M. Edward McNally is a North Carolinian of Irish/Mexican extraction. Grew up mostly along I35 northbound (KS, IA, MN) and now resides in the scrub brush surrounding Phoenix, AZ, where the scorpions and the javelinas play. MA in English Lit from ISU and Russian/East European History from ASU, though both date from an earlier era when there was a lot of Grunge on the radio and Eddie wore entirely too much flannel, even in the summer.
Deus impeditio esuritori nullus.
The fourth collection of M. Edward McNally's short stories, from beyond the vale of history (AKA: the 1990s).
Flipper the Stripper - You think your job is boring?
Justice in Ireland - One of those "metaphoric" titles.
Third volume of Eddie's old shorts, from the era of grunge and flannel. Contents: The 22nd and 24th President of the United States of America - "Grover Cleveland hates my guts." Breaking Up is Hard to Do - "The trip went pretty good, at first."
The first volume of short stories written by M. Edward McNally, circa 1991-1997. Contents:
Bedlam - "The Saturday after my dad first shows up, Walter makes his break for the woods, and vanishes."
7:00 C/M (Seven, Central and Mountain) - Let's see what's on tonight, shall we?
"Nearly a month ago in the Sable City, Tilda had taken a necklace off a dead demon and slipped it into a pocket, for she had felt she should give herself some opportunity to profit later from the terrible situation in which she had found herself. Now, she was sailing toward what some nibbling part of her mind told her was likely to be a war. Her feelings about the situation had not changed."
"Matilda Lanai, she of the sickening fall and the miraculous, silt-spitting, quaking resurrection. It might be a sign at that. The Island girl wasn’t stupid. She knew how to work. And she had it inside her to be ruthless. Block had seen it plain as day."
Epic Fantasy, Muskets & Magic. Historical fiction in a fictional world.
I read more history than anything else, and I was intrigued by Blue Valley's story of fantasy-style, supernatural elements (pun intended, I could not help myself) set against the backdrop of WWII, post-Pearl Harbor paranoia and the internment of US citizens of Japanese descent. While the interments are not the focus of the book, they are a part of the texture and mood to the California valley in which most of the novel takes place, heightening the reactions of the people living in the agricultural community once something very, very wrong starts to happen to the land that is their life.
Most of the story belongs to Will Leary, a government scientist sent to the afflicted valley, where he meets Sarah. Sarah is the young woman who, without revealing too much, will come to be seen by others as the cause of the Valley's problems, the only chance of correcting them, or a weapon for the war effort.
The relationship between Will and Sarah is the heart of the novel, and though from the very beginning it is influenced by forces beyond their control, the exploration of it is one of the novel's strengths. Somewhat less successful are a few "action scenes" that seem a bit cumbersome and are not always easy to follow in their choreography. Those bits do not keep the book from being successful overall, and a well-done meld of Fantasy and Historical Fiction elements that bends the genres without breaking them. The series is positioned to move forward from WWII into subsequent eras, and promises to be rewarding along the way.