were a handful of stories I truly thought were fun or entertaining. However, whatever I paid for the whole anthology, I would have happily payed for just this one story. It’s honestly amazing, and I think any fan of gritty scifi should make sure they take the chance to read it.