Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Farewell Blues, by Bud Webster

The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, January/February 2015; 13,631 words
Rating: 4, Recommended

In 1937, Juney Walker was a young man playing the blues with a band in the Louisiana bayou. He played with a man named Jake Fell, who could play to raise the dead--and one time did. A very moving story.

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

Pro: The little town of Bayou Cane comes alive, and so do most of the characters. We really care that Jake is leaving, but we also care that the band is breaking up and the boys are separating forever. Just as important, the music and the magic seem real. Jake leaves this world, but it's a victory because he does the right thing.

Juney says he was 30 in 1937 and that he wrote this story 70 years later, so the numbers more or less add up.

Con: Not enough is done with Juney's magical connection with his trumpet. This is really Jake's story, not Juney's. All Juney does it play along. Jake does the right thing at the end, but he did mostly cause this problem. We hear no real regrets over the folks who died because of it.

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