August 2nd, 2011

rodeo warlock

Gros Bon Ange. (79)

Ganymede by Cherie Priest.

Cly sleeps on the floor,
feet hanging off the mattress.
I know how he feels.

This came along right as I was finishing Supergods & it was just what I needed. After the Fifth Dimensional drugs cut with the Two Dimensional deities, I was ready to mellow out with some high quality old fashioned narrative. Bring on the fiction! I knew what I was getting into-- I've read her Clockwork Century books & enjoyed them all quite thoroughly. Steampunk & zombies; a nice brew, but it is Priest's diverse cast of characters that brings it home. I mean diverse in its most literal way, as well as the poetic cliche-- Cherie Priest isn't writing your usual "lets pretend only white people existed in the Wild West!" alternate history; Native Americans, Chinese immigrants, black people; she has a range of reach that more fiction should really embrace. Not just ethnic diversity either-- gender identity is included, too. It isn't lip service, or tokenism, or window dressing-- the cultural context of her characters informs them, but doesn't define them. On a personal note, I can't help but associate the Clockwork Century with Shadowrun. The first book was set in Seattle, the default setting of any Shadowrunning team, & Ganymede is set in New Orleans, where a long-running campaign I played in was set. Oh Dried Apples! My Haitian Elf Voodoo practitioner, killed in the prime of his life by a Physical Adept. On my birthday. Sniff. Back to the matter at hand: while Boneshaker was about a giant drill, Ganymede is about...a submarine! The "eponymous giant machine" trope puts me in mind of Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan series, which is good company for Priest to be in.