August 18, 2003

Toxic spell dumps

And in a break from unpacking, I just finished Harry Turtledove's The case of the toxic spell dump. Lee will be thrilled; she's been trying to get me to read it for years.

And it's great. Wickedly funny, and the puns are unbelievable---not prolific like in a Piers Anthony novel, but sprinkled throughout like really good seasoning. At least a few of them are guaranteed to totally blindside you.

Plotwise, it's a detective novel. Not Turtledove's main genre, but he gets around that---by casting it in one of his isomorphisms. It's the modern world, Los Angeles (excuse me, Angel City) in particular, largely as we know it, except that every modern convenience is achieved by magic rather than technology. Gods are real and have distinct powers, and the extent of those powers is directly related to the number of adherents they have. Some, such as the Hindu gods and the Christian God, are extremely powerful; others, such as some native American gods, are weak due to faded devotion. In a few cases, a cult can be artificially maintained in order to utilise that god's power, as with the cult of Mercury for purposes of high-security hermetic sealing....

Best phrase in the whole book: "running around like acephalous poultry". This phrase definitely needs to be worked into my active vocabulary.

Overall, it's a totally fun read. I highly recommend it.

"No, wait... I've confused semen with roundworms. Fucking Google. Sorry about that." --Gel Thelen

Posted by blahedo at 12:04am on 18 Aug 2003
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