While posthumously published, Stephen Morris actually brings together two early, short novels, never before published. The second one involves some of the same characters, and is entitled Pilotage. And today's interest in both lies chiefly in the picture of commercial aviation and airplane design and the desperate struggle for survival, the sacrifice made by those who had faith, and the slow acceptance on the part of the government (British in this case) and the public. The stories in each instance are rooted in this as background, focus and motivation. Stephen Morris leaves Oxford to join a team of pilots in a small commercial venture involving joy rides, ferry trips, piloting assignments, etc., but his actual interest goes beyond flying to matters of design- and it is there, after four perilous and insecure years, that he finds himself. The romance, which goes on the rocks at the start, is given a second chance...In Pilotage we meet Morris again, safely married and this time concerned in a new venture- a flying boat to be catapulted from a steamship within flying distance of shore, in order to speed up mail overseas. But the central figure this time is a navigator, more familiar with boats than with planes. The pattern of the romance again takes second place to the aviation aspects. Shute, in these early writings, shows a gift for combining his major factual interest with a sense of character, but the plot aspects seem somewhat immature, though the subject matter sustains the interest.