To my surprise the main character, a bookstore owner (my dream job), and I share Aaron as our first name. So, naturally, I love the story.
When I pick up a new anthology or short fiction magazine, I always gravitate towards the shortest short first. I like to see just how short the editors are willing to go.
What I like about this short story is that it takes our present battle with fascism and relocates it to a different world in a different galaxy in the far future. In this future, Aaron owns a frontier-like bookstore where a bookstore probably has no business of being. The people question its existence and sales are low. However, Aaron sees it as his mission to bring literature and history to those who need the wisdom of the past to see and correct the problems their settlement struggles with.
The ending is a sad one. I won’t ruin it for you, but the fearful, ignorant, and faistis with a painful victory. However, there is a gleam of hope that Aaron’s dream will be carried on by others.
Find it! Read it!
Hemry, John G. “The Bookseller of Basset.” Analog March 2008, Vol. CXXVIII, No. 3. P. 78 - 81