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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

"Windwagon Smith and the Martians" by Lawrence Watt-Evans

First appeared in Asimov's.  It won the Asimov's readers' award.  Reprinted by Gardner Dozois, Sheila Williams, and Orson Scott Card.

From Ray Bradbury, Lawrence Watt-Evans received permission and approval of this story.  It combines Bradbury's Martian Chronicles with a little Burroughsian overtones, told from a tall-tale voice of one nineteenth-century Thomas Smith.  Because of his fine windwagon on Earth, Thomas Smith is whisked off to Mars to race against the fastest racer on Mars.

Watt-Evans does a good job increasing tension and stakes of the race.  Nice narrative voice, as well.  This appears to be Watt-Evans' second-most popular tale.

Another Watt-Evans story mash-up is "Real Time", which mixes time travel and paradoxes with the unreliable first-person.

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