Monday, April 25, 2011

The Fort Moxie Branch, by Jack McDevitt

Most authors feel underappreciated.  They occasionally express it in metafiction, and here we have an example.  The Hugo and Nebula nominated The Fort Moxie Branch is the story of one such author, who finds a branch of a shadow library--containing only unpublished great works.  But this library takes those works and sequesters them, the return being conditional.  Our protagonist has been offered a place, his novel being simply too good for philistines of this era to appreciate.  Will he take it?

Of course these stories are not what they were--the long tail of the Internet changes everything.  Obscure works can indeed live on.  My favorite of these is Michael Coney's Flower of Goronwy--still unpublished after all these years, and a really fine work if it could just find an audience.  The Fort Moxie Branch is a fun little story, but go read Flower of Goronwy while you still can.

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