Savage Scavenge (MaryJanice Davidson in Charming the Snake) – Conclusion

This short stories reads more like the first draft of a very bad novel, in the middle of which MaryJanice Davidson got bored with it. Something I can completely understand. It’s predictable, makes huge logic leaps and doesn’t take time to explain things. [Why call mutants “mute” and not explain that they are mutants and not mute? If she’d have gone for “‘tants” I wouldn’t have been so confused, assuming that it was something else. Using a word, which already exists, and give it a new meaning is fine, but then you’ll have to tell us that it has a new meaning.]

Apparently, Davidson has already written another story set in this future, but that does not absolve her from giving us a setting or some kind of information on it. You can’t expect that all your readers will have read everything you ever wrote.

That’s like I tell you, “Oh, look, there’s MAX!” and you have no idea, who Max is. (Turns out, later, that Max is a character of one of my short stories and I just saw a guy, who looked like I pictured Max.) Not very satisfying, is it?

Open Questions:

Who the fuck is Jamie Day and why do we get to meet her in the beginning? And while we’re on that subject – who is Brennan?
Are there no STDs anymore in the future? [Just because the city water protects from pregnancy does not mean that there’s no HIV around anymore (or something else). And Gladys, as a doctor, should damn well know that. So, why jump into bed with some guy and not use a condom? Especially such a sleazebag like Jaz.]
The whole mutant/future-thing had absolutely nothing to do with the rest of the story – why go there?
What’s with Tim? [When a character gets introduced like that – “That’s Jody, Tim and the rest of the gang”, I expect that there will be something done with Tim. Like a conversation, a special insight, advancement of the plot,… anything!]
Who thinks red eyes are sexy?

Eternal Truths Learned:

A pregnancy will solve every problem you have – and it will immediatly change the sloppy, independent, probably commitment-phobic bachelor into a responsible father of the year.
Pregnancy is the only thing you need to worry about when having unprotected sex with random strangers.
Mutations will mainly manifest themselves in weird haircolours, but nobody will be worried about seeing somebody with such a haircolour anywhere, even though there’s a constant level of fear of mutants, because they’ll assume that it’s dyed.

As usual, you’re very welcome to add to this list in the comment section.


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