K.J. Parker. A Small Price to Pay for Birdsong. (The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2012)

Originally in : Subterranean Press Magazine, Winter 2011 (and still online

A lengthy story that had me engrossed to the point of almost missing my stop on the train! The central character is a complex one, and the story is long enough to get into his head – an academic and composer, someone who just does not have the little something extra to be brilliant. Unlike his pupil, who has brilliance in spades, but that brilliance comes too easily. Following the academic’s thought processes as a wonderful, but risky opportunity is presented to him, keeps you hooked right up to the end.

Having read the story a couple of days ago, mind you, I’m struggling to remember any truly fantastical element to it!

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