Review – The Stranger
The Stranger is, of course any time traveler. No one is allowed to get too close. But it is also a reference back to an earlier story (I wrote it earlier, but it takes place later in the timeline), He Stays a Stranger.
The challenge was to write seven days of flash fiction. Hence I decided to provide sketches of seven women bedded by Richard Daniels.
Rick Daniels spends the beginning of the 3100s bedding women in time, to try to ease his guilt at witnessing some of the worst moments of the prime timeline.
Irene of Castile had already been covered in Marvels. Empress Hoshi had been hinted at in Reversal. Lucretia Crossman and Betty Tyler had been mentioned a few times, including in A Long, Long Time Ago. Some of these women were also mentioned in Souvenirs.
I was in the middle of writing the Barnstorming series, so Dana MacKenzie was on my mind. I also needed a seventh woman (for right before Hoshi), so I created Octavia Caecilia of Pompeii. She went along well with a passing reference to Rick having witnessed the eruption of Vesuvius, plus it was an homage to Dr. Who and, more specifically, actor Peter Capaldi.
Music runs throughout the piece. The main theme is, of course, Billy Joel’s The Stranger.
The story is rated T.
I like Octavia, and I might write more about her at some point. The same is true of Betty; I finally really pictured her. The story, I feel, does its job well, which is to prepare the reader for what is really going on in A Long, Long Time Ago and later. The mood changes and this story turns it rather downbeat, which is what I was going for.
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