Driftwood is a novella, sort of, but also a set of short stories set in the world of Driftwood, where realities go to die. It’s a world where stepping from one street to the next can induce a change in the weather, the laws of physics, and the very air people need to breathe. And everyone there knows their worlds are vanishing… and either accept it or not, as they can. Last is the main character, sort of — mostly glimpsed through others — and is a lone survivor from a long-gone world. He’s a guide, helping others half for a living and half for curiosity, and sometimes out of kindness as well.
He also isn’t dying, despite the loss of his world, despite having outlived the normal lifespan of his people a dozen times over.
It’s a fascinating setup, and Last is a pretty cool idea; the stories told about him by other characters in this book highlight a lonely man, who is making the best job he can of unasked for immortality. The sadness of it takes a while to shine through, but there’s one particular story which illustrates it beautifully, without lingering too long.
Overall, I found it a really enjoyable novella/collection — and the illustrations help! It’s possible to imagine an infinity of worlds and stories within Driftwood, but the last bit of this book closes it off beautifully. I still have questions, but the more important answer is the one Last finds, smiling at the end of the world.