Sunday, September 20, 2015

Begone, by Daryl Gregory

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A man has mysteriously been replaced by a near-duplicate, and he plots how to get his job, home, and family back. (7,473 words; Time: 24m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆, Average

"Begone," by , appeared in Asimov's Science Fiction issue 10-11|15, published on by .

Mini-Review (click to view--possible spoilers)

We got almost halfway into the story before realizing this was the first Darrin (Dick York) from the TV show Bewitched hating the second Darrin (Dick Sargent), who replaced him at the end of the fifth season. Dick York did in fact have a back injury and problems with alcohol and pain pills. It certainly makes Samantha out to be a real witch, but it's very sweet the way Tabitha is the one who keeps bringing him back. The bar scene with Major Nelson from I Dream of Jeannie was a cute touch.

On the downside, the hero is rather bloodthirsty, and it's hard to sympathize with a bitter, violent, substance abuser. We wonder why his wife didn't just use a little magic to make it easier on him. Yes, in the concept of the show she wasn't supposed to use magic, but even the show violated that about every 10 minutes.

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