Andy Duncan was born on September 21, 1961.
In 1998, he was a finalist for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. Duncan has won the World Fantasy Award twice, for his collection Beluthahatchie and Other Stories in 2001 and for his novella “Wakulla Springs,” co-written with Ellen Klages, in 2014. “Wakulla Springs” was also nominated for the Nebula and Hugo Awards. Duncan did win a Nebula Award in 2013 for his Novelette “Close Encounter” and he has a total of 8 nominations for the Nebula Award and three for the Hugo Award. He also won the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for his Novella “The Chief Designer,” which was also up for the Hugo and Nebula. Duncan has won the Southeastern SF Achievement Award twice, for “The Chief Designer” and “The Big Rock Candy Mountain.” He is currently on the Board of SFWA.
“Santa Cruz: A True Story” was published in Jaym Gates’s anthology Genius Loci: Tales of the Spirit of Place in 2016. The original publication received poor distribution and there are currently plans in the works to re-release the volume through another publisher with better distribution. The story has not yet been reprinted.
Duncan relates “Santa Cruz: A True Story” as if it had happened to him. The fictionalized version of Duncan is on a trip through California and stops in Santa Cruz, just south of San Jose, to visit with an old friend, Rob, who wound up settling in the city because there was something magical about the place that spoke to him, even if he couldn’t quite explain what it was.
For the most part, the story is completely mundane. Andy and Rob finish a night of reminiscing and while walking across an empty parking lot come across a drunk woman who has been abandoned in the lot. Andy offers her a lift home with Rob following her. Even when the story gets weird, it doesn’t get particularly weird. Andy makes a turn that causes him to lose Rob. The woman gives him drunk directions to a random cul-de-sac and eventually to her home. He manages to extricate himself from her neighborhood in about a tenth of the time it took to get there, and he reconnects with Rob.