I found this short story in Some of the Best From Tor.com, 2013 Edition: A Tor.Com Original. As of this posting, it’s still free.
A Rumor is the first story in the book, so naturally I read it first. I expected a cheap Sci-Fi story, what I got was a literary treat.
It’s of a boy during depression-era America, like the blurb states. Even though there is a tinge of fantasy in the story, the narrative is of the boy and his stormy relationship with another uprooted family also travelling to the west. It transcends a simple fantasy. It’s a story of deeper meaning, of a boy coming to his own in a world that teeters on panic and hopelessness. But as long as the rumors of angels exist to the west, there may just be some hope left.
This is the first Dale Bailey writing I have read, and I enjoyed it. He is a master of words and bleeds his characters onto the page. I will see what else he has to offer. Hopefully he has some post-apocalyptic fiction. I would love to see him write PA in his grand style ;).