Short Story: “Christmas at Hostage Canyon” by James Stoddard

Title: “Christmas at Hostage Canyon”
Author: James Stoddard
Format: Short Story
Pages: about 16, but in a small page format
Published: in the January/February 2011 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction
Reason for Beginning: A Christmas fantasy story – should be good, right?
Reason for Finishing: It’s a goofy kind of awesome, that takes one outlandish premise and gives it some respect.
Spoiler-free Synopsis: On Christmas Eve a young boy is terrorized by a demonic elf, but finds strength through an unlikely savior.
Story Re-readability: Yeah, sure, though it doesn’t require rereading. The story’s pure entertainment, nothing significant beneath the surface going on. I could see myself reading it again at Christmastime, maybe even to my little nephews!
Author Re-readability: Yeah, I’d try another story of his. He’s funny, has a lot of sympathy for his characters, and seems to revel in the sheer possibilities of fantasy storytelling, even the somewhat ridiculous ideas.
Recommendation: Yes. It doesn’t rise to amazing heights of greatness, it only tugs at your heartstrings a little, and it’s not a “classic” or any other hyperbole. But if you get a chance to read it, it’s lots of fun! Read more