Fantasy writer Jan Prentiss—who has always been a little ashamed of how he pays the mortgage—finds himself confronted with a real-life fairy with a real-life demand.

As with "Dreaming is a Private Thing,” Asimov his here putting his neuroses down on paper. Now matter how good he was, after all, he spent a great deal of time in the 1940’s and 1950’s circulating among people who did not and could not find science fiction writing respectable. Nor is the idea of an author’s fictional world becoming too factual an unknown theme, even within Asimov—"Author! Author!” treats the same idea, although perhaps better.

The main weakness of the story here is that it’s too dated—the story ends with Jan, Jr., who believes in “Tom Corbett, in Hopalong Cassidy, in Dick Tracy, in Howdy Doody” killing the fairy. Well, I doubt that any of my children even know who any of those are, and only Dick Tracy is a living memory for me. Kids today believe in Harry Potter and Luke Skywalker.

That’s a minor point, however. The fact remains that Asimov here has an interesting idea of what real fairies might be like and how they might interact with human beings.

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