“Things We Leave Behind,” which was e-mailed out by Daily Science Fiction a week ago and premiered tonight on their web site, is the most personal story I’ve ever written.
As I pointed out in the story notes, much of it is autobiographical. Like the protagonist/narrator of this tale, I was born in the Soviet Union and my family ended up immigrating to America, after much debate between my headstrong mother and bookish father. Just like the protagonist’s father, my dad collected books — which involved buying and selling them on the black market. And although the protective magic created by the books in this story stems from my imagination, every avid reader will agree that there is an undeniable and unique brand of magic in books, no matter what language they’re written in.