We return to Issue #30 of Tales of the Unanticipated for another story recommendation of the week, Jason Sanford's "A Twenty-First Century Fairy Love Story."
Jason Sanford (not to be confused with Jason Stoddard, a previous SROTW recipient) is well known to Interzone readers, as he has published five stories there in the past three years with two more forthcoming, and I think he will soon be familiar to all genre readers. I've had an eye out for his work since reading his Nebula-nominated "Sublimation Angels," a terrifically inventive far-future tale. "A Twenty-First Century Fairy Love Story" is a contemporary fantasy, just as good as "Sublimation Angels," but even more impressive for its emotional, lyrical style.
"A Twenty-First Century Fairy Love Story" is a new take on the changeling story. A Scottish fairy (relocated to Chicago) whose beloved has died places her heart in the body of a dying infant girl human. He monitors her growth and tries to help the girl's felon mother but not much works out quite the way he intends. It is a bit hard to credit that some things would come together quite so neatly as they do in the story, but it is all told with such charm that it works. I highly recommend "A Twenty-First Century Fairy Love Story." It will amply reward your effort to track down this issue of Tales of the Unanticipated.