Review of “Historical Fiction” by Joshua Fagan


The narrator is a writer, looking for ideas to write about the 2030s. His writer’s desk (he has a writer’s desk? Lucky guy!) is full of sticky notes, all inscribed with reminders to write about this time period. But what? It seems like all the best ideas have been used and beaten to death. The successes of his writer friends make him wonder what he’s doing wrong. The cursor on the blank screen seems to taunt him.

An idea suddenly occurs to him. After hours of research, he knows he can use it, and runs into the living room to tell his wife and kids while they’re eating breakfast.


The reader can see the ending from a mile away, but there are cute moments, such as the dismissiveness of the narrator’s kids when he breaks his big news. The exchanges between the narrator and his wife are affectionate and cute as well. She, at least, believes in him. With one exception, why the particular idea the narrator chooses is superior to the ones he discards is not clear.

This is a cute little tale. It is lightweight and written for the reader who is also a writer.


According to his blurb, author Joshua Fagan wanted to be a scientist, but math got in the way. Instead, he turned to writing science fiction and fantasy. He loves stories “about confused, relatable people who have to deal with everyday problems while also fighting aliens and robots.”

The story can be read here.

Title: Historical Fiction
Author: Joshua Fagan
First published: Daily Science Fiction, February 25, 2020

Published by 9siduri

I have written book and movie reviews for the late and lamented sites Epinions and Examiner. I have book of reviews of speculative fiction from before 1900, and short works in publications such Mobius, Protea Poetry Journal, and, most recently, Wisconsin Review and Drunken Pen Writing. I'm busily working away on a book of reviews pulp science fiction stories from the 1930s-1960s. It's a lot of fun. I am the author of the short story "Always Coming Home," a chapbook of poetry titled "Sotto Voce," and a collection of reviews of pre-1900 speculative fiction, "By Firelight."

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