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From: "Tony Ellis" <tony.ellis@futurenet.co.uk>
Subject: (urth) re: "And When They Appear"
Date: Fri, 22 Sep 2000 13:40:48 +0100

Adam Stephanides wrote:

> Michael Andre-Driussi wrote:
> >
> > I, too, thought of Bradbury with this story . . .
> And the link you provide cites "There Will Come Soft Rains."  I actually
> hadn't been thinking of that one;

'And when they appear' does seem to have something of a Bradbury vibe.
‘There Will Come Soft Rains’ is the obvious choice, but even when I was
reading the story for the first time I thought of another:
'Jack-in-the-box', collected in 'The Small Assassin'.

That too is a story of a boy living in a house that is at once his whole
world and his prison. Like House, the boy’s mother wants to keep her
little boy from going out into the real world. House uses holograms, she
uses lies. Both stories share the sense that the protagonist has to
escape this situation in order to be fully alive, that Jack can’t stay
in his box forever.

Both seem to be, among other things, rite-of-passage stories. They’re
about the bittersweet process of growing up and leaving behind the world
of childhood with all its pretty lies. Wolfe’s story, as I read that
ambiguous ending, seems to be saying that we should take something with
us from childhood. Sherby isn’t nice to Santa, he doesn’t want to play
let’s-pretend any longer, but he’s left at the end wishing that he had.

Tony Ellis
On-line Editor, PC Format magazine
01225 442244 x2349

*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/

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