O Have You Seen the Devle with His Mikerscope and Scalpul?
I have a goal, this end-of-year, make-your-lists, award-frenzy-replaces-monetary-compensation-when-no-one-is-getting-paid awards season: I'm going to read all the novelettes on the SFWA's Nebula Reading List, and whatever other novelettes are recommended to me, to the best of my ability. And I'm going to review them here! Because this is my book blog, and I can do what I want. And novelettes are books if I say they are.
The reviews likely won't be very long, because, you know. Novelettes are also not very long.
So. "O Have You Seen the Devle with His Mikerscope and Scalpul?"
-Pretty good! In that I read it all and, like, wanted to be reading it the whole time
-I did feel like the title promises a liiiiitttle bit more Olde English and/or typographical trickery, which we don't really get. There is a little bit of looseness with the punctuation, and a very distinctive narrative voice, but I just wanted a little bit more 'mikerscope' and 'scalpul'
-The narrative voice is probably the strongest part of the story! It's very well crafted, and I will probably be recommending this story to writers who are working on voice, because it uses a variety of techniques to produce the strong sense of the narrator
-I appreciate the idea of illuminating the lives of the victims of a serial killer rather than the life of the killer himself. Two of my favorite podcasts (My Favorite Murder and You're Wrong About) do this (more or less), and it's always my favorite part. In this story, I did wish the narrator would interact with the victims rather than observing, but the mechanics of being an omniscient narrator do make that impossible
-The Lady in the Red Dress!
-The story felt like an interesting window into obsession, into fascination with evil and violence, and that feeling of wanting to have a time machine in order to fix what can't, now, be fixed. Honestly I want to follow that mindset a little farther--the story declares it fixed and ends, and I was like, wait. Now what.
-It's a good story! I might not nominate it for a Nebula, if I were a voter in the Nebulas, which I am not. But I would tell a friend to read it probably. In fact, I'm telling you now.