Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Michael Swanwick's "A Small Room in Koboldtown" (short story, fantasy): A second rate murder mystery

You are teased with many clues about murder, & they are rejected after analysis. Only the resolution is so arbitrary, it made me feel cheated.

You might like it a little bit more than me if you are familiar with magical creatures that go by names like "haints" & "feys", but I don't think much more. Story is comprehensible even to those unfamiliar with them - characters include a few-morals politician, some small time ghetto criminals, & corrupt cops. Thing I really disliked was the resolution of mystery - so completely arbitrary.

This is my third story by Mr Swanwick - 2 of the 3 were Hugo nominated ones, & every one utterly hopeless! I wonder why he lets his worst stories get nominated - stuff like this certainly doesn't add to reputation.

Download full text or MP3.

Fact sheet.

First published: Asimov's Science Fiction, April/May 2007.
Rating: C
Nominated for Hugo Award 2008 in short story category.
Winner of Locus Award 2008 in short story category.