Monday, May 30, 2016

Orphan Pirates of the Spanish Main, by Dennis Danvers

Read this story
(Present-day SF; Stan) Stan's dad told the most outrageous stories, and claimed their family were weird because they were really aliens. In retirement, Stan believes it might even be true. (8,945 words; Time: 29m)

Rating: ★★★★☆ Recommended

This story is a sequel to Adult Children of Alien Beings, but it's not essential to read that story first.

"," by (edited by Ellen Datlow), published on by .

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

Pro: Stan starts the story wanting to reach his father, and he accomplishes that, even if he doesn't ask the questions he intended to. As a side effect, both his and Ollie's illnesses are (we presume) cured.

The big attraction of this story is how funny it is. Like the Unitarian minister who was kicked out after a solid year of sermons about aliens. Or that your little brother won't rat you out for losing your mind. Or "that doesn't mean I believe in ghosts who mail postcards with forever stamps."

Stan's meeting with the Shaman, his father, and the little one-legged boy from Africa is poignant and yet inspiring, not sad--even when we realize he went there in his dreams.

And then he casually shows the brochure and the six allspice berries which he brought back from the dream.

Con: Except for the brochure "which did indeed explain everything," and the berries, there would be no real supernatural element to the story at all. And the ending feels abrupt.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 05/25/16)
Dennis Danvers Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

2 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. This reads very much like "Adult Children of Alien Beings" to me, down to the mother painting by numbers and the children being named Stan and Ollie. What's going on here do you think? Re-writing of a story which got posted earlier?

  2. Thanks for pointing that out! "Orphan Pirates of the Spanish Main" is clearly a sequel to "Adult Children of Alien Beings." Katyana hadn't had her baby yet in the earlier story.