Comments for Seafarer's Blood
Albert E. Cowdrey and Robert Reed seem to be in a race to see who can contribute the most stories to The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. Cowdrey's current story is a departure from his usual New Orleans based ones. The seafarer in the title is a Viking.
The protagonist in Seafarer's Blood is a man named Eric. He's not a Viking but he sees them when he sleeps and sometimes when he's awake. He's convinced that he's a shaman and it's the only positive thing in his messed up life. He's going through a messy divorce and most of his life is spent on his old futon vision questing and reminiscing about the better times in his life.
Then something happens. Something always happens. If it didn't, it would just be a short mood piece. As far as I can tell, Cowdrey doesn't go for mood pieces. Anyway, Eric and his wife manage to patch things up and in the process Eric learns the true identity of his father.
Unfortunately there's a downside to all this bliss, a sinister, otherworldly one. The ending is vague and rather like a good Twilight Zone. I read it through a couple of times and it could go either way depending on what mood you're in.
Stories by Albert E. Cowdrey reviewed here