‘Magic For Beginners’ by Kelly Link

I love Link’s longer short stories, which allow her unique storyworlds to develop. These worlds veer from our own at a tangent, guided by a singular dream-logic, and are perplexing and fascinating as our own dreams. In the title story, Jeremy, along with his high school cohort, is fannishly obsessed with a TV show called The Library, which appears at irregular intervals on formerly defunct TV channels. Jeremy’s parents are separating and he’s having a terrible time when Fox, a character in The Library who may or may not have been killed off, crosses from the show into his everyday existence. ‘Magic For Beginners’ is as metafictional as television can be and entirely as addictive. 

First published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction in 2005 and available to read here. Subsequently collected in Link’s collection Magic for Beginners, Small Beer Press, 2005

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