Short Trips: The History of Christmas

Callahuanca is a real place. It’s pronounced Ky-a-wonka (where “Ky” rhymes with “my” ) and it’s half way up a mountain in Peru. My wife’s mother was born there and I’ve visited three times. The cemetery is real too, though I never saw a Police Box there, and the whole site never crumbled in an earthquake and collapsed off the edge of a cliff.  I’ll post some photos perhaps.

The story itself was crafted as one of those super-clever timey-wimey twisty-endings pieces, with a big revelation at the end suddenly making sense of everything. The 5,000 word version of this story was my magnificent octopus, breathtaking in its scope and enthralling in its deft play with time travel and paradox, leaving readers awestruck. Then I was asked to cut it down to 2,500 words and the result was a bit of a rushed mess. At least, that’s my version of what happened and I’m sticking with it…

OK, so it was never that great, but I liked the twist actually, one of my better ones. Also, unlike my Decalog 4 story, I’ve not yet found a giant plot hole to ruin it.

This review of course, doesn’t even mention Callahuanca! Dammit! How will I fulfill my desperate need to be loved now?

Thankfully we can turn to the ever-reliable Styre.

Callahuanca — Richard Salter — Very simple, but very elegant. The central conceit is something we should really see more of, and it’s nice to see it without someone screaming in the background about paradoxes or Blinovitch. Fine work.

And breathe…

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