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Pump Six and Other Stories
Paolo Bacigalupi

Unnatural Issue

Unnatural Issue - Mercedes Lackey Susanne Whitestone is no Harriet Vane. That could really be the sum and whole of a rather disgruntled review. (Even as I fairly well enjoyed tearing through this in one sitting.)

Lackey trudges into some weird class territory here, and Susanne spends all but the last THREE PAGES mooning after some dude who will never see past the class barrier, even though she's gentry but not the right kind and I don't even, and at least she has some spine and grows a bit, but ugh. Again with Lackey doing better with the World War One stuff than she does with much of the socio-political commentary, but seriously? Seriously? You're going to write off your WIMSEY HOMAGE with someone he doesn't quite see as an equal for most of the book, someone who only slightly agrees that he's not terrible to have around by the end of the book. At least there wasn't a total romantic turnaround by the end.

Well. I just goes to show that even the homage falls apart. Wimsey wouldn't uproot his life for someone he didn't respect enough to make her own decisions, and Harriet never would have put up with most of this bullshit, much less got into a passive-aggressive catfight over someone else's fiance.

(Though props to Lackey for making characters eager to see the backside of the heroine (not like that). Just because she's the heroine doesn't mean she didn't deeply, deeply inconvenience the family who took her in briefly, as well as almost get their son killed, and Lackey made their response to that entirely reasonable, if a titch narrowsighted.)

Also the Donkeyskin fairy tale is creepy as fuck. I'm not sure I ever quite realized that before.