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Saturdays in Books

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

Currently reading

The SFWA European Hall of Fame: Sixteen Contemporary Masterpieces of Science Fiction from the Continent
Kathryn Morrow, James K. Morrow
Eating Mammals: Three Novellas - John Barlow Three novellas. This author is great at conveying details in a compelling manner, but doesn't really do a good job of telling a story.

The first is about a man who eats odd things for money told from the POV of his apprentice. It's easily the best of the three because it is more about description than narrative.

The second felt like it didn't live up to its potential. It has two distinct negatives. One, occasionally there will be a couple of sentences in italics from the cat's POV. It's just often enough to be annoying but not often enough to add any value or color to the story. I think his intent was to illustrate the difference between the cat's perceived motives and actual motives, but since the story was already in 3rd person, there's no reason that information couldn't have been conveyed without this gimmick. Second, if you don't want to read an elaborate depiction of a man beating a horse to death with a chair leg, this is not the story for you.

The third one is by far the weakest, which is too bad because it starts out so well. His descriptions of pork pies made my mouth water. The story is based on an historic account, and that's probably most of the problem. He sets up and then abandons what could have been an interesting love story in favor of capturing what had actually happened.