I have to say I’m finding the Hugo-nominated shorts disappointing so far. Another slight tale, “A Small Room in Koboldtown,” by Michael Swanwick, is set in your basic tough-guy, mixed ethnicity neighborhood, where the ethnicities are mythical creatures. The characters draw on multiple traditions, but the overall tone feels somewhere between Chicago, New Orleans, and Haiti. The investigation of the murder is pretty standard, interviews showing the character of the rough neighborhood. While the fantasy element is key to the solution, I feel like I’ve read this before, as if somehow every other noir story in genre dress formed part of a series.
You can hear how Ring Lardner meets Roger Rabbit on Escape Pod.
Tomorrow: “Last Contact”