Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Tales from the Galactic Midway #1: Sideshow -- Mike Resnick

I don't know how many books there are in this series, but I've had four of them on my shelves for years. (It's hard for me to resist a series with carnival setting.) The other night I decided it was time to read one of them, and I'm glad I did. Here's the deal. Thaddeus Flint owns a carnival that's not making enough money. There's another carnival with the best freak show that anybody's ever seen, and it's drawing huge crowds. Flint decided he wants to take over. When he does, he gets a surprise. The freaks aren't human. They're aliens, and now Flint is stuck with caring for them. One problem is that Flint treats everybody like crap, including Tojo, the hunchbacked dwarf who narrates the tale. Flint's a cold-hearted maninpulator and conman, and it turns out that he's expert even when it comes to manipulating aliens. It might not surprise you to learn that his association with the aliens makes him a little more human by the end of the novel. But not much more.

This is an interesting story, even though it's obviously a set-up for the sequels. A cursory glance at the three I have gives me the idea that each one is devoted mostly to a different carnival employee: the animal tamer, the trick shot, and so on. I also see that they're told in third person. Tojo is no longer the narrator. Eventually I'll probably read at least a couple of these. (I like the covers, too.)


Scott Cupp said...

Bill - 4 books in the series.

Bill said...

Good. Now I won't have to look for any others.