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Posted November 21, 2010
Not my favorite Lee Martinez novel
OK, here's what I think happened. The shades of two 1950s authors, one from the 'hardboiled detective with a heart of gold' genre and one from the SF golden era were drinking and arguing in a sleazy bar in the Great Beyond. Both were waxing eloquent about how the others' genre was so much easier than their own. As the mugs of afterlife ale were swilled this evolved into a contest to co-write a novel with each of the authors writing in the others' genre, possibly with malice aforethought. Being professional authors (or at least their surviving egos) they couldn't stand to see this work not go into print, even though it wouldn't be credited to them. They knocked Lee Martinez' muse over the head and left her tied up in a corner while they used Lee to turn their ideas into a publishable work (you have to admit that Lee is a likely host for the strange.) Not my favorite of Lee's works, but maybe yours. Different strokes and all that - I just find parody hard to enjoy for a whole novel. It probably didn't help that I was reading 4 novels concurrently, one of which was a Garrett, P.I. novel by Glen Cook. Glen does a better job of blending fantasy and detective elements without causing the parody meter to peg. If you liked The Automatic Detective try one of Glen's novels.
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