Saturday, January 16, 2010
Two childhoods are examined: the boy running for his life who the scarecrow decides to help, and the boyhood of the scarecrow’s actual owner. The scarecrow has watched his owner grow from a fun-loving innocent youth to a depraved, ruthless adult. The scarecrow must decide to which boy he owes his loyalty.
As with many Swanwick stories it can be read on more than one level, here both as a tightly wound suspenseful thrill ride and as a darkly humorous tale. When the scarecrow utters the line, “We are as God and Sony made us,” it lifts the story to a mordantly funny tone that won me over completely.
“The Scarecrow’s Boy” by Michael Swanwick first appeared in Fantasy & Science Fiction, October/November 2008
Link: Year’s Best SF 14 summation and table of contents