A few weeks ago, I was a bit let down by the latest Bordertown book, which I reviewed as stuck too much in the past, even as it tried to bring that se...moreA few weeks ago, I was a bit let down by the latest Bordertown book, which I reviewed as stuck too much in the past, even as it tried to bring that setting into the present day.
Paradoxically, that's what I enjoyed most about Fort Freak - after the last several books featured an almost entirely new generation of Aces and Jokers involved in major events around the globe, this one goes back to where it started - New York, specifically Jokertown. There are plenty of new characters, but featured roles for some old familiar faces (and places) too. This book felt like coming home, like a family reunion of sorts. Great work by the writers, also a mix of new and familiar faces, and GRRM melding it all together.
If I had to come up with a complaint it'd be that the alternate history aspect of the Wild Cards stories didn't show up much here, though I enjoyed the subtle references here and there (at one point, you might even say I was Thrilled).
Mostly, I enjoyed this book more than any of the Wild Cards novels in a long time, and can only hope the already-promised next volume will offer more reunions with old friends. (less)
I read it to see what all the fuss was about, and I'm still not sure. Nothing about Steig's characters or writing style struck me as especially no...moreMeh.
I read it to see what all the fuss was about, and I'm still not sure. Nothing about Steig's characters or writing style struck me as especially noteworthy, and the story took a long time to really get going (and then again to wind down at the other end). Lots of oddly and unnecessarily specific tech product references that are already badly dated, ditto Swedish culture. The abilities of the "hacker" character Salanger are (as typical for mass media fiction) inflated to near-magical levels. Lots of sex (but very little of it explicitly written) and violence (mostly explicit). Not a bad book, but nothing to make it stand out from the other mystery/thrillers on the shelf, either.
I had to buy this for the cover art alone (that, and the promise of a Mike Resnick weird west story). It's a short/fast read that hits enough of the r...moreI had to buy this for the cover art alone (that, and the promise of a Mike Resnick weird west story). It's a short/fast read that hits enough of the right notes to qualify for the genre niche (both zombie and vampire shootists, check, mecha-bordello, check, cyborg Edison, check) though there's nary a zeppelin in sight nor a wisp of steam, at least that I noticed. I enjoyed the Johnny Ringo/Doc Holliday thread, and the exchanges between Doc & Kate, but Doc has always been my favorite Tombstone character anyway.
I liked Buntline well enough, but it wasn't the something special I'd hoped for from Resnick. Maybe part of the problem is how closely the plot stuck (zombie, vampire, and robo-tarts notwithstanding) to the established OK Corral history, so that the only novelty was the weird west overlay on top. Maybe at some point he'll try the same flavor tale with an original set of characters, which will give him the freedom to do more than he did here. (less)