Thursday, May 21, 2015

A Single Samurai (in The Baen Big Book of Monsters), by Steven Diamond

Baen, ISBN 9781476736990, October 2014

The only short story Hugo nominee that had to wait until the Hugo packet was released. Let it be noted that Baen, always a leader in trusting the reader with ebooks, included the entire Baen Big Book of Monsters in the Hugo packet, not just the nominated material.

Which makes it a shame that I can't like this story better. It's not terrible, but at no point does it really grab me. A samurai finds an awakened kaiju, the size of a mountain, and climbs it in order to find a way to kill it before it has destroyed the entire country. We get a great deal of Tell about the samurai's weapons, mystic significance, and his father's death, There's a bit of action involving some large, cat-like creatures, and then more Tell about why slicing up the creature's brain won't be sufficient. And then the mystic stuff helps bring us to an end.

It's not a rip-roaring good story, and the writing, the use of language, is more pretentious than elegant.

Not recommended.