A beautifully told story with colorful characters out of epic tradition, a tight and complex plot, and solid pacing. -- Booklist, starred review of On the Razor's Edge

Great writing, vivid scenarios, and thoughtful commentary ... the stories will linger after the last page is turned. -- Publisher's Weekly, on Captive Dreams

Friday, April 24, 2015

From the Corner of the Eye

The first of the Irish Pub stories, now up on the Story Page, was actually the second one written. "From the Corner of the Eye" appeared in Analog (Nov. 1993). Like all its successors, it is a frame story; that is, a story-within-a-story, amounting to some 3900 words. As such it is an heir and homage to Pratt and deCamp's Tales from Gavagan's Bar and Clarke's Tales from the White Hart as well as more recently, Spider Robinson's Callahan's Saloon. 

A frame device is distancing, so to maintain a degree of conflict, we have the denizens of the bar engaged in an argument, which elicits the story from Professor Cooker.

The regulars at the bar introduced in this story are O Daugherty Himself (the bartender), Mickey (the narrator), Danny Mulloney, Doc Mooney, and The O Neill. The latter has the habit of ducking out whenever one of these stories begins.

The compleat Irish Pub stories to date are:
  1. From the Corner of the Eye    (3900 words)
  2. Flame of Iron    (2200 words)
  3. Built Upon the Sands of Time    (6000 words)
  4. 3rd Corinthians    (3900 words)
  5. Still Coming Ashore    (11,000 words)
  6. Probably Murder    (930 words)
  7. Where the Winds Are All Asleep  (18,300 words)
Total: 46, 230 words. This is too short to interest publishers in a book length collection and, perversely, I have not thought of any further stories for the setting that would not feel forcibly shoved into it. In fact, #7 might have been better suited as a story without the frame.

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