Cirsova – How Thaddeus Quimby the Third and I Almost Took Over the World

Bruh.  That title.

There’s a recent fad going around the midwiteratti where they crown thier snoozefest Hugo bait stories with wuh-wacky long titles that are LOL so random:

  • The Rose MacGregor Drinking and Admiration Society
  • The Secret Lives of the Nine Negro Teeth of George Washington
  • The Tale of the Three Beautiful Raptor Sisters, and the Prince Who Was Made of Meat

Just to be a few of more recent vintage.  Long titles like that are tryhard, and don’t bode well for what follows.  They really only work as a tongue in cheek introduction to a good old fashioned gag story, and thankfully that’s exactly what Gary K. Shepherd delivers.

As you can see, we get a modern day Rooster-esque command and his dimwitted palooka of a sidekick who get a fancy-dancy copy machine when it falls off the back of a space truck. Their efforts to use the thing for I’ll purposes turns into a short story that’s pretty much a set-up for the punchline.

Thaddeus speaks throughout with one of those forced colloquial tongues that a bit New Jersey and a bit Old South.  You’ll have to retrain your brain to interpret the usual dropped word endings, added apostrophes, and smashed words.  Some readers have a real problem with authors that resort to this old stand-by, but for my money it’s a great way to paint a character without actually describing him.  Thaddeus talks like a meaty, hairy thug, and you can easily visualize him as the muscle part of a two-bit crime duo.  It saves some description, and does it in an efficient manner.  The way these near-hobos act as near-royalty who just happen to be a little down on their luck adds to the ludicrous nature of the story, reinforcing that Shepherd isn’t delivering the second coming of Dune here, he’s just entertaining you with a fun read.

It’s a nice change of pace to get a light-hearted piece like this after a lot of blood and thunder of the earlier stories.  A bit of a palette cleanser before we dive back into the heat of battle.

About Jon Mollison

Jon Mollison was weaned at the literary knee of Tolkein, Howard, Moore, and Burroughs. He spent decades wandering in the wilderness of modern genre fiction, wondering when the magic and wonder went out of the world of dragons and space ships. In his darkest hour, he encountered a wise man who handed him the open secrets to crafting works that emulate the stories of the great authors who built the genre. They are easily summarized in but two words: Regress Harder. Now one of the twelve champions of the Pulp Revolution, his self-published works represent a more direct lineage to the tales of action, mystery, romance, virtue, and pure unalloyed adventure than the bland imitations churned out by New York City publishing houses in recent decades.
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