Saturday, September 12, 2015

Dixon's Road, by Richard Chwedyk

Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, July/August 2015; 6,279 words
Rating: 3, Good, ordinary, story  Recommended By:   SFRevu:4

A stranger from the spaceport visits the house of a famous poet, preserved from the original terraforming of the planet.

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

This is a fine account of the familiar bittersweet story of a long-delayed homecoming to a place that isn't home anymore. Even though it's mostly predictable, it's done quite well, and it's pleasant to read.

Nothing actually happens here. He visits. The curator is briefly tempted to leave with him. That's it. There's no conflict in the story at all.

Lois Tilton gave this one of her rare recommendations. 

2 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. A guy in my writing group has Dixon's Road on his Hugo nomination list. I, personally, agree with you that it should get 3. It's bittersweet, well written, and the idea is a novel use of the hard SF concept of time dilation in space travel, but I agree nothing happens.

    It feels like it's from the wrong point-of-view. The curator is the POV character, but I was more interested in the 'stranger'. I've visited house-museums like the Wordsworth Museum, and can't begin to imagine how he would feel visiting that house. The story would have been more interesting if it had explored that.

    It's the first F&SF magazine story I've read and the quality of ideas and execution was - in my opinion - significantly above the free ezine stuff.

    1. Sometimes something in a story just resonates with a person, making it a strong emotional experience for him/her. I've noticed that even a badly written story (a one-star tale) can still manage to pack a punch. It's hard to resist the temptation to recommend such stories for awards.

      The pros generally are a good bit better than the free magazines, but the gap doesn't seem to be as big as it used to be. In case you didn't already see it, we blogged about that this week: