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The Far Shore: 02/26/10
With the October / November issue of Fantasy & Science Fiction I decided to integrate my short story reading into my regular review posting. I had been reserving Saturdays to read and review a story from the magazine but my Saturdays recently have been busy and I wanted to take advantage of the pre-written reviews I use throughout the rest of the week. Although I am still reading the stories on a regular basis, their reviews will show up with less regularity as they compete with the book reviews.
The first story in the October / November issue is "The Far Shore" by Elizabeth Hand. The location (a summer camp long past its prime and in the dead of winter) brings its own eerie magic to the story. Philip, a dancer who has been forced into retirement first from dancing and then from teaching dance because of an injury that has left him stiff and requiring a cane, has been given the chance to watch the summer camp while the owners winter in Florida. It's easy to immediately draw connections with The Shining but here the mood is more melancholy than angry.
The resolution is both beautiful and bittersweet. Philip finds a new purpose to his life and a new love. To his friends though, his trip to the woods seems more like tragic end than a new beginning.
"The Far Shore" reminds me in bits and pieces of: