We Don’t Plummet Out of the Sky Anymore

Rated 4.20/5 based on 65 reviews
"If I were editing a magazine I would be seriously considering buying this story for publication—but I'm not, so I can't. Sorry."

— Bruce Bethke, author of "Cyberpunk" and Headcrash
. . .
Stan wanted a flying car. No, that wasn't quite accurate... Stan wanted a nice flying car, and the quantities of bliss that purchase would bring. Stan desired bliss.

Fortunately, Bliss also desired Stan.
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About M. David Blake

M. David Blake lives in Hillsborough, NC with his wife and daughter. By day he is a stay-at-home father and househusband. In college, he utterly flunked a study of science fiction, and before college, he periodically reassembled the shattered skulls of murder victims. Currently he serves as an associate editor for Stupefying Stories, and a slush reader for Fantastic Stories of the Imagination.

He is currently eligible (on both the 2012 and 2013 Hugo ballots) for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. You can read his Campbell-qualifying work, “Absinthe Fish,” at his website.

Website : http://www.vintageseason.com/
Google+ : http://gplus.to/MDavidBlake

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Review by: JayHawkFan1 on April 30, 2017 :
I think that maybe 7 years ago when indie publishing was new, this book was more popular and got a lot of 5 star reviews, but today there are millions of indie books and this story seems a bit silly. I mean it's ok, worth a read, but not really a 5-star review in my book. It's funny, original, but kind of kooky and contrived.
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Review by: arcwin on Nov. 03, 2016 :
Charming and sophisticated.
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Review by: shanndy on Oct. 16, 2016 :
I must agree with other reviewers, this is a good story and one of the first I grabbed after starting my membership here on Smashwords. It's a sort of sci-fi romance about a guy who wants a new hi-tech car. He wants to impress the love of his life.

I wonder how many downloads this story has because it's in the top-5 most downloaded shorts in the fiction category here on Smashwords. This story has been on Smashwords for 6-years so it's probably a lot of downloads. It has quite a few good reviews.
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Review by: Redondo B on July 05, 2016 :
The writing pops with style and interesting words. The author puts you right in the scene with a guy who wants a car (just happens to be in the future with flying cars) so he can impress his lady friend. I agree with the other reviews, this story is kooky, zingy. It goes 'boing' in most of the right places.
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Review by: KG1001 on July 04, 2016 :
Worth grabbing for your eReader. I enjoyed it and you will too if you like zingy sci-fi car stories.
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Review by: Mike White on June 10, 2016 :
This was a fun story. I wish we could have seen some more of this future society, although I did appreciate the snippets that we did see. It's always nice to see someone really explore the 'flying car' trope in depth, since flying cars are usually more of a symbol than anything else. Of course, in a world that had flying cars, there would be a lot of technical details and practical considerations involved.
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Review by: Chad Ruggerio on Feb. 16, 2016 :
This story is straight up kooky. I was intrigued by the title and I was engaged throughout from beginning to end. A lot of the language was kind of flowery and over-the-top especially describing futuristic cars and the main characters feelings about the woman he loves. This story made me think of Kurt Vonnegut, because it's has to do with social science but it also has to do with relationships and it uses a lot of offbeat humor. I enjoyed the story and I would read more by this author.
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Review by: JohnGuida49 on Jan. 13, 2016 :
This story pops with cyber and steampunk sensibility. The flowery language used to describe all the technical details of futuristic cars, and the way the author describes the characters, his job and his relationship with the woman he loves, jumps of the pages. Ornamental, flamboyant, frilly and eccentric are words I'd use to praise this story. Nice work, very stylish. Thanks.
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Review by: Beth Durkee on Nov. 03, 2015 :
The title is interesting.

Read my complete review at http://sf-fantasybookreview.blogspot.com/2015/11/we-dont-plummet-out-of-sky-anymore.html
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Review by: Colin Garrow on Aug. 04, 2015 :
I'm not usually a sci-fi fan, but the title of this story grabbed my attention. I love the language and the advertising speak - it sounds so real. Great story.
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Review by: James Jenkins on Jan. 26, 2014 :
I was actually kind of disappointed at the beginning as the description had me anticipating a different story. Once I realized the story I was really reading I was impressed.

It reads as if written in 1950, with only a singly technological advance; the flying car. The story centers around a young man who lets perception and advertising guide his desires for a new car. Will the "small print", his coworkers and his girl friend Bliss, be able to show him the light?
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Review by: Roberta Beach Jacobson on Nov. 25, 2013 :
Cool story, great flow.
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Review by: Kumar on Sep. 07, 2013 :
Good book.
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Review by: Weston Whitaker on Sep. 06, 2013 :
It was okay.
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Review by: Poornima on Sep. 06, 2013 :
Quite a good book.
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Review by: vaughn richards on May 02, 2013 :
This was pretty cool.
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Review by: Celesta Thiessen on April 30, 2013 :
Super! Light-hearted and feel good. Just like fiction should be.
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Review by: JT Pearson on March 09, 2013 : (no rating)
The language created to describe various problems with the machine was excellent. Really helped submerge me in this future way of traveling and how there are always problems with cars - flying cars or not. Excellent read. Thanks,man.
JT Pearson P.S. There's something wrong with the rating system. Can't post the 5 stars I would've given this story.
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Review by: Kate Meeks-Hall on Feb. 23, 2013 :
Fun! I liked it a lot!
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Review by: Jeff G on Feb. 15, 2013 :
Enjoyed it. Quick read about flying cars and how things aren't always what they seem based on what's advertised. Reminded me a bit of some of Heinlein's young adult science fiction that I read years ago.
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Review by: Rob Wilkins on Jan. 14, 2013 :
I enjoy stories like this, told in a light-hearted tone without being particularly light-hearted by nature. The start was slower than I expected, and I nearly put it down because of that -- I'm glad I didn't. The story grew slowly but steadily, and several parts of it left me smiling or laughing.

Although the ending wasn't punchy, as some commented on, I thought it fitted well with the mood and pace of the story, and the whole story felt like a quiet Sunday afternoon read (which sounds terrible, now that I write it, but certainly isn't intended to be). In the end, I quite liked it, and I am glad I took the time to read it.
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Review by: Sarah (Workaday Reads) on Jan. 04, 2013 :
This was a fun and quirky short story about a man who wants to replace his reliable beater car with a new fancy model. It gently pokes fun at ads where everything good is followed by a disclaimer.

There is a great moral about looking beyond the superficial to the truth hidden beneath. Not everything is as it seems, sometimes for the better, and sometimes for the worse.

I greatly enjoyed this story. It was entertaining and amusing.
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Review by: Jonathan Antony Strickland on Sep. 29, 2012 :
It's very odd this story has so many reviews, and good reviews at that. Although well written I found the story itself to be a slow drudge where conversations about the inner workings of flying cars took up the majority of it.
Believe me, half way through I bet even Jeremy Clarson would have been yawning and wondering when some plot was going to kick in.
It was'nt terrible, just very very slow with not a lot happening throughout. I have a feeling that Bruce Bethke was being a little too polite to the author.

Just a note_those of you not unfamiliar with the English presenter Jeremy Clarkson should know this about him. He presents a show on British television called "Top Gear" and would probally admit himself that he could bore for Britain on the subject of bloody cars.

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Review by: Blacklight Design on Aug. 11, 2012 :
I had read the short story almost twice. I did enjoy it and I think this is a solid piece of writing. I will like to thank Mr. Blake for the well polished content: if there is any mistake in his story, I haven't seen it.
The storyline is just a little chipped by the too common ending. And my final impression is that the text could not stand alone. It will make a great piece in an anthology with different authors.
Anyhow, it is a very good reading, if not a great one.
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Review by: Alden Lee on July 12, 2012 :
Just finished and thought it was very good. I agree with some of the other reviews and thought the ending was a little lacking. This is my first Smashwords book and I must say this whole setup is nice. The cover almost kept me from reading it. I'm glad I read it. I did not get the condescending attitude that Joy talked about either.
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Review by: james mckenzie on July 06, 2012 :
Awful cover though... Sorry.
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Review by: james mckenzie on July 06, 2012 :
I enjoyed this a lot! It was original and interesting. Definitely will recommend.
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Review by: Robert C. Mason on July 02, 2012 :
Original story idea, but I didnt care for the ending. It just didnt seem to fit the creativity of the story.
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Review by: Ragnar Lodbrok on June 07, 2012 :
This was frivolous fun. I don't have anything bad to say about it but... I have to admit I just don't feel like it added anything to my life. So... umm... thanks I guess. It IS free!
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Review by: Cory Hiles on May 19, 2012 :
I enjoyed this story. It was engaging and interesting. I had read the reviews prior to reading the story and was therefore trying to see the condescending attitude that Joy mentioned in her review, but I never saw it. If anything, Stan was portrayed as the less intelligent half of the couple.
All in all, I'd recommend this story to anybody.
(review of free book)

Review by: Joy Johnson on May 17, 2012 : (no rating)
On the positive side: The story has a great deal of imagination. It has good bones.
On the bad side: This was definitely as story written by a man FOR A MAN. The main character is completely condescending toward Bliss the female lead. The author seems to want her to be an idiot to make the male lead seem more intelligent than he really is. I also found the storyline hard to follow. There aren't enough descriptive details. Aka: There is little to no introduction or back story of characters.
Words to the Author: I understand that this is a short story, and not a novel. However, in my opinion, you need more rounding of your characters. I hate your representation of Bliss. You will quickly find that women of today will as well, and your reader base will suffer because of your lack of a good, strong female lead. Good luck with your future pieces.

Joy Johnson
Freelance Writer
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Review by: Jeff Oaster on May 03, 2012 :
Obviously, this story is well liked around these parts - and justifiably so. It's a fun little short story that is (I'm guessing) intentionally written with some quirky anachronisms - record players in flying cars, indeed - to give it a 1950s sci-fi feel.
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Review by: Sarah Spelbring on April 26, 2012 :
An intelligently well written piece of fiction. I generally don't go for this type of story, but I was looking for a short story to read to pass the time; I wasn't disappointed.
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Review by: Eric Marcelo on April 06, 2012 :
As a short story, it was a good, entertaining read. As a sci-fi story, there are a few "out-of-place" objects and concepts: a slide rule, a stylus-style record player—in an aerocar, and aerocar manufacturers who don't seem to be following safety regulations. The world seems to have regressed in this timeline.

You've got skill, man. Write more and get better.
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Review by: K Kishmot on April 04, 2012 :
Well written but more plot would have been good. The writing can only be faulted because it is a little dialogue heavy. Thicker plotting would have burnished the good writing. A three point eight.
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Review by: Natalie Jordan on March 09, 2012 :
So Good(:
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Review by: Stephen B5 Jones on Feb. 06, 2012 :
Great story, well presented.
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Review by: Uba Franklin on Feb. 05, 2012 :
Enjoyed this story, a breezy easy tale that leaves you smiling a lot. It is worth your time.
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Review by: William Haloupek on Jan. 31, 2012 :
Very well-written.
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Review by: Marcella Spelman on Oct. 29, 2011 :
This is great story for publication.
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Review by: Brenda Wisdom on Oct. 18, 2011 :
Anothor sci-fi classic. I like it.
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Review by: Nikki Polaris on Sep. 16, 2011 :
The writing is in the good range, but the story is lacking some things that could make it compelling. The stakes were not very high for the characters, and the deeper meaning trying to be conveyed is pretty explicit, as opposed to being revealed in a more thought provoking way. The story moves very slowly for my taste. The story lacks economy; I believe with good editing it could be 30% shorter and not miss anything that's there now. It seems several folks like it, so I suppose this is largely a matter of taste, but I cannot give it more than two stars.
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Review by: Christina M. Grey on Aug. 26, 2011 :
I can't believe this is Blake's first book. This is well written, entertaining, and insightful. It also made me smile nearly the entire time I was reading it. Great job.
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Review by: Jason Johnny on July 22, 2011 :
I liked this one a a lot. I was very well written.
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Review by: K Laxson on July 09, 2011 :
A fun read that is short but well crafted. It melds last generation and future technologies with a wry twist.
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Review by: Cory Anderson on July 04, 2011 :
I thought this short story was well written and very meaningful in today's society which is so enchanted with "bling". I, too, have been the victim of longing for something only to realize later that, a) it was not worth the money, or b) it was only fun for five minutes, or c) I was better off without it. Buy this book, it holds the meaning of life!
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Review by: Vincent on June 28, 2011 :
Nice title but nothing else interesting here.
The best part of the story is the title, the plot is insubstantial and doesn't make any sense.
Also nothing happens here, a story about a man thinking about a new car.

There is also the weird anachronism of mentioning someone use a slide rule which appears in old sci-fi, Asimov etc, but is strange to see in something modern.

The author mentions that it was a piece he wrote for a writing club and in that context it makes sense but not as something for the general public.

It isn't terrible but I begrudge wasting time on a nothing story when I might have been reading something good.
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Review by: Jim Walker on June 24, 2011 :
Now this was fun. Steampunk meets Mad Men, in a cautionary tale. Thanks for a light, bright and happy piece.
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Review by: Mark Stewart on May 25, 2011 :
A well written story. The juxtaposition was correct. Enjoyable read.
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Review by: W. Addison Gast on May 23, 2011 :
Its obvious Blake likes to write and write well. He presents the story well, his characters are believable and he has a good plot and ending. There was nothing about this manuscript that would keep it from selling well as a short in any market.
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Review by: Elijah Joon on May 13, 2011 : (no rating)
I believe I saw you posting around on the Mobile Read Forum or on Twitter or somewhere in the indie author blogosphere. That's how I heard about you and recognized your name.

Mad respect for rising to such a prominent spot in this site's Top 100.

Hope you're doing well and continuing to write.

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Review by: David Fisher on May 05, 2011 :
Very well written little story. Some incredible turn-phrases. I especially enjoyed the one about the hopefully-to-be-built cabin in the meadow. The constant disclaimers remind me of current-day prescription drug ads. Some of the technical jargon could be a little off-putting to some, but overall an excellent read.
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Review by: Nicholas Galt on May 02, 2011 :
I enjoyed this story and its messages. The dialogue felt natural. If I could afford it, I would buy both cars. Though as 'I am so broke I can't even pay attention,' (Hendrix) I would have to stick to the 'flying Volvo!'
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Review by: Renee Mirabito on March 18, 2011 :
A fun story that shows that the more things change, the more they stay the same.
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Review by: Ecowitch on Jan. 14, 2011 :
An entertaining tough-in-cheek story set in the future where instead of the automobile it is the aeromobile that dominates. Despite this huge leap the same old issues arise with looks being more important than safety. The story follows Stan, a statistics office worker who starts off wanting the nice shiny top of the range Shearwater as he trawls through all the small print, caveats and legal loopholes.
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Review by: Bruce Blake on Nov. 22, 2010 :
An excellent, well-penned story and one I found quite poigniant given my job in auto sales. Keep up the good work!
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Review by: Ian Woodhead on Oct. 14, 2010 :
An enjoyable story, reminiscent of a PK Dick tale.
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Review by: Peter Swansea on Sep. 03, 2010 : (no rating)
I like SF stories. This one is ok. I expected it to be a book, not a short story.
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Review by: artielange on Aug. 17, 2010 :
Pretty good as a futuristic-type story. Liked it!
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Review by: Bart Tran on Aug. 11, 2010 :
It's alright I guess.
I like the futuristic aspect and it was VERY well written!
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Review by: Tom Lichtenberg on July 21, 2010 :
Definitely worth reading. Although I got lost a bit in some of the comparison shopping, I enjoyed the humor and appreciated the novel approach to one of the more popular futuristic myths of our time.
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Review by: Joseph L. Garrido on July 16, 2010 :
First of all, I have to be honest that I did not find the story to be one of my favorites. Having said that, the story was exceptionally well written on a professional level. Could just as easily ended up in a publication. There was nothing I could point too as having any flaws, unlike me who lime to break all kinds of writing rules - at least with my first book in the series I am writing. In fact, I wouldn't mind having just 10% of his writing ability. I think it was more about the techy stuff that gave me trouble.
Just seeing what he is capable of writing, is enough to keep my eyeballs open for what he might have instore for us next.
Thanks for the read!
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Review by: SgtSadler on July 12, 2010 :
When this book passed Eva Gale's The Seduction of Gabriel Stewart, I decided it was time to leave a nasty review. Gale's book is used as the example of a well-formatted book in the Smashwords Style Guide, so it gets a lot of views. But who was this guy? I'd never heard of him, and this appears to be his only story on Smashwords. It couldn't be any good.

I just read it.

Damn. Now I want one of those cars.
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Review by: Michelle de Villiers on June 29, 2010 :
I liked the title and kept reading, expecting an acerbic twist- the author remained consistently nice to his characters though. An enjoyable, funny story.
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Review by: GraceKrispy on June 13, 2010 :
I really liked this story! It was interesting and original, and it was thought-provoking as well. I'd love to see more with the characters in the time they live.
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Review by: Timothy Nix on May 10, 2010 :
I love a story with a good moral and a happy ending, and this is one of them. It made me smile that flying cars come around eventually, but good people remain the same anywhere and anytime. I give it all 5 stars. It's the feel-good hit of my Spring reading season!
Bambi Nix (DixieGal)
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Review by: Lene Jorgensen on April 30, 2010 :
I don't really go for short stories, but this one's title got my attention...

It was a surprisingly well written piece, and I recommend you read it...
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Review by: dreams on April 30, 2010 :
I almost passed this short story up. I was reloading my Sony Reader and decided to go ahead and place it in my “Next” Collection (books tagged for reading first).

It was a surprisingly good short story. I loved following along as Stan tried to make his decision about purchasing a new flying car, as I was reminded about the process I went through a few years ago (no, NOT a flying car!).

The characters of Stan and Mr. Withers were written well enough that I was able to get to know and like them (even care about them). I didn't want the story to end and would have liked to continue reading about their lives and the world they lived in.
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Review by: Ommadawn on April 15, 2010 :
An entertaining, well written short story. Download and read it!
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