March 19, 2004

The Scoundrel Worlds, Chris Bunch

Thin, alas, with three saving charms. First, Bunch picks good old warhorses of history to throw his interstellar A-Team into. In this novel, it's mostly l'affaire Dreyfus. Second, every so often there's a literate-tough-guy sentence that rings like Dashiell Hammett. Third, lots happens.

He doesn't knit together originally disparate histories the way Pratchett knits fairytales, unfortunately. Bunch may abut them in time or space, but their causative links are separate. And the Hammett lines never string together into Hammett dialogue. Punk's Wing was poetry and music in comparison.

One oddity for its subgenre is that I'm pretty sure the characters know they're bad guys. They mostly fight much worse guys, but still; some of the comments about their moral ambiguity didn't come off as apologia or boasting.

ISBN: 0-451-45936-9

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