The successor to Bimbos of the Death Sun, and the second Jay Omega “mystery” from 1992.
After this the author ran out of steam for this series and now focuses on a rather more dark series, which is understandable. Both this and Bimbos are less mysteries, and more satirical meditations on science fiction fandom with a weak murder plot tacked on. It is maybe quite telling that Mrs. McCrumb barely mentions these two books anywhere on her website, despite winning an award for the first one.
The murder in this book happens after the 2/3rds mark, and Jay solves it by going to a chat room and asking people to look up stuff in their local phone directory.
Before that happens he has to be told to switch off caps lock.
Our hero, ladies and gentlemen.
I guess in ’92 talking to people over the net seemed rather futuristic.
Not that it matters so much, there really isn’t a reason for our power couple to be involved in the plot at all. A fact that is even recognized in the story itself.
In the 1950s a small commune of science fiction writers and fans that lived together on a farm in Tennessee. At one point they decided to bury a time capsule with stories written by all of them. Then they drifted apart, and a few years later the area of the farm was flooded by a dam.
Decades later some of the people who lived there have become famous, burned out, died, or all three together. And that’s when the dam is drained for repairs. A small media spectacle follows. The time capsule is to be unearthed, and the rights to the stories contained therein to be auctioned off.
Our nominal main protagonists are dragged along by s fellow professor. Down in Tennessee they encounter the dysfunctional members of the old commune, meet some colorful Southern locals, and generally don’t do anything.
At one point one of the guys who was thought dead shows up, insults everyone, insinuates dark things, and ends up dead for real.
The worst about this book is that the plot has elements that could make a good, maybe even great book. There are so many elements in there that could have been good set pieces, shocking twists, and colorful characters, but in the end it feels as muddy as the drained lake this takes place at.
Don’t read this. And if you do, don’t complain.