Friday, May 26, 2023

Twisted Tropes, by Various Miscreants: A review

Why does the Buffalo wear a Red Hat?

To keep the sun out of his eyes.

Sigh. I really don’t know who to blame this on; there are SO many candidates. I’m gonna have to go with “It’s Texas, of course,” even though I don’t know for certain that all of this collection of hippies, renegades, rednecks, bikers, pilots, gingers, and associates of African special-ops chaplains are all currently dwelling there. My second guess would have to be North Carolina, and I’m just basing that on my mostly-legal experiences in Asheville and Chapel Hill.

Anyway, while perhaps not ALL of them ever proudly wore the ‘Sad Puppy’ badge, this work CLEARLY demonstrates that they are now, and likely forever more, be regarded as ‘sick puppies.’

What did I expect? Right up front, we read that the only goal was to take a trope (movies, books, whatever) and twist it into something new. Achievement: UNLOCKED! Sigh. I confess: I really love the way these people write….

If I can actually identify the (untwisted, original) trope, I will. I promise NOTHING; not coherence, competence, nor consistency.

Caliborne’s Curse, by Monalisa Foster. Presumed trope: New Orleans has vampires. Bless her sweet heart, Mallory Claiborne needed inexpensive housing, and took what she could get. Bad choice; it’s a house, at least, but it’s old, dilapidated, and packed wiuth extreme amounts of clutter. That might be fixable, if her landlord was reasonable. Or even human.

Late Night Drive, by Ethan Whisnand. Presumed trope: A monster is waiting for you, along the dark, deserted highway. (If this was ONLY a horror story, it could have ended as soon as we learn that Jane is working retail in a hardware store; although, perhaps only those who have been there and done that (or something closely similar) would understand. NICELY done, Ethan!)

Plaza of Pain, by Tom Rogneby. Presumed trope: Resourceful hero is himself the weapon; the guns/knives/whatever are just tools. Also, there are ten million puns, references, and McGuffins included. That last statement might not be accurate.

The Luck Breaker, by Rhiain O’Connell. Presumed trope: Something something the Fae something something. Sorry, I just don’t know this branch of literature well enough to identify it, but, like Potter Stewart and pornography, I know it when I see it. Powerful princess, humans, plots deeper than we can imagine...

The Chosen One, by Cedar Sanderson. Presumed trope: In times of great danger and chaos, the Chosen One will return to set all in order. If you happen to run across anything written by Cedar Sanderson, RUN! RUN FOR YOUR LIFE! Unless, that is, you wish to fall in love with the works of one of the finest wordsmiths, story tellers, and balloon manipulators of all time.

Dog Saves Man, by Christopher Markman. Presumed trope: In the deep woods lives a hermit, with a dark and terrible secret; also, the Government was behind it the whole time; and Man’s Best Friend is his dog. Hey, Christopher: Melanie was right. Glad you followed through; you did her proud.

Demons and Dishes, by Dorothy Grant. Presumed trope: "Some things, you should never say their name after dark." Okay, I confess to cheating; that’s the first sentence in the story. It's PERFECT though (and I like that). Also, the Dark Side has cookies. GREAT cookies!

Nick Slade-Private Eye, by JL Curtis. Presumed trope(s): Hard-boiled Detective, The Newsboy (or Shoeshine Boy) Knows Everything, and It Always Goes Down on Monday. Jim, STOP mentioning old cars, because it induces Vehicular Lust; I almost bought a Studebaker pickup truck off eBay, after reading that the private eye drives a Ford Deluxe.

Let us now stand by for the next activity by this band of loonies, or other loonies in a different band.

Peace be on your household.

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