Review of Joe Abercrombie, “Some Desperado”, The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year series, Vol. 8. Reviewed by Drew Shiel.
This is actually the first story in Volume 8, but I’ve chosen to review it second so as not to start out with a negative. The negativity is because I can’t see why “Some Desperado” is actually in this book. Joe Abercrombie is a fantasy writer, sure, in that particular (and by now possibly fading) sub-genre of grimdark fantasy. But there isn’t any speculative element in this Western-esque story of a bank robber reaching a abandoned village just ahead of her pursuers, unless it’s “her”, and that seems like stretching. Further, the story is one extended fight scene, pretty completely lacking in plot or character development. It’s a well-written fight scene, certainly. But it reads like a vignette-style extract from a longer work, and unless you know the longer work, or really like Abercrombie’s writing, there’s really not much here.
Recommended, perhaps, for fans of the western genre, alt-history, or fight scenes.