Friday, October 05, 2007

Magic with Thirteen-Year-Old Boys

This is a story by Robert Reed from the March 2007 issue of F&SF.

GVG's intro to this story was intruguing. Pretty much anything with a "not for kids" warning catches my interest. Perhaps that will change if I ever get a little one.

In any case, this story fits into a subgenre of fantasy stories similar to many I read in Realms of Fantasy. It is a contemporary setting with magic that is not really ever explained. There was one about long distance runners in F&SF not long ago. In today's story, a group of young boy's find a photo album containing very explicit photos of different women having sex with the same man. The catch is that all the photos span decades but the man never seems to age.

The characterization was clear, if a little trite. There's an adventurous, knowledgeable friend, a "by the book" sheltered friend, and the narrator who is right in the middle. However, I enjoyed the way the story unfolded, including a "meta-story" of the narrator telling the tale as an adult. Also, the frank way the story deals with masturbation, boys and the novelty of learning about sex was refreshing.

Personally, I like to learn a little more about how the magic works, though.
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