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How appropriate for the last story in the 2009 issue of Fantasy and Science Fiction to have a passing reference to Don Quixote when I've just written my final review of the book. The blurb before the story describes it thus: "it is fantastical but it is not strictly speaking, fantasy." Whether it is fantasy or just fantastical depends on how far one's imagination takes goes with the open-ended ending.
"Changling" follows the growing friendship between Gavin Knight (the Don Quixote of this story), Amanita (who is more active a character than Dulcinea) and a parrot named Sancho. Amanita introduces herself as a changeling and much of the story hinges on whether she is a changeling or just a foundling.
Like the best of FS&F's stories, this one is character driven. Gavin's experience moving into his new job and his new home is tempered by his growing friendship with Amanita. When he first sees her, he describes her as ugly but he can't quite decide why she's ugly. As the friendship grows, mostly through her persistence and her off-beat charm, she becomes more beautiful to him.
The story ends at the big reveal with Gavin and Amanita (or Mary) about to meet her birth mother. As the ending is left with the door about to open, one must decide: will they see a faerie mother or someone more mundane? Me, I saw a faerie.
Comment #1: Monday, February, 23, 2009 at 04:13:22
Please pop over to my blog to see an award I have given you.
Comment #2: Friday, February 27, 2009 at 13:30:22
Thank you! How kind of you.