Swanwick, Michael -- The Dragons of Babel

This was also a terrific book. Swanwick has finally hit the right balance between narrative and narrative trickery. This ought to be the story of a young man making his way across the elfpunk world of The Iron Dragon's Daughter. But the tropes keep falling apart on him. I have a brilliant theory on why our -- and the protagonist's -- expectations keep being foiled, which is already on rec.arts.sf.written somewhere, so I won't repeat it. The point is, the twistiness only makes the book more compulsively readable (which was not true of TIDD for me).

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