Everything Is Nice

Beating the nice nice nice thing to death (with fluffy pillows)

‘Black Tulip’ by Harry Turtledove

with one comment

A Turtledove story so it must be alternate history, right? Well, no. It is historical though. It is set during the Russian invasion of Afghanistan and for glib symmetry the story follows both an Afghan and Russian fighter, both of whom are the young sons of pharmacists from small villages. The dialogue for the Afghan half of ‘Black Tulip’ is fine but the Russians just sound like Americans imported from any Vietnam story. Otherwise the story is competently but unremarkably written. Except for the notional SF element. This is that one of the Afghan mountain is actually a big dragon who doesn’t take kindly to all the rockets exploding on his skin so it rises up and kills all the Russians. Yeah, that is really exploring the boundaries of the genre.

Quality: **
Shiftiness: *

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Written by Martin

3 May 2009 at 12:58

Posted in sf, short stories

Tagged with ,

One Response

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  1. […] how the science fictional elements are used. Sometimes though they are either just tacked on (as in ‘Black Tulip’ or really thin (as here). This is a fable about travel and returning home in which the supposedly […]


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