Friday, February 13, 2009

Wayne Wightman, "A Foreign Country"

from The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, December, 2008.

Third Party Presidential candidate wins and does strange things.

Here we have a light piece of SF about another kind of alien takeover. Kinda quiet and unassuming. Pleasant work but nothing to seek out.

1 comment:

  1. Rather than an alien takeover, I thought of it more as a SimCity/Myst situation where the new president (Farber) is the player who loses because he pushes his humans a little too hard. He loses, but he gets to play again.

    The protagonist sees his life go from nearly meaningless (farm section, or whatever it was, in a Bakersfield paper; following a loser 3rd party candidate around) to an apparently really meaningful life in the White House, to a pointless life as a part of someone else's game.

    The real-world analogue that comes to mind is how one's life can be locally and temporally meaningful and in the larger scheme utterly meaningless as a temporary arrangement of inanimate matter.

    I don't find this depressing or nihilistic; it's a reminder to get off my ass and be locally meaningful. (Of course, people who believe in an afterlife can be any kind of putz and still finish with the gold.)

    Just a few thoughts.

    I liked your car story. I thought the best moment was with the specificity of the linguini box (enhanced reality there) and then the two adults making out like teenagers. It's this kind of ordinary yet unexpected detail that throws color into a story. It's easier said than done, but do that more.