Car Pool by Rosel George Brown

Rosel George Brown’s “Car Pool” first appeared in If in 1959. I read the story as a reprint in Earthblood & Other Stories, edited by Eric Flint.

The story is set in the future, with aliens. A woman carpools (air pools, really), trading off with her neighbors, the way that my mother did with all of us kids (and their mothers) back in the 1960s. The children are interesting and charming and little hellions. The protagonist gets roped into including an alien child in the car pool and the clash of cultures is exceedingly disturbing. There’s a lot of humor here, but a lot of very nasty things under the surface.

I’ve only read a handful of Brown’s stories so far, but they remind me very much of Algis Budrys’ fiction. His characters are cold and very suburban, very 1950s even in the future. Very John Cheever, for those of you who never read Budrys. I’m looking forward to Brown’s space opera and non-Earth-based science fiction. I hope the voice remains, but that Mad Men texture departs a bit.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *