Thursday, September 12, 2019

Homecoming, by Gardner Dozois

★★★☆☆ Honorable Mention

(High Fantasy) An old man—maybe a wizard—comes to a village looking for something. But who is he and what does he want? (2,434 words; Time: 08m)

Recommended By: πŸ‘STomaino+1 (Q&A)

"Homecoming," by (edited by C.C. Finlay), appeared in issue 09-10|19, published on by .

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

Review: 2019.524 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: This is a story about death and dying. The old man has tired of life and he’s come here to die. He’s still tough enough to beat up local ruffians, so this is more a matter of his decision and not something forced on him.

I’m not sure how much to read into this, but Dozois clearly knew he was dying when he wrote this. He made his reputation as an editor, not a writer, so that might be reflected in the old man everyone thought must be a wizard even though he insisted he had no magic. And when he goes to his place in the forest, he leaves behind a legacy that lives on.

Con: There are no stakes here, and we don’t get to know any of the characters well enough to care about them. If his death has any impact, it’s not clear what that might be.

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Gardner Dozois Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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