Enge, James -- This Crooked Way

Further adventures of Merlin's hunchbacked alcoholic son, if Merlin had lived in a world with no Britain. I say "adventures" because this is a series of semi-linked short stories, much in the line of (and with stylistic references to) Zelazny, Vance, and Leiber. Haven't seen that in a while, have you? The semi-linking is how Morlock keeps running into his (interestingly insane) parents while on a quest to rescue his horse. We get Morlock through viewpoints human (interestingly varied) and nonhuman (not-so-interestingly insectile).

At this point I'm not sure what the series is about -- Morlock is completely reactive, in the long view, and his involvement with his parents comes off as two cases of "Eh, dealing with that sure did suck." I think the first book benefited from bouncing him off his sister, but she doesn't appear in this volume. His involvement with the rest of the human race (and etc) is the point, I guess, which makes these a curiously mainstream set of epic fantasy. But the third book may be yet another change in form, so I shouldn't draw conclusions yet.

Footnote: the sun rising in the west is a definitional mistake, not a geographical alteration.

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