Review of Eddie D. Moore, “The Fall of Tryos”, in Starward Tales II, edited by CB Droege (Manawaker Studio, 2017): 85-95 — Purchase here. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman. (Read the review of the anthology.)
This retelling of the siege of Troy is an eclectic mix of archaic and futuristic. The details of the story are little changed — Helen has been abducted from Menelaus; Menelaus’s friends are called to make good upon the Oath of Tyndareus; Ulysses (yes, he’s called that and not Odysseus) arrives belatedly to save the day — and many of the details are not made explicit, as Moore presupposes the reader’s familiarity with the original. For example, one must already know who Paris is to know who the character Pari or Peri (both names are used; I’m not sure if this is intentional or if one is a systemic typo) is.
It’s never entirely easy to simply transpose an ancient story into a futuristic setting. Many things — names, titles, ranks — can be kept the same, with other things — technology, for instance — simply being upgraded (the original Odysseus could only dream of space ships, laser swords, and Aspida fields). But there are certain aspects of the past that one can only hope will not be present in the future, and it is always a bit disappointing when one reads a futuristic story that still clings to the negative parts of the past. Sometimes it can be a very small thing, such as when Ulysses tells his Strategos that “our wives, children, and neighbors will feast our victory for weeks” (p. 85). Only their wives? Are none of them married to men? Are there no women in the fleet? One can only hope that in the future, it will be “our husbands, wives, and children”, or even better just “our family and friends” that celebrate our victories with us.
Like other stories in the anthology, this one is somewhat let down by the proofreading. In addition to the Pari/Peri fluctuation, there are again many missing commas, which detract (even if only minimally) from the pleasure that the story itself gives.