Saturday, October 22, 2016

Dress Rehearsal, by Adrian Tchaikovsky

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(Fantasy) Dr. Kampfe's group of travelling players visits Sevengraves, a place so poor that every performance feels like charity. (6,171 words; Time: 20m)

Rating: ★★★★☆ Recommended
Recommended By: RHorton:5

"Dress Rehearsal," by (edited by Ian Whates), appeared in (RSR review), published on by .

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

Pro: Nice! The players who walk between the worlds, sometimes meeting the subjects of their plays in person. A cute touch that things like money transform as well when they change planes.

The story creates tension by signalling us in various ways that something is going to happen. From the way it started, it's easy to imagine that somehow Cornelius managed to send someone after them, so it's quite a surprise when we learn that Dr. Kampfe has been on sabbatical from Hell and they've had to trick him into coming back. Learning about the ten-performances rule makes the refusal to perform for Cornelius make perfect sense, of course, but learning the diabolical origin makes the world-walking aspect more reasonable too.

Con: Without Dr. Kampfe, exactly how are they going to travel from world to world?

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Adrian Tchaikovsky Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB

1 comment (may contain spoilers):

  1. Even better was reading it in a year's best anthology, so I didn't know that the twist was going to be related to the number 10 somehow