Saturday, February 5, 2011

Terrible Ones

Novelette by Tim Pratt.
Read for PodCastle by M.K. Hobson

The focus in this story is the Furies of Greek mythology, currently living in the modern day Bay Area. The harmful old ladies eventually come into contact with Zara, a classical theater actress and part time dominatrix, and that's when things get weird. Actually, the story opens with Zara being stalked by a Greek Chorus, singing foreshadowing for the story, so it starts off kind of weird too. And since this is Tim Pratt, we get to the exciting, (tragic?), thoughtful ending with a good deal of humor.

But just when you think you know how the story ends, it goes in a completely different, and superior, direction. Zara isn't just some random actress, she is particularly well-suited for the strange role she finds herself playing. Some knowledge of Greek plays could increase your enjoyment of this, but I mean reading one or two and having a passing familiarity, a Classics degree is not required.

Funny, thoughtful, and a completely different moral than you'd expect. This is a great story, with some fun similarities to the Greek drama it is about and a lot more humor than you'd think from a story largely about vengeance. Zara herself is a great character, and has the desirable quality of being the only character for which the story would work.

4 out of 5 people lie to themselves, and need others to lie to them sometimes, too.

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