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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Review: "Chip Crockett's Christmas Carol" by Elizabeth Hand

Chip Crockett's Christmas CarolElizabeth Hand
Open Road Integrated Media
Open Road Media Sci-Fi & Fantasy
This novella first appeared in Sci Fiction and was up for the World Fantasy and Locus awards.

Brendan is driven insane by his job as a lawyer, his four-year-old autistic son, Peter and a down-on-his-luck high-school buddy, Tony Kemper, who used to be big in the 70s punk scene but now is living in Brendan's house.  Peter doesn't like his father touching him, which has to smart when he sees the school and Tony have more success with Brendan's son.

Tony and Brendan reminisce about the Chip Crockett television show, a favorite from the 60s that disappeared because they recorded over the old program. Only clips remain. Tony combs the internet for any trace of the old program and is in for a pleasant surprise. Like Scrooge from Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol", Brendan has something to learn. Tony, Peter, Chip Crockett, and the homeless represent Timothy Cratchit or "Tiny Tim"--the broken vessels in need of aid that Brendan's so reluctant to dole out..

A largely literary work with some speculation (i.e. a slipstream or interstitial work).  Sales go to Austism Speaks in the name of special education teacher Anne Marie Murphy, who was killed in the Sandy Hook shooting.

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