Thursday, August 9, 2018

The Emperor Ponders: Mortu and Kyrus

This month, Schuyler Hernstrom has graced us with two excellent fantasy stories. "The Law of Wolves" is a dark fairy tale, a morality play that plays against the current zeitgeist. But it is "Mortu and Kyrus in the White City" that has many of us abuzz. Quietly, though, for while Mortu and Kyrus is an excellent axe and sorcery in a Dying Earth future, it is also a bloody rebuttal to one of the "classics" of science fiction. Many commenters are holding their tongues, lest they spoil the surprise.

But for those who have read Mortu and Kyrus, The Frisky Pagan from the old Puppy of the Month Club has posted his review at his personal blog. There be spoilers beyond the link:
Now, to the second book, Mortu and Kyrus in the White City. The people I follow who have read it have been quite enthusiastic about the book, and they have also hinted or mentioned that this book “answers” or attacks a classic sf&f short story. I did not know that at first, but it’s relevant as I will explain later if you read the spoilerific part. 
In its outermost layer or reading, Mortu and Kyrus, follows the tradition of sword & sorcery (although not much of the latter being shown explicitly) but set in a world (our world, by the way) following the post-apoc tropes of the Mad Max-inspired settings, with the usual elements: sprawling deserts, ruins of the past civilizations, and so forth. I say tropes because the postapoc elements are aesthetic or background and there isn’t a traditional “apocalypse” either. It’s not a story set just after the global destruction in our era but many epochs later, and the damage to the planet and humanity is not really self-inflicted (nuclear weapons, virus, etc.) as much as a result of an external invasion by immortal and highly-advanced aliens.
Now that the waters have been broken, expect more reviews from critics soon. Both of Hernstrom's stories are just that good. So, if you haven't read them yet, now's your chance. Because the whirlwind is on its way.

No comments:

Post a Comment