Alan Smale. The Mongolian Book of the Dead. (Asimovs October/November 2012)

A Chinese invasion of Mongolia leads to an epic journey for an itinerant American travel. Both across the Gobi in geographical terms, and far further in spiritual and personal terms. The story has a great sense of place, although it did drag a bit for me,as repeated daytime journeys across the barren desert and night-time communion with Mongolian spirituality had a draining affect on me (although not as much as on the protagonist).

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