Some miscellaneous fiction for February.
Shark Skin Suite by Tim Dorsey
Yet another former South Florida journalist turned novelist, Dorsey’s stories are definitely in the “bunch of South Florida whackos” genre, a la Dave Barry’s description of Carl Hiaasen.
This is nearly the twentieth novel about Serge Storms, whacko supreme, Florida heritage buff, protector of the weak, and nemesis of evildoers.
This story centers on fallout from the mortgage crisis, among other wickedness. We are also treated to a fond tour of Key West. Also, the death of newspapers, movies set in Florida, and the usual zooming around the state.
The best part is lot’s of slapstick and goofy dialog.
Dorsey has toned it down some from his earlier books, but these books are notably violent and gory, mostly fictionalized from actual events from Florida. I guess we are supposed to be OK with it because the recipients are clearly horrible people who are supposed to deserve torture and death.
The Fortress in Orion by Mike Resnick
Yet another story from the master in his extensive “Birthright” future history. This is classic space opera with aliens, spaceships, and galactic warfare, with Resnick’s trademark wit and social commentary.
Honestly, this isn’t the greatest story ever, with a plot centering around a commando raid by a diverse crew of misfits. Resnick has used this familiar theme many times, and executes it in his trademark “talk, talk, talk” style, which is too prevalent in his late works. But even the worst book by Mike Resnick is worth reading.
The best part of the book may be in his endnotes which recount the four decade history of his writing in this future. I haven’t read all of this, but I’ve read and enjoyed most of his stories for all this time.
- Dorsey, Tim, Shark Skin Suite, New York, HarperCollins, 2015.
- Resnick, Mike, The Fortress In Orion, Amherst, NY, Pyr, 2014.