Bluesberry Jam


  • First publication
    • Space Opera, ed. Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, DAW 1996
  • Wolfe collection(s)


Aldo, a young folk musician, wanders in a permanent traffic jam. Aldo meets an older singer who inspires him, and he creates a new song of revolution.


  • The story Ain't You 'Most Done? is a companion piece, showing the same events from the perspective of Tim Benson.
  • The people in this alternate America are horrifyingly passive -- they sit and wait for the government to feed them. They have been trapped here for years in the ultimate welfare state. Wolfe takes a libertarian stand against this.
  • They are in sharp contrast to Benson, a man from contemporary America. He's a self-made man, an entrepreneur, an embodiment of the American Dream (and a dreamer literally). In his busy life he chafes at seconds of traffic delay. He is present because of a dying boon granted by Morpheus, to dream as long as may be. His dream to be a folk singer will be granted, and the ultimate goal of an artist is for his music to be heard by those who need it, and change their lives.
  • The songs Tim Benson plays, unknown to him, will inspire revolution.
    • My Gentle Harp Thomas Moore wrote these words to Londonderry Air, which is also famously used for the song "Danny Boy." It was inspired by the arrest, imprisonment, and death of two of his friends, who participated in the rebellion of the United Irishmen.
    • Shenando says "Away, I'm bound away..." which strikes home to this passive people who have lost the freedom of movement we take for granted. They are virtually imprisoned by what should be a means of transportation.
    • The Minstrel Boy is also by Thomas Moore and also inspired by the Irish war for independence.
    • Finally, he sings Aldo's song, "In all this jam there's none like Ma'am..." not plaintively as Aldo sang it, but full of pity and rage.
  • Aldo heard these songs and had his instrument tuned by Benson. He has received some of Benson's American fighting spirit.
  • This is similar to the inspiration from the past that Ben Free brings to his lodgers, and the vision of the frontiersman that appears to the man in Viewpoint as he commits his first act of violence against his confiscatory government.
  • Sources of quotes
  • Meanings of names
  • References to other works
  • Theories about what happens under the surface, what the narrator isn't telling us, who the narrator is and when and why s/he is telling the story, what the whole thing "means," etc.
    If there are multiple or competing theories, each one should be given a name with a three-bang (!!!) header; if the page begins to get out-of-hand from the size of these, as could happen in a few cases, they should be shuffled off to their own page(s).
  • Etc.

Unresolved Questions

  • Was it A or was it B, or was it X or Z?
  • Was it he or was it she, or was it you or me?
  • Who dunnit?
  • Did the Star Child really start WWIII at the end of 2001?

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