Friday, September 6, 2019

The Gorilla in a Tutu Principle or, Pecan Pie at Minnie and Earl's, by Adam-Troy Castro

★★★☆☆ Mixed

(Future Fantasy) A young man working on the moon during a construction boom keeps seeing two men doing crazy things in the middle of nowhere. Men who leave no trace and whom no one else can see. (20,795 words; Time: 1h:09m)

Recommended By: πŸ‘STomaino+2 (Q&A)

"The Gorilla in a Tutu Principle or, Pecan Pie at Minnie and Earl's," by (edited by Trevor Quachri), appeared in issue 09-10|19, published on by .

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

Review: 2019.465 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: The main fun of this story is all the cultural references. Even before Minnie tells us, it’s pretty obvious that Ben is seeing visions of Laurel and Hardy on the moon. (The bowler hats, the relative proportions, and the slapstick give it away.)

The Stanley G. Weinbaum story Minnie talks about is “A Martian Odyssey (1949), and it’s one of the classics of SF.

The band that plays at Ben’s wedding is the Beatles, as the “Blue Meanies” are a reference to their film “Yellow Submarine.” (1968)

Beyond that, the emotional payoff of the teleportation scene is worth the whole read up to that point.

Con: Once you figure out this is Laurel and Hardy on the moon, it’s very tedious waiting for the explanation. Laurel and Hardy are better seen than described, and, as Minnie points out, Ben’s descriptions are dry and dull and suck all the life out of the scenes, and it’s tedious reading through them when you already know what’s going on. Even with Ben’s delivery, I really don’t see how anyone else failed to recognize that he was describing Laurel and Hardy sketches.

Minnie and Earl are surreal by themselves. Perhaps if I had read the earlier stories, they’d just be part of the background, but coming to them right after Laurel and Hardy really didn’t work for me. I wasn’t ready for yet another suspension-of-disbelief breaker.

There really isn’t much to the main story beyond this. Ben sees alien cosplayers. Gets confused. Gets advice from Minnie. Meets the cosplayers briefly, and they help him out. The end. Everything else is the framing story, and that’s pretty much all infodump.

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