Wednesday, January 20, 2010

SinBad the Sand Sailor

Novelette by R. Garcia y Robertson

SinBad smuggles antibiotics on the planet Barsoom, which has very little law enforcement besides a strict prohibition on advanced weaponry; swords and crossbows must suffice, despite GPS, solar powered wings, and a space elevator. He finds a prostitute on a dune, apparently fallen from an airship, and pulpy adventures ensue.

Fun, exciting adventure story, with a little implied comedy (SinBad is guilty of such horrendous crimes as "cohabiting with known lesbians"), but not much to it beyond that. There are some good twists, and the whole thing moves along remarkably fast. The main appeal to the story is nostalgia for older readers, and the concept itself of updating pulp adventure for plausibility in a modern SF frame, rather than the surreal crap paying homage. It succeeds at this, but I'd have liked to see a bit more... depth. 3.5 out of 5.

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