Would O. Henry's "The Skylight Room" Be Considered Fantasy?

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In this short story, the protagonist names a star "Billy Jackson." As time goes by, she falls ill. She is cared for by Dr. William Jackson.

I am familiar with O. Henry's works. Is the twist just a coincidence, or can it be classified as magic realism or maybe fantasy? I guess I don't know why I'm curious--I just wonder because I've "mistyped" stories in the past.
 
I do remember reading the story a few years ago, but I don't remember where it seemed to fall on that admittedly-fuzzy line between the two genres you've mentioned. It's possible the story left it somewhat ambiguous on purpose. I think I'd have to track it down and read it again.
 
I do remember reading the story a few years ago, but I don't remember where it seemed to fall on that admittedly-fuzzy line between the two genres you've mentioned. It's possible the story left it somewhat ambiguous on purpose. I think I'd have to track it down and read it again.
 
Thank you! I read it again. Didn't know about that site.

Regarding the question--I don't know. I actually would have said the story was acceptably reasonable realism--whimsical coincidence, perhaps, or at the most supernatural touches without being magic per se, but nothing that would be unbelieveable if I'd heard about it happening. There've been some pretty weird coincidences in real life, some of them probably more unusual than the one in the story.

There was actually a different story of O. Henry's that, as I recall, reminded me even more of supernatural-type events--I think it had to do with a certain selfish rich man and possibly a ghost or some reason he was feeling haunted/judged, and he died at the end in a road accident saving somebody. I could be misremembering completely, but I did think that one was slightly closer to the border of fantasy, and I don't really remember why. I don't remember the title, either. Do you remember reading one like that?
 
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Oh, I see! Oddly enough, that interpretation never actually occurred to me.

Surrealist fantasy, then, might be my guess? To me the idea makes sense only on a surface level, when isolated from the rest of the worldbuilding. See, I might be slightly overthinking the issue, but it seems like the doctor actually being the star would mean that this star had to not only assume human form to rescue the girl (which I can take, no problem) but also have taken the trouble to acquire an ambulance and a job at the local hospital for some undefined period of time first. (Which honestly makes his point of view sound like an interesting story now.) That would mean making friends, interacting with humans on an everyday level, the lot. Potentially interacting with patients that aren't Miss Leeson, too. And jobs at hospitals are not easily acquired, so this star would have first had to, among other things, forge/manifest a fake medical degree of some kind, presumably at least a day or so before going to rescue the girl, maintaining human form the entire time and doing normal human things. Or else he's simply impersonating someone else who was actually meant to have the job. Or--and here's the surrealist part of it--if none of these things happened, if the star didn't have to deal with any of that, we just have to accept that none of these things mattered. The star was able to casually manifest in human form (and it would have to be after Miss Leeson last saw him as a star), inserting himself perfectly into normal life among other people for whatever space of time, with nobody at the hospital demanding proof of identity or wondering why they don't know him before letting him run off with an ambulance.

We could, of course, make it work in a more scifi way. As in, certain people also exist as stars, in some kind of dual-nature thing. So that Billy Jackson could hold down a job at the hospital and be a star, at one and the same time. Or maybe certain stars are symbiotically linked with certain people?

I'm definitely overthinking it now, I know. But, for me, the doctor/star interpretation just doesn't seem to work unless one greatly expands the lore of the story. I can just about accept that they're one and the same, but I'd have to suspend my disbelief from a higher point than I normally have to in a regular fantasy story, enough so that I think I'd have to classify it as a simple surrealism ending. The two characters are hard for me to assimilate.
 
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