Short Reviews – Shoes, by Raylyn Moore

Shoes appeared in the February 1974 issue of the Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction.

I’m not even sure why I’m reviewing this one as I have so little to say about it. A little girl keeps getting off the school bus at the wrong stop because she’s had a vision of the bus having an accident. Eventually, the bus has its accident, all of the kids who hadn’t gotten off yet died, and the little girl lives because she got off at the wrong stop. Her shoes give her prescient foresight, or something. I feel like I’ve heard this story or some variation on it multiple times across the literary gamut between Goosebumps, Eerie Indiana and Are You Afraid of the Dark? At the end, there’s a throwaway bit about nuclear proliferation and how then she’ll have nowhere to run.

This, along with Good Old Days of Liquid Fuel, is the sort of story that makes me feel incredibly foolish for the excitement I initially felt for finding a handful of F&SF from the 70s. It hasn’t been all bad, but the average would only look good in baseball. What I’d really like to get my hands on more of from this era are Lin Carter’s Flashing Swords! collections.

Asimov explaining how eclipses could be predicted even by the Ancients was the most worthwhile piece of the whole issue, but again, I don’t feel qualified to comment on it at any length. I’ll be skipping Etchison’s The Graveyard Blues, which I found dreary to the point of being so somniferous I could not even follow it, much less finish it. The last F&SF story I’ll be talking about will be Joseph Green’s A Star is Born.

I’ll be moving on to a 1947 Planet Stories with a cover story by Gardner F Fox next. I know I already did one from Astounding, but I’m going to go back and start with the earliest issue I have of that when I get back to it, since there are a lot of multi-parters in the run I’ve got. Plus, vintage Scientological nonsense from L Rob Hubbard!

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