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Monday, May 13, 2013

"Pat Moore" by Tim Powers

First appeared in Flights.
Reprinted in Hartwell's Year's Best Fantasy and the author's collection, Strange Itineraries.

Not long after his wife, Trish, died from driving 90 mph on 101 without tapping the brakes, husband Pat Moore's friend, Rick, receives a chain letter he wants to forward to Pat for luck.  Pat refuses but strange events do happen, such as a traffic accident where the ghost of a different Pat Moore appears in his car, claiming to protect him from yet a third Pat Moore who's coming after him.

The guardian angel, Pat suspects, is someone who had been very near and dear.  Pat, a gambler, has to make some gambles on his life to save it.  There's a cool allusion to Maxwell's demon.  I love funky science.

This is a story of not leading the life that others and the past saddles but rather accepting your life, however long or brief it may be, and being ready to take a gamble now and then.  The story is more simple than it may sound, except for a raising scene that I didn't quite get.  It's pure Powers, wild, weird, and wonderful.

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