Mike Resnick. The Homecoming. (Asimovs, April/May 2011)

A consecutive short and emotionally intense story in the issue looking at the impact on humans of loss through an sfnal lens.

A son returns home, much changed, having taken a decision to undergo fundamental surgical change to live out his dreams on a distant planet. He’s estranged from his father due to having made this decision, and finds he is now estranged from his mother due to his dementia. The story plays about between the three, as the impact of his decision and the reponses to it are reviewed. Unlike Swanwick’s story, Resnick’s tilts just that bit over the line towards mawkishness – not for the most part, as the spiky reaction to his ‘son’ by the ageing father is well done, but just in the closing stages, where the mother regains, momentarily, a grasp on reality, and father and son are duly brought together. Aw shucks.

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