Contains my story: IRIS : CHESSMISTRESS OF MARS!
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For those only interested in ME (hey, it's *my* blog), here's the bit about my story....
"Iris: Chess-Mistress of Mars" by Simon Bucher-Jones
I like a lot of Bucher-Jones' works, though I've mentioned more than once before that he can choose to adopt a very difficult prose style that seems specifically designed to make it difficult for the reader to engage with the material. That is not an issue here, as Bucher-Jones writes a very entertaining piece in a very accessible style.
The story begins with a quotation from an old Martian poem. The meter is a little loose, but whether the original Martian, the fictional translator, or the real human author is to blame I cannot say. It (and the later quote) is very well done all the same.
In the "review" of the previous story, I mentioned the John Carter stories. Those stories really come into play here, as an actor in an adaptation of Farley Farrier: Warrior of Mars (guess what old SF stories this might be referring to?) ends up on Mars himself. (An actor, BTW, who passed up a remake of Battleship Anathema - see "A Hundred Words From a Civil War" for more details.) As the actor faces the prospect of repopulating Mars, Panda has to engage a brilliant Martian brain in the game of Martian Chess.
A very detailed story, full of little asides about Martian history, culture, and other bits and pieces (I love the idea of the "Martian Chessianic Era") this is very evocative and clever. And funny, too, without relying on being too flippant and self-referential. There are way too many little throwaways to pay tribute to here, but I'll mention that one of my favorites was a fun little nod to Adric.
Note, if your looking for Philip Purser-Hallard's excellent Iris story: Battleship Anathema, you need to look here - http://obversebooks.co.uk/product/1-iris-wildthyme-and-the-celestial-omnibus/