Monday, July 3, 2017
Chicks and Balances, Esther Friesner, editor
I was in a bad mood the other day. I don't remember why; it may have been because many of my friends were having fun at LibertyCon 30, and I wasn't. Or it might have been because my youngest son is having car troubles, due to what I regard as a design flaw in 2004 Honda Civic ignitions. Maybe it was because I was hurting, physically. Not sure; doesn't really matter.
Because regardless of the cause, I had the solution: Esther Friesner.
Earlier in the week, I discovered that I had overlooked the most recent installment in the 'Chicks in Chainmail' series. I don't know how that happened; I've been a fan since I first discovered the books. If I'm not mistaken, that would have been in April 2002, when I bought the Baen Bundle so I could get two John Ringo books, and 'Chicks and Chained Males' was included. After the first taste, I was hooked, and I THOUGHT I had bought every title since then. (I DO remember having to explain the concept to my gift-from-God, happily-ever-after trophy wife Vanessa, the elegant, foxy, praying black grandmother of Woodstock, GA, shortly after she became my new bride; the cover art made her wonder a bit if I had lost my mind.)
So, I picked up this installment, and somewhere during 'Smackdown in WalMart,' whatever was bothering me had dropped into the background. I know it was this story, because the image of the flaming ninja rat was such a delight.
Admission: If there is anything particularly clever about the title, I missed it entirely. Yes, I am familiar with the phrase 'checks and balances,' but I didn't recognize any references to 'balance' in any of the stories.
Actually, now that I think of it, in Sarah Hoyt's "Calling the Mom Squad," the protagonist has to balance the demands of family vs warrior duty, and also has to balance on a robot horse while using a laser on a dragon, but that's all that comes to mind.
Maybe I should re-read and see if I missed something.
Nope, not going to do that. I wouldn't mind re-reading the stories again, but the truth is, I've got a LOT of great books in my to-be-read-and-reviewed queue, and I can't justify taking the time away from my untouched stack to pick up what I should have done in the first place.
It's not like I'm doing this for a grade, anyway. All I need to do is convince you to buy the book, and I don't need impeccable scholarship to make that happen. Here's what you need to know:
Lots of really tough women, frequently wearing outrageous costumes, train novices and princesses, use magic and good thinking to accomplish mighty tasks, make salacious comments, and don't put up with any crap from anybody. They also manage to be funny while doing so.
You won't find any deeply philosophical paragraphs here to make you want to stab yourself so you can stop reading. You also won't find any preaching of any political or ethical position.
It's just good stuff, IF you like reading adventure stories, by some of the best writers around. I'm HOPING that the series continues, even if there aren't any chick/check/chip puns left. Heck, call it Chicks and Chainmail Seven. It worked for Steppenwolf.
Peace be on your household.