4 of 5 stars.
Hollywood, La-La Land, is a place of stories: the true stories, the stories one tells oneself, the stories one tells others, and the stories that make it onto the screen. Sometimes, the real story is a blend of all of the above, and the writer is merely another supporting character. This tale follows one such writer learning about the knotted web of stories he’s fallen into.
Barry writes for a B-rated sci-fi television series in the 1960’s called Acres of Perhaps. He’s hard on himself and considers himself adequate, but winces at the accolades heaped upon his young, wunderkind writing partner, David. David is the out-there idea guy that can’t write fast enough. When he’s not writing, he’s drinking and likely whoring. Whereas, Barry’s struck being the safe, straight foil to David’s genius. . . except Barry’s not straight, and most of America isn’t ready for the living arrangement Barry has with Tony . . .
One day when David not on set, a beautiful young woman, Melody, and her stern yokel family show up looking for Leroy, aka David. She’s his wife and he’s wanted back in the mountains of North Carolina. Barry finds David/Leroy that night and hears David’s side of a supernatural event that lead him to running away from his beautiful wife and his life, and got him to telling stories . . .
This is a touching story about lives lived and opportunities missed, stories told and truths revealed. I recommend the tale, especially for the development of the secondary characters of Tony and Melody.
This tale appears in The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy: 2016 edited by Rich Horton, which I received directly from Prime Books.
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