Lake and Nestvold’s best at SciFi.com

The latest offering from Ellen Datlow’s SciFiction, Jay Lake & Ruth Nestvold’s “The Canadian Who Came Almost All the Way Home From the Stars” is a tale that recalls the pastoralist science fiction of the late Clifford Simak. Six years after launching a self-funded starship on a mission for Barnard’s Star, a wealthy Canadian astrophysicist ‘telephones’ his wife to tell her he’s on his way home. Soon after, a large depression appears in the middle of a lake in a Canadian national park. It immediately becomes the center of intense investigations by the Canadian and US governments. However, when those investigations provide no real explanation for what has happened, interest wanes and eventually the astrophysicist’s beautiful wife and a government agent are left to maintain a long vigil to discover the nature of the anomaly and the fate of the astrophysicist. There’s a lot to like in this nicely understated novelette. The characterisation is spot in, the tone is maintained perfectly and all in all it’s probably the most accomplished story I’ve seen from either writer. Well worth checking out.

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