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Monday, January 7, 2013

"The Man with Great Despair behind His Eyes" by Ken Scholes

Talebones, Winter 2005

Available online (Baen)

Meriwether Lewis is sent to the Pacific, not only to find a way west and map it, but also to investigate a note that has a picture of Andrew Jackson twenty years older, and on a twenty-dollar bill is his picture.

Out west, Lewis discovers an old man named John Fitzgerald Kennedy who will translate for Lewis an exchange with The-Man-from-the-River, who decorates his dirt floor lean-to with thousands of dollars bills from the future.The-Man-from-the-River talks Lewis into swimming the dream waters.

They use the bills to smoke herbs that allows Lewis to see the future, but Lewis' deepest question remains.

A creative play with history, if not resonant, quite moving.

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