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The Motorman's Coat: 07/18/09
John Kessel's latest short story in F&SF features an antique dealer in Prague offered the chance to acquire a piece of local history that would put his shop on the map. I'm not going to call him struggling because most antique dealers are.
The item is a "motorman's coat" from a previous war. It is apparently in vintage condition and the dealer decides to stake his entire financial health on it. The story ends up being a typical caveat emptor story with a Twilight Zone twist.
The story is short, only about ten pages but I didn't connect with the main character until near the end. I actually had to go back and re-read the first half after I got to ending. Most of the first half is devoted to the setting (Prague) that obscures the plot. I enjoyed the story more on the second read than I did on the first.
John Kessel won a Nebula for last year's novelette "Pride and Prometheus" which predates the current Jane Austen monster mash-ups.