Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Plural of Helen of Troy (from the collection City Beyond Time), by John C. Wright

Castalia House, June 2014

Another Hugo nominee from the Puppy slates.

The city of Metachronopolis is ruled by the Time Wardens, and peopled by historical figures the Wardens find interesting, entertaining, or useful. One of them is Jacob Frontino, now working as a detective. There are multiple copies of Helen of Troy, most of them actually copies of Marilyn Monroe.

There's a plot here, but time travel can make even a simple plot complicated, and Wright has no interest in people following the story. The nonlinear storytelling was a "feature" I didn't need in a story where I already had difficulty caring what happened to the characters.

It has so much potential to be interesting, and so much fail in the execution.