Monday, June 01, 2009

The God Clown is Near

I've been picking my way through Steampunk, and today read the story by Jay Lake, The God Clown Is Near. I like Jay Lake's blog, one of my favourite writing blogs, and I have picked up his Mainspring novel, several times, but always put it back down, because I'm dealing with my own angel story, and don't want to read others, although probably I should.

Anyway, the strength of this story is its world building. I can't say I've ever read another short story with such strength of world. No time recently anyway. The story is about a fellow, an inventor scientist of sorts, who is commissioned to build a "moral clown". The detail, set very succinctly into the story, invisible in its fullness, really works to build this. Like the writer concentrating on getting it correct, the protagonist does the same. Frankenstien themes in a way. Freaky scary to say the least, with enough gore to make it real, and enough humour to take just enough edge off. I appreciate that. It's like the mafia vibe is running through this world. The world is huge, and well thought out for a short story. It is fully developed, and I appreciate that too, like this tiny bit of a short story was just plucked out of that world. That is really hard to do well, and he definitely succeeded. And the end is messy, and unexpected, and even though it ends quickly, it ends just as it should.

I tend not to revel in the steampunk oeuvre, searching out for more, because I keep thinking it needs a good cleaning, or shining. Dust it, or something ;-). I need to read more if this story was any indication of what it can be. . Colour me happily surprised.

No comments:

Post a Comment