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2014 Story 99

From Titan Books' TALES OF THE WOLD NEWTON UNIVERSE, edited by Win Scott Eckert and Christopher Paul Carey

99. THE WILD HUNSTMAN by Win Scott Eckert   Win Eckert is the guy Farmer hand-picked to carry on the adventures of Patricia Wildman (aka the daughter of a well-known Man of Bronze) in the novel The Evil in Pemberley House and the more recent novella The Scarlet Jaguar.  But Eckert is also the guy who pieced together the clues Farmer left behind to show that Farmer's Lord Grandrith / Doc Caliban adventures (pastiches of Tarzan and Doc Savage) do take place in a parallel universe linked intrinsically to our own (in which Tarzan and Doc Savage exist).  This story pulls together those strands, makes the implicit connection across worlds explicit, and provides some great character insight into where John Gribardsun's mind is at in 1795 when he decides he wants to witness the seminal event of his family tree: the arrival of the meteor at Wold Newton.

This was another reread for me. My thoughts, when I first read the story last year:

For the past few years, Win Eckert has been exploring in a series of stories what exactly brought those carriages to that spot at that moment. In the penultimate story, Farmer's time-traveling John Gribardsun witnessed the events leading up to and at the meteor strike. Eckert really captures Farmer's own sense of time and alternate identities as well as Farmer's penchant for mixing genres -- what starts out as a mystery (complete with dead bodies and detective work) turns into a political thriller and then a time-travel/alternate worlds story. Kudos to Eckert for making it all work seamlessly.

The story stands up to that analysis upon rereading. It's such a mash-up of genres, you have to sit back and enjoy the ride. Hopefully, along with his Pat Wildman stories, Win will continue to revisit the progenitors of the Wold Newton family and the various political machinations mentioned, some not resolved, in this story.

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