Title: Black Rock Blues
Author: Will Shetterly
In: The Coyote Road (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Tricksters, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 13th July 2019
Format: Short story
Publisher: Firebird Fantasy
5th sentence, 74th page: Street says, “You’re taking me now?”
Street doesn’t have much of a memory of who and what he is. A chance encounter with the boss and the girl of his dreams might help him to find his feet again, if not his memory.
This story was quite clever. At the beginning, it felt like any tale with a trickster-like character. One in which their smarts, wit and penchant for trouble had gotten them into a spot of bother, and you knew that they would get out of it in the end. Which is kind of what happened… but the character actually was the trickster, and he was in trouble with death.
The mystery in this story worked really well to keep you hooked. As their adventures unfold, it becomes more and more obvious that Street and O are more intertwined than you had originally anticipated. Finishing the story and finding out what really happened made every moment all that more potent and intriguing between them. It highlighted that this is one of those short stories that you will be able to read again and pick up some extra, fun nuances.
This story had all of the fun and gumption of a trickster tale. It was funny and cute. Fast paced and almost impossible to put down. There was also a sense of a message in the story, although maybe it was something a little bit more than “don’t mess with Death” which is what I got out of it.