By John Hertz: Loscon XL has scheduled one Classics of S-F talk. I’ll lead it. Look in the Loscon XL program notes for the time and place.
We’ll discuss Zenna Henderson’s “Deluge” (1963).
Henderson (1917-1983) wrote seventeen stories about the People, who look like us, who fled through interstellar space when their home world blew up, and who came, some of them, to Earth, where they fit in – maybe.
These tales have been called “stories of us at our best, as we hope to be, and where (with work and with luck) we may be in some future.”
Here in the ninth we see the end of their life on the home world. The Gifts they have look a little more like science fiction, a little less like fantasy. The author does not choose to make that perfectly clear.
“Deluge” was first published in the October 1963 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. The great and wonderful Avram Davidson (1923-1993) was the editor then. He chose it for the curtain line of The Best from Fantasy and Science Fiction, 13th Series (1964), an anthology which is itself wonderful and worth looking for.
Ingathering (1995) from NESFA Press, the publishing pseudopod of the New England S-F Association, collected all seventeen People stories. You can get it from <www.nesfa.org/press> or wherever fine s-f books are sold.
Open Road Media is making all Henderson’s work available as E-books. Ingathering is scheduled for release as an E-book in 2014.