Book Reviews

Salvaging Claus Day (2017 Advent Calendar - Stocking Stuffers) by J. Alan Veerkamp at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Science Fiction / Outer Space / Romance / Holiday
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 05-December-2017

Book Blurb

For three years, Filo has reveled in silence and solitude as the sole occupant of a space station, where he maintains the communication satellite.


Everything changes with the appearance of Luz Espina’s lifepod. Filo shares many interests with the flirtatious Luz, though Filo’s isolation has strained his communication skills. Still, Luz pushes all his buttons… and reminds him of the last man he was attracted to—an attraction that ended in disaster because the man was straight. When Luz learns Filo has never celebrated a holiday, he vows to cobble together a Claus Day celebration for them to share. But is it merely a friendly gesture… or something more?


A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2017 Advent Calendar "Stocking Stuffers."

Book Review

A holiday story set in space – and the far reaches of outer space at that – is a rare treat, even among the diverse types of story each year’s Dreamspinner Advent Calendar has to offer. ‘Salvaging Claus Day’ is about Filo, a communications hub tech stationed “at the ass-end of the galaxy” (his words). He has been alone for the last three years, after the Corporation did not replace his three coworkers. Then, three months ago, Filo rescued a stranger named Luz from a drifting lifepod and, since no transport off the station is available for the foreseeable future, the station now has two inhabitants.

Filo is a loner who actually likes his own company and does not mind (much) being the only human within light-years of empty space. He is attracted to Luz but determined not to throw himself at another straight man ever again. The reasons only emerge slowly, but I can’t say I blame Filo for being careful. What did make me wonder is how Filo is able to totally overlook the rather obvious overtures Luz makes all the time - Luz does not make it easy for Filo to maintain his distance: he is rather provocative and there is nowhere to go in the tight confines of the space station. But the human mind is a weird and wonderful thing, and I have seen fear of rejection make people behave in very strange ways, so Filo’s “resistance” sort of made sense once I thought about it.

Something is bound to break this stalemate at some point though, and when it happens, it is as unexpected as it is entertaining. Claus Day (the futuristic version of Christmas) is coming up, but Filo has never paid any heed to it. He was genetically engineered as a soldier, has never been very sentimental, and the only reason he was assigned as a tech is that he is “lacking” aggression. When Luz mentions how much he is looking forward to Claus Day, Filo is unimpressed at first, but Luz decides to take matters into his own hands – and everything changes.

If you like your Christmas stories with a futuristic touch, if the idea of “Christmas in space” appeals to you, and if you’re looking for a creative read with an interesting setting, fun characters, and “Claus-Day spirit” in abundance, then you will probably like this short story.





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Short Story, 34 pages/10891 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 01-December-2017
Price $1.99 ebook
Buy Link