The Walk up Nameless Ridge by Hugh Howey
The Walk up Nameless Ridge is a short story (18 pages, 39 minutes on audio) written by indie writer Hugh Howey of recent WOOL fame. You can order it for less than $2 at Audible or purchase it for 99c as a Kindle Single and then add the professional narration (Jonathan Davis!!!) for 99c more.
The story is about a mountain climber who hopes to be the first person to summit the famous 60,000 foot peak on the planet Eno, even if it kills him. What he wants more than anything is to leave a legacy, even if it means he has to leave other people, including his family, behind. There are others on the mountain who, presumably, have the same goal. What price are these climbers willing to pay in order to be remembered? After all, nobody cares who got there second. Our climber must grapple with these ethical issues and must live (or die) with the choices he makes.
I was completely engrossed by The Walk up Nameless Ridge. With only 18 pages, Hugh Howey makes the mountain and the climber come alive. I was surprised at the range of emotion I felt toward the climber. At first it was admiration, then it was wariness, then…. well, I don’t want to spoil the plot. I’ll just say that the ending surprised me with its emotional impact.
This is the second time (two for two) that Hugh Howey has pleasantly surprised me with his self-published books, so I’ve ordered several more. In most cases the Kindle/Audible pairing is very reasonably priced.
Jonathan Davis is one of my very favorite (top three, probably) audiobook narrators. If you’re not an audio reader and want to see how engrossing audio can be, give this one a try. You’ll get to hear one of the best narrators in the business and if you don’t like it, you’re only out $2 and 39 minutes of your time.