Anyone remember a fairly recent story in Analog (last 2 years) or Asimov's (last 10 years) about a son caring for his mentally declining father who had been a science fiction author? I especially recall a scene where the father is describing an interesting story idea that he has forgotten he already used in a previous published work.

  • 1
    When you say "fairly recent" what are we talking here? Last year, a decade ago? etc. Could you also edit this to expand on it for what occurs? This guide has some helpful pointers. Lastly, is there anything specifically science fictional or fantastical about it? Your description currently doesn't give anything along those lines unless I'm missing something.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Feb 18 '20 at 11:17

It sounds like "The Fading Pages of a Short Story" by Bud Sparhawk, Analog January/February 2019. The cover can be seen in the last link. I own a copy of the issue, and the story matches your description.

The father is describing an interesting story idea that he has forgotten he already used in a previous published work:

"I just finished the most interesting science fiction story," David said as his son returned to the living room with his coffee. "Got it off my bookshelf." David had been an avid SF reader since—he often reminded Bill—he was a teen. He held up a small magazine whose pages were brown with age.

Bill glanced at the cover. It showed someone in a tight spacesuit staring across a red plain to where a rocket had crashed. "Which story was that?"

"This one," David said pointing to the table of contents. "Written by somebody I never heard of—Walter Stubbins. Damn good story."

Bill nearly dropped his cup. "Dad, that's one of yours."

That's actually the beginning of the story.

  • Any reason you posted this twice? Technical bug?
    – Jenayah
    Jul 24 '20 at 19:47
  • Technical bug yes. So many people using Zoom and so on during the lockdown, that our connection gets very slow, unpredictably. I'd just done an edit, and lost connection while submitting it. Jul 24 '20 at 19:54
  • Phil, thank you! This is the story that I was looking for. Ironically, I had forgotten that I had read it in an electronic copy of the magazine (purchased in a lapse of my hardcopy Analog subscription).
    – Mark
    Jul 25 '20 at 21:56
  • @Mark If you're still around on this site, please consider "accepting" the answer by clicking the checkmark on the left to mark it as correct.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Jan 23 at 23:42

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