Thursday, January 30, 2020

Something Fishy, by Harry Turtledove


(Slipstream; State of Jefferson Stories) Merfolk are eating too many salmon at the mouth of the Klamath river, and the governor of Jefferson has to find a way to deal with the problem before the Federal Government gets involved. (6,033 words; Time: 20m)

Although this is just one of several stories about the sasquatch governor, there’s no reason to read any of the others first.

"," by (edited by Patrick Nielsen Hayden), published on by .

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

Review: 2020.060 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: I’m calling this “slipstream” rather than alternate history/reality on the grounds that the point of the story is to amuse the reader by jarring him/her with the unexpected. Like the merfolk paying in clams. Or the Sasquatch people resenting the Indians as invading colonists. Or that despite all these changes, there’s still a 1980 election between Reagan and Carter. I wonder, though, how many readers remember who Ethel Merman was.

There really was an attempt to create a state of Jefferson on the border of California and Oregon (along the Klamath river) back in the 1940s, and the capital would have been at Yreka.

Con: It doesn’t go anywhere. Bill goes out to talk to the merfolk, they make some jokes that depend on the reader knowing about a 1959 musical, and then that’s pretty much it.

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