Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Lavie Tidhar's "The Master": An old man has seen better days

Quote from Lavie Tidhar's The MasterI found this novelette-size story extremely readable primarily on the strength of beautiful language. Plot is rather weak, end is pessimistic, & there is nothing sf about it.

Also much of the subject matter is politically very controversial. If your sympathies lie on the Arab side of Israel/Arab conflict, you might want to either skip this story, or mentally replace all occurrences of Israel with humans & Arab with aliens to make acceptable text! I sometimes wonder if politically controversial stories will have a larger market if presented as parables?

Full text of this story is available as a free download.

Story summary.

Shaul Canaan is an old man - once a very successful writer of political propaganda style children's adventure stories where Israeli kids beat bigger Arab villains. He stopped writing after the death of his wife Na'ama, & is now living the life of a recluse.

Much of the story is his ruminations on better days. Near end, he mingles with crowds for a while, & comes back disenchanted - wishing old days back.

See also.

  1. Kevin Anderson & Rebecca Moesta's "Rough Draft": Another story about a fiction writer who has given up on writing. But there is a deliverance at end.

Fact sheet.

Length: short story
First published: Strange Horizons, 8 Oct 2007.
Rating: Time well spent A