Where I continue my review of this anthology of short stories.
My final impression of “The Last Ride of the Glory Girls” was a pleasant one. The story kept me interested, read well & had a satisfying conclusion.
My first impression of “Clockwork Fagan” was that it somehow slipped through the editing cracks. Yep. There were several typos, which isn’t a big deal, I guess, but I’d be gutted if I was Cory Doctorow. Anyway, the story covers the case of a home for crippled children (generally all injured from working with the big machines used in the various industries of the story’s world). The home’s supervisor is a rough man who takes advantage of his position. He takes all the food and donations meant for the children for himself, leaving the kids very little.
That is, until the day Monty Goldfarb arrives. Pretty soon the tale turns gory. The supervisor is dead from a knife wound and the children set about creating an automaton, using parts from the recently deceased, to fool the rest of the world into believing that the children are not alone.
I found the tale enjoyable enough. Reading it, I felt a little like an emotionless observer, but I suppose it is tricky to draw a reader in with a small word count. Or, it may have been because there was a need for that kind of observing given the nature of the tale – which required using the deceased’s own face.
I don’t want to give too much away, but the story was constructed well and, again, the ending felt right.
“Seven Days Beset by Demons” by Shawn Cheng is a cute graphic story about a music box creator and seller. As he meets the potential purchasers of his wares, he experiences the seven deadly sins. It’s a quick tale that gives a nice break in the book. Quite cool.
“Hand in Glove” by Ysabeau S. Wilce is a rather neat mystery tale. The police department’s golden boy succeeds in capturing his suspect after a series of murder/thefts. But not everyone is happy. Constable Aurelia Etreyo is confident that the wrong man is due to hang because she believes in the evidence – including fingerprinting (a new, untrusted technique). We go through a series of clues and meet some very interesting characters, which I won’t go into because it’d give the game away. So far, this one would probably be my favourite tale.
However, I am now reading “The Ghost of Cwmlech Manor”, by Delia Sherman, and it is rather good, so far. (Never mind that I can’t pronounce one of the most used words).