Eulogy"The Last Mechanical Monster" and related characters, images and concepts are copyright Brian Fies and used here without permission.Eulogy by Sir-Talen
Six weeks after Sparky died, my leg was finally healed and I was ready to head back to his lair.
Well, my lair now, I supposed. He'd willed it to me, thought I didn't know how I was going to be able to pay the estate taxes. Maybe if I could ever get all the rocks out from in front of the main door I could open it up as a tourist trap. Or do private tours for engineering grads who wanted a look at something from the Golden Age of Heroes.
So six weeks after I'd busted my leg, I was clinging to the side of the ledge leading to the back entrance. I remembered how badly it had scared me the first time when I didn't have pain twinges running up my hip from the cold as the Autumn wind blew against the cliff face. But I made it without killing myself and stepped inside, flicking the lights on when I entered.
I wondered if Con Ed was ever
FYS: Product TestingAdam pulled the grate back over the A/C shaft, praying the she wouldn’t notice that the screws had been pulled out and replaced with pegs. It was a painfully tight fit in the shaft, but he’d made himself fit, shoving his legs down around the curve of the vent, bending himself like a pretzel. He breathed shallowly, praying not to make any noise, as he heard her shouting overhead.FYS: Product Testing by Sir-Talen
“Adam! Stop being difficult,” he heard her call out, sounding as if she was in the living room of his house. “I was willing to work with you, but you just refused to listen to me! Trying to send a message to the Groupmind through someone else’s com was a silly thing to do! Now I’m going to have put you somewhere you can’t be found, so I know you won’t be able to cause more trouble.”
He panted, trying not to hyperventilate as his heart pounded. He could hear her pacing through the kitchen, the bedroom, searching. She
FYS: Turned Tables“He's walking up.”FYS: Turned Tables by Sir-Talen
“Of course I am. Sir, can you hear me? Sir?”
He opened his eyes, blinking as the light touched them.
“Ah, you are awake,” the owner of the first voice said. A small Anglo man wearing hospital scrubs, a traditional and thoroughly superfluous stethoscope hanging from his neck marking him as a physician of some sort. He had a round, balding head, his expression pinched, and his voice was high pitched and querulous.
He sounds like Piglet, came the unbidden thought. That was funny, though he couldn't say why.
He couldn't even say who Piglet was.
The second person in the room was a raccoon morph, also in hospital scrubs. Some kind of nursing unit he guessed. He was laying on a diagnostic bed in a windowless hospital room, a sheet covering his body up to his neck. He tried to move an arm experimentally, but nothing happened. That's very bad.
“What happened?” he asked. His own voice soun
I'm a 40 something amateur writer with a half dozen original stories and collections available at Amazon www.amazon.com/Royce-Day/e/B00… and Smashwords www.smashwords.com/profile/vie… and entirely too much fanfic based on Peta Hewitt's Terinu webcomic.|
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Summary: The magical land of Oz has fallen, destroyed by two evil wizards who escaped their punishments inflicted on them by Princess Ozma, combining forces in an uneasy alliance to conquer all. Only the sky kingdom of King Iris Mirabillis, Lord of Rainbows, remains free. And from there he sends his daughter, Polychrome Glory, to the Mortal World to find the champion they need to free the Land of Oz.
What they get is Erik Medon, an asthmatic, overweight fan of L. Frank Baum's famous series, who just found his dreams have come true. And is willing to fight for those dreams even at the cost of his own life.
Review: Okay, this book is unabashed wish fulfillment by Ryk Spoor. It's a Portal Fantasy with a stereotypical fannish geek who gets to live out an adventure in the Magical Land of Oz (at least the portions that are out of copyright). Nevertheless it's well-written wish fulfillment. Erik is painfully aware of his limitations as a Hero, even though he gets a fair set of Mighty Thews (not to mention 20-20 eyesight) after a year of intense training up in the Rainbow Kingdom. And Oz is not entirely the happy-go-lucky land of adventure from the books. Wisely, Spoor makes the assumption that Baum simplified and softened the retelling of Dorothy and her companion's adventures when he published them. This allows Spoor to attach more complex motivations and characterizations to both the heroes and villains in his tale, and enriches the narrative.
If I have an objection to this story, it's that Ozma had to be very deliberately and specifically Nerfed to allow Erik his moment to shine at the end. But “Ozma wakes up and makes everything instantly better” doesn't work in a modern narrative, so I'll give Spoor a pass on that one, and the active female characters are strong enough to make up for the loss.
The final battle does get marvelously loony though, as Erik uses his knowledge of sci-fi, fantasy and Japanese anime to fight the villains. It reminded me strongly of Jim Hine's Libromancer books, and that's not a bad thing.