My new story of the week is "The Radio Magician" by James Van Pelt, from the February 2009 issue of Realms of Fantasy. Set in that border time between the Great Depression and the start of World War II, the story follows the life of Charlie, a young boy who has been crippled by polio. Unable to run and play like all kids should, Charlie's favorite moment of each day is listening to Professor Gilded's Glorious Magical Extravaganza on the local radio station.
Charlie wonders how the Professor can do such magical wonders, and refuses to listen to his mother's logic, who says that since they can't see what the magician does over the radio, how do they know it isn't all a trick? And that is the point of this wonderful story--how do you know which reality is truly reality, and which are simply one of the various realities you continually create in life? Both deeply touching and deeply illuminating, this story is a magical treat to behold.