A new entry in my weekly Strange Horizons retrospective. The format of this entry is the same as before: I'll link to a story, then provide a brief non-spoilery description, then add some further discussion after a spoiler warning. This time, I'll also provide a link to the new list of Flashback stories page.
This week's Strange Horizons Flashback story:
- “The Welsh Squadron,” by Margaret Ronald
- During the Blitz, a beleaguered British air squadron acquires some mysterious and unexpected new members. I'm not normally much into war stories, but when I do like them, this is the sort I like. I particularly love the last third or so of this. Published in 2006, in two parts. (7,200 words)
Even though I have only a small knowledge of Arthuriana, I enjoyed the ways that Arthur stuff played out in this story. And I liked the compelling portrayals of Nate and his squadron, of Idris and his followers, of the exhaustion and difficulties of war. But what I loved most about the story was Nate's request to join them, and Idris's choice at the end to stay. I'm a sucker for noble bravery and heroic self-sacrifice in fiction.
And this is yet another story that makes me cry every time I read it. I promise that's not the only criterion for being a Flashback story.
This one (like others of these Flashback stories) was kind of fun to edit, too; I went way overboard on fact-checking, delving into day-by-day chronologies of the Blitz and a variety of other sources, and Margaret was kind enough to make a bunch of excellent changes to accommodate my queries.