I received this as an ARC courtesy of NetGalley.
This novella has gone straight to my “Possible 2022 Hugo Awards nominees” list.
Actually the first thing I should admit is that I don’t think I’ve ever read The Island of Dr Moreau, so if Gregory is doing anything more clever than the sorts of things you can pick up with a general understanding of the story (and he probably is), then I missed it and I’m sorry about that. HOWEVER, this does mean that you don’t have to know what the author is riffing off in order to appreciate this as a deeply funny, deeply interesting, and generally wacky story.
There’s a lot going on in not many pages.
It’s a detective story: there’s been a murder, and it needs to be investigated, and it is. Despite TS Eliot’s rules of detective stories.
It’s framed as a story being told to someone who knows bits but not all of a story. The narrator occasionally intervenes.
It’s definitely science fiction: after all, the members of the band that it revolves around are human-animal hybrids. And what a band they are.
It’s about music, and I’ve had Backstreet Boys stuck in my head half the day, THANKS FOR NOTHING GREGORY.
It’s about family and love and loss and identity and humanity. Stereotypes and terrible puns and growing beyond your childhood. Also, Las Vegas and fandom.
This story is one hell of a ride. I loved every minute of it, even when it made me feel a bit confused (that got cured), or sad (that didn’t). You should definitely read it.