Two Tiny Claws

The road jam continues in producing new stuff, so you’re getting more weird western stuff.

Raw Feed (2007): Two Tiny Claws, Brett Davis, 1999.Two Tiny Claws

Despite the annoying historical error of having something called the Wild Bill Hickok show in 1907 (he never had a Wild West Show and he was already dead by the events — October 1876 — of the prequel Bone Wars), this was much more enjoyable, involving, and coherent than Bone Wars.

The latter novel suffered from never really explaining the motives of the alien “Swedes” and Icelanders (here called the Nes, reptilian aliens) and trying to get too much humor out of the feud between real life paleontologists Marsh and Cope. This novel explains the alien feud, with Nes spies in disguise amongst the Swedes, the motives for the Swedes looking for dinosaur bones (cleaning up evidence of alien genetic experiments on a past Earth), and manages to evoke more emotion than the most emotional event, Sitting Lizards’s death, of the first novel.

Here Sitting Lizard’s son is a paleontologist and his mother Alice Stilson shows up (she’s also written a tabloid account of the first novel’s events and fittingly called it Bone Wars). However, the novel’s emotion is supplied effectively by three characters. The grief of the historical paleontologist Barnum Brown over his dead wife overpowers the Swede leader Kan when he reads his Brown’s mind. (The Swedes, creatures of incorporeal form normally, are overpowered by the passions of us apes.) Earth Reclamation Unit 17, cloned from Digger Phelps (who shows up here again) in the first novel and modified cybernetically, latches on to his model and thirstily devours all the memories the dying Phelps can give him. He ends up marooned on Earth at novel’s end along with the Nes spy Lasse who convincingly becomes a convert to Christianity because of the guilt he feels at killing his fellow agent to avoid detection. There’s a fair amount of action, mostly supplied by gunfighter Luther Gumpson under mind control.

And, as with the first novel, dinosaur simulacra roam about, here a tyrannosaurus rex.

 

More reviews of fantastic fiction are indexed by title and author/editor.

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