Thursday, March 17, 2016

A Flat Affect, by Eric Flint

★★★☆☆ Average

(High Fantasy) King Bertrand wants to celebrate the millennium of a great general, sparing no expense. Garrick, his childhood friend, will perform, but Garrick's style is rather odd. (3,500 words; Time: 11m)

"A Flat Affect," by , appeared in , published on by .

Mini-Review (click to view--possible spoilers)

Review: 2015.219 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: The story is essentially about how they all get through this celebration alive. Garrick's secret to survival seems to be that he takes no chances. Neither his poetry nor his song nor his advice has highs or lows. He gives no great praise, but he gives no great criticism either. His war poems are homogeneous--nothing but fighting from end to end.

The irony is that that seems to be what most people actually want. Fulchard tries to spice things up, and although he gets praise from a few quarters, much of the audience goes away.

Con: The conflict is a very mild one. There is a complete story here, but not a very exciting one.

From the afterword, we know that Garrick represents David Drake, Fulchard represents Eric Flint, and (perhaps) King Bertrand is Jim Baen, so the entire thing is something of an inside joke.

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