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The Secret Beach by Tim Pratt

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“The Secret Beach” is a 2011 science fiction short story by Tim Pratt. It is about a middle aged man who discovers a beautiful and magical beach in downtown Berkeley, CA.

Yet Again…
One advantage of running this web site for a decade is that I am able to recycle pictures that I used for other posts! Like this one of the beach – I used it seven years ago when I read Gene Wolf’s short story “The Death of Doctor Island”. Of course the downside is that I have read a lot of stories with very similar themes and plots. However that is not a downside today – this is yet another beach story, and quite like another of Tim Pratt’s stories, but I very much enjoyed it!

Non-Spoiler Summary

Garie Beach Fire Scribbles by alexkess, CC 2.0 License

The protagonist in this story is a guy whose life has been sucking more and more lately. As he heads to the drugstore to buy drinks, he sees two teenagers who have just come from swimming… in warm water… somewhere nearby. Curious as to where they were, he follows their tracks and finds a beautiful, other-worldly beach behind an overgrown and fenced-off lot. Here he discovers not only an enchanting paradise, but warm fuzzy feelings as well… at least until he meets another man in this private world of his!

My Two Cents

  • Story: 5 stars – I’ll admit it – I’m a sucker for “secret places” stories. I love these types of stories, and this one is no exception.
  • Writing: 5 stars – I am a fan of Tim Pratt, and thus like his writing style. I like not only the sense of wonder that he creates, but also how he describes things and allows his stories to unfold.
  • Fun Factor: 5 stars – Cool story + good writing = a totally fun story in this case! Highly recommended!

Where To Find The Secret Beach

Craving More SF Stories Like This One?

If you liked “The Secret Beach” then you will definitely enjoy “Impossible Dreams” – which is also by Tim Pratt. It won the 2007 Hugo Award and has themes very similar to this story. That one, however, is about a special video store instead of a beach.