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Sunday, May 12, 2013

"Itinerary" by Tim Powers

First appeared in 999.
Appeared also in his collection, Strange Itineraries.

Powers is one of the best writers of speculative fiction.  If you like your fiction to play games with your head, seek no further.  However, this one's difficult to describe without giving it away.  Do not read past this paragraph.  Suffice it to say that just before his house blows up, he receives a call from what sounds like his old friend in high school, Doug Olney, with throat cancer.

This is a story of mirages--things that are not what they seem--and the people who live between states.  Gunther's sister falls in love with an Iranian who cannot live in Iran and not in France, so he lives in the airport.  This mirrors Gunther's own state of being.  He's a ghost and his sister tries to talk him into going back into his old body.  His desire to dodge this sets up a fun series of causality loops.

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