by Patch O'Furr
Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.
Beast of War, by Mina S. Kitsune. Illustrated by Sal Hernandez.
Ames, IA, Light Beasts, LLC, July 2015, trade paperback $8.50 (197 pages), Kindle $4.00.
The big annoyance with Beast of War is that it is written from the viewpoint of a teen airhead of the future. Melissa Rin Brick, a college student in Atlanta, would rather attend fan conventions, dances, and parties cosplaying as “Cute Kitsune” than study. She lives far enough in the future that bullets (from the context, bullet trains) cross North America in a couple of hours from one city to another. There are AI-controlled cars. Apparently the ozone layer has been destroyed, and a Life Shell over the cities protects people from ordinary radiation.
“‘Scientists say that everyone should stay indoors during tomorrow’s solar eclipse. The current disruptions in the sun will cause serious harm to those outside. A warning is being issued: high risk of third-degree burns or stroke. They also remind you not to look directly at the sun during this event, even with the Life Shell and the Moon both blocking a majority of the harmful rays.’
Oh, blah blah. Everything that happens has to make people worry. Like you could really get burned while the Life Shell protects us from space.” (p. 6)
Mel, who has been partying at a convention while she should be in school, is met by her friend Jill:
“‘Right, but I figured you didn’t know about the warning to stay indoors today, so I was going to take you to a shelter. Class was cancelled.’
‘What, over that solar stuff? Come on. Scientists always have a bug about something, from earthquakes to global warming to a lot of snow,’
‘Yes, and thanks to global warming, the entire Midwest became an inland sea for thirty years!’” (p. 8)