Tuesday, December 18, 2012
This was an enjoyable collection of short stories about an amateur inventor-for-hire. The stories are very light-hearted and intentionally comical SF, with the major premise being that the inventor is only successful when extremely drunk, and can never remember how or what he invented when sober (suffice it to say, these stories were written when chronic alcoholism was thought of as hilarious rather than tragic). His creations are usually gonzo strange, involving time-travel, other dimensions, etc. Although the Introduction disagrees, I actually thought the first story was the best, in which the inventor was a secondary character and an extraordinarily clever lawyer was at center stage (but I like law, so my bias is apparent). I did find the stories lost some of their fun near the end of the collection, but they were meant to be read individually and not back-to-back. Overall, an interesting and unusual departure for the Planet Stories line.