Sunday, September 8, 2019

Charlie Tells Another One, by Andy Duncan


(Historical Fantasy) In 1899, little Charlie knows he’ll inevitably have to work in the mill, but what he really wants to do is learn to play the banjo. (13,327 words; Time: 44m)

Recommended By: πŸ‘STomaino+1 (Q&A)

"Charlie Tells Another One," by (edited by Sheila Williams), appeared in issue 09-10|19, published on by .

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

Review: 2019.487 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: It’s an affecting story of the horrors of child labor around the turn of the 20th Century.

Con: The speculative elements are very slight and could easily be deleted without changing the story one bit.

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2 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. I think Andy Duncan can toss off this kind of story in his sleep. And while it's true that there is almost no speculative content, it was really entertaining: I laughed out loud at "...kept company with certain widow women, who were all done with cooking but still kept their stoves hot."

    1. I wonder if we see so many barely-genre stories because it's a lot easier to get an SF/F short story published than any other kind. So authors take stories that really belong in mainstream magazines and tweak them just enough to plausibly claim to be SF/F.