Monday, March 18, 2013

Barry's Tale, by Lawrence M. Schoen

Barry's Tale is the other Nebula nominee currently available online--hopefully there will be a couple of others.  This is more of a standard SF story, with hypnosis as its central science theme and a "buffalito" - a small sort of buffalo, but enhanced - as a sidekick.  Schoen has written several stories and novels featuring the Amazing Conroy and his buffalitos, but I didn't feel compelled to seek out the series.  Though it would not hurt, I think the stories would in fact work better read in sequence.  Anyway, Conroy and Reggie the Buffalito bull their way through the plot with good humor, saving the girl and getting a fine reward, so it's a fun read.  I do wonder if Schoen is familiar with schmoos and gobbleglops from Al Capp.  I give it three stars--nice, but probably won't come out on top. 

Schoen's writing reminds me of Jack McDevitt.  I have reviewed a few of his books.  If you like McDevitt you may well like Schoen, at least the science fiction.

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