Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Short Story by Nick Mamatas
Read for Podcastle by David O. Englestad

The son of Greek immigrant parents has been told stories of Skatouioannis, the smelly boogeyman/ancestral spirit, since he was a child. But when he wants to leave home and his parents and move out into the world, it starts manifesting itself and actually holding him back.

Both a series of scatological coincidences that conspire to keep our hero at home, an angry, smelly old man with a donkey cart and a shovel, and a metaphor for how the old ways can conflict with technology and science and try to keep anything from changing, Skatouioannis is a great invention.

This is a modern spirit/demon story with nanotech, New Jersey, and hippie-girl romance. It's hilarious throughout with a more serious confrontation towards the end, a good central metaphor, and some musing on modernity versus tradition. But where tradition is backed up by actual (if smelly) magic. I like this one a lot.

4 shit-spirits out of 5.

No comments: