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DMS

Saturdays in Books

Reviews of speculative fiction, YA, middle grade, and graphic novels, along with stray thoughts, links, and pictures.

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The SFWA European Hall of Fame: Sixteen Contemporary Masterpieces of Science Fiction from the Continent
Kathryn Morrow, James K. Morrow
Fixer - Gene Doucette There's something very retro in the prose here that I can't quite place my finger on. Fixer feels like it was written in the 70's even though it is clearly a product of today. Whatever the hell it is, it works really well for a story about a superhero who has trouble staying in the present.

There are a couple of places where Doucette shows an absolute mastery of hand waving. I admit, when he started introducing physicists into a story about time, I was dreading the seemingly inevitable as you know, Bob exposition that would kill pacing and inevitably break my suspension of disbelief. But, rather cleverly, any description of time comes from the non-technical POV characters. And then the description of a complex testing apparatus comes from someone with no grasp of optics or engineering. Perfect. Just perfect for conveying the idea that experts have figured this shit out so we don't have to.

And, wow, is it impressive how well rounded these characters feel for how few words are spent describing them. Oh, and the action is such a great balance with occasional slapstick and just enough guns. So much, oh so very much, about this book is grand.

I was delighted to be on this ride for the first 85%. Doucette kind of dropped the ball on a couple of POV choices near the end, but not badly enough to ruin the fun that most of this book was. I want to play the Heavy Rain style video game version of this so badly. Especially the McClaren section. OMG, Sony, get on this right the fuck now. Why isn't this already a thing?

That last 15%? I could really have done without the single section in the head of the cop who thinks exclusively about lady bits. Given that the only part of that scene that moves the story ahead is a conclusion reached by another POV character in the same scene, those pages of objectifying women were completely unnecessary. The other new POV, well, it sort of only served to point out how ridiculous it is that the one constant in the physics of this universe is the English language. I thought at first that we were getting a bit of additional insight, but all the new information from that POV is repeated by Corrigan a bit later (in case we missed it, I guess?), so I'm not really sure what Doucette was trying to accomplish. The stylistic choice here is not clever and does nothing to progress the story. Eh, whatever, at least it's just a few scenes.

So, yeah, overall, a lot of fun.