Saturday, December 18, 2010

Flaming Zeppelins: The Adventures of Ned the SealFlaming Zeppelins: The Adventures of Ned the Seal by Joe R. Lansdale

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Ever have a six year old tell you a story? ("We got in my fire engine, which was a space ship, and went to the moon and a gorilla fought a dragon and then we had cookies!") Well, these two related novellas seem to have been written with the same principle in mind. In the first one, "Zeppelins West", Buffalo Bill (or rather his disembodied head -- long story) takes his Wild West show to Japan as part of an undercover mission to rescue Frankenstein's monster and ends up on the Island of Doctor Moreau, while in the second, "Flaming London", Mark Twain and Jules Verne find themselves fleeing from an invasion by H.G. Wells' Martians. Oh, yeah, and the connecting character in both pieces is a superintelligent seal. Now I won't deny that these stories have a certain ADD-addled charm, due to their author's insistence on throwing in every steampunk trope he can think of, but at the same time, I'd be hard pressed to say they ultimately added up to much beyond their rather feverish name-checking.

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