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Date: Sat, 23 Feb 2002 17:09:09 -0800
From: Michael Andre-Driussi 
Subject: (urth) "The Blue Mouse"

I was looking for something else at a cavernous used bookstore. A Bova
anthology popped up, and it had the Gene Wolfe story "The Blue Mouse" in
it.  Reading the first page I couldn't remember reading it before, so I
read the whole thing.  Then I bought the book (hardcover $3), supposing
that there was a slight chance it was one of those uncollected stories (or
one I had in magazine form, or best of all, one I did not have at all).

Well of course it is in GENE WOLFE'S BOOK OF DAYS (aka CASTLE OF DAYS).

Anyway, I can see why I didn't remember it: it has some "Packerhouse
Method" and "Many Mansion" elements to it that would easily befuddle my
wormwood software.  (I might even have lumped it in with "HORARS of War.")

Still, we've been talking about "Hour of Trust," so it is an interesting
case of comparision and contrast.

The setting appears to be a United Kingdom undergoing internal conflict.
The hero is an American member of a UN army "Peace Force" there to put down
the insurrection that threatens to bring back nationalism and war.  When
asked his country of origin, he says "Sector ten . . . South of nine, close
to the Great Lakes."  (But this may be more obfuscating jargon than natural

The army itself is divided into Techs and Marksmen. Questions of loyalty
and ability come up, as well as tidbits on which group is more abusive of
the other.

In the beginning there is an interview with an old woman, followed by an
interview with an officer. There are some more conversations (with a
friendly and an enemy).  There is a last minute conversion.  In the end
there is a flame-throwing weapon.


Sirius Fiction
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