Naval Maneuvers
by John Simpson, contemporary (2009)
Dreamspinner Press, $3.99, ISBN 978-1-935192-85-5

Naval Maneuvers, as you can imagine, revolves around romance in the military. Alex Bender has recently joined the USS Casey Donovan (CG69) as a Seaman.

I was eighteen with short blond hair and blue eyes, a twenty-nine-inch waist, a solid six feet tall, 170 pounds, and in top physical condition thanks to basic training.

Who cares about his hair color? How big is his pee-pee? And most importantly, is he loaded?

And in case you missed it when the hero's name is first mentioned:

"Bender? As in bend over? Oh, the guys are gonna have fun with you," he said as he turned away laughing. I watched his little butt move slightly from side to side as he walked away and thought to myself, what the fuck have I gotten myself into?

"Young Bender" will end up comparing missiles with fellow Seaman Kurt Jackson. But yikes, this short story is crammed full with dry and technical details about the daily routine of life on board the Donovan that Naval Maneuvers is more like Naval Lectures. It's not that the subject matter is boring, mind you, it's just that the author could have presented the information in a less dry lecture-like manner. The romance takes a backseat to the naval lessons, so I'd suggest you read this only if you want to read about what is supposed to be the backdrop of the story.

Rating: 52

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