by Patch O'Furr
Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.
GeneStorm. Book 2, Fort Dandelion, by Paul Kidd
Raleigh, NC, Lulu.com/Perth, Western Australia, Kitsune Press, 11/2015, trade PB $23.11 (347 pages), Kindle $7.95.
Gene Storm: Fort Dandelion follows closely after Book 1, City in the Sky. It is also “set in the Australian ‘weird-lands’ 150 years after the GeneStorm plague has transformed the world entirely. Everyone is a mutated hybrid. The protagonist is Snapper, a female half-human, half-shark. She rides a giant cocatoo,” as I said about Book 1. See the cover, unsigned but presumably also by Kalahari. Or this from the first page:
“Jemima Haversham Greyfin – known to all and sundry as ‘Snapper’ – pushed back her helmet and gazed lovingly off towards the south, towards the far off ruins. She patted the neck of her great pink riding cocatoo and dragged in a breath, savouring the rich, alien scents in the air.” (p, 5)
Other major characters include Kitterpokie, a female giant mantis with four arms (two with hands, two with pincers); Beau, a fox/golden pheasant hybrid; Throckmorton, a conglomeration of green, leafy flying plants with three pairs of wings, plus vines with heads that resemble pink and orange flowers and that carry a notebook, a crossbow, and a squeeze-powered air horn; and Sparkle, a massive crocodile/wild boar/rat hybrid. I could fill this review just describing all the minor characters, many of which have to be imagined to be believed.
Snapper and the first four are residents of Spark Town, a Wild West-type settlement isolated in a deep valley, somewhere in what was Australia before the collapse of civilization in the GeneStorm that mutated everyone into a hybrid of human and god-knows-what – no two alike — 150 years before. This was several hundred years in our future, as is obvious by the ruins of giant holograms, fusion reactors, aerodynes, and the like. Spark Town and the villages around it have been cut off from the rest of the world by the mountainous walls of the valley plus swaths of deadly radiation, until the events in City in the Sky.