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The Case of the Toxic Spell Dump por Harry…
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The Case of the Toxic Spell Dump (original 1993; edição 2002)

por Harry Turtledove

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
4251346,121 (3.83)10
In an alternate America that runs on magic, a potential environmental disaster plunges an overworked bureaucrat into a deadly conspiracy of evil gods and darkest sorcery David Fisher pushes paper for the EPA in a world that's a lot like ours . . . only different. In this California--and throughout the alternate United States--all gods are real, science doesn't exist, and magic rules everything, running imp-driven computers and creating anxiety-inducing bumper-to-bumper flying-carpet rush hours. Unfortunately, unchecked magic use can leave dangerous residues, creating hours of mind-numbing deskwork for David and his fellow bureaucrats at the Environmental Perfection Agency. Now a leakage at a toxic spell dump in Angels City is about to complicate David's life in ways he never imagined, unleashing vampires, werewolves, and soulless babies. Even the actual spooks at the CIA concerned. But looking too closely into what might be more than just an accident could have David stepping on the toes of some very nasty deities indeed, imperiling his future on the Other Side . . . and on this one, as well.   When it comes to creating alternate histories--and worlds--no one does it better than the great Harry Turtledove. The multiple-award-winning master of the fantastic carries readers on a droll thrill ride through a richly detailed, ingeniously imagined fantasy reality where the impossible is mundane--and absolutely anything can happen.… (mais)
Membro:evannie
Título:The Case of the Toxic Spell Dump
Autores:Harry Turtledove
Informação:Baen (2002), Edition: First Edition, Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
Avaliação:
Etiquetas:fiction, fantasy, Storage Box 7

Pormenores da obra

The Case of the Toxic Spell Dump por Harry Turtledove (1993)

  1. 10
    Sweet Silver Blues por Glen Cook (Sundry)
  2. 10
    Waldo & Magic, Inc. por Robert A. Heinlein (infiniteletters)
    infiniteletters: Specifically Magic, Inc. Waldo is rather good, but it doesn't match.
  3. 11
    Storm Front por Jim Butcher (Sundry)
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alternate universe in which magic works and the EPA fights against return of Aztec gods
  ritaer | Apr 3, 2021 |
This was my first Harry Turtledove, and I've been wanting to read his works for a while, but mostly for the alternate histories. I eventually read this one, which wasn't one of those, because I got it from Netgalley as a reprint from the original title that came out in 1993.

It's an early Urban Fantasy. I loved the concept behind this world, where all religions are not only valid, but they have a certifiable presence and weight. Our main character is Jewish, and while I started getting excited at first that he might whip out some mystical Kabbalah to handle the problems of his ho-hum government job of investigating environmental spell abuse and leakages, he never did. Alas. Instead, we were at least treated to a Pratchett-esque humorous naming system that turned a spellchecker into just that: a spellchecker, identifying and reporting on spells in use in the environment. Okay.

Others were groanworthy, like ethernet, the network that runs on the ether, or virtuous reality, that lets people walk around on the Other Side behind a helmet with wires. They were cute, and there were a lot more, besides.

The feel of the story was like an average mystery, even though our hero works for the magical equivalent of the EPA. His love interest is right out of the 1950's sensibilities, strong but slightly looked down upon. Even the ideas surrounding native americans being not quite worthy to develop their own land was almost too distasteful to continue reading, but I chalked it up to the kind of feel that Turtledove was trying to evoke. So many of his novels were set in alternate WWII settings, after all, and nothing I read was out of place for that time period. I try to let it slide, but it did make me halt a few times.

The religions and monster mashups were pretty damn fun, all said. I was constantly reminding myself that American Gods hadn't been written yet, but I kept feeling the shadow of it on my reading.

Then again, I was also reminding myself that this novel came at the early days of Urban Fantasy before it got its own shelves and before it spread its wings. I was kind of left dragging along with the mystery, but at least the final action sequence was pretty fun.

The only other complaint I might have about the novel was the number of off-page action sequences that would have given the tale more depth and roundness. They even seemed a bit more interesting, after the fact, than most of the actual novel. I wanted to slap someone.

And speaking of slapping someone, I wanted to slap the main character for how he proposed to Judy. Or perhaps Judy should have done it for me. Seriously.

It wasn't a bad novel by any stretch. I have my issues with it, but it held together nicely. It can't hold a candle to many of the later Urban Fantasies I've had the pleasure of reading in the years since this was first published, but that's neither here nor there. In it's proper time and place it might have made a big impact on the scene. I don't really know.

As for me, the outdated worldview and the somewhat clunky treatment of the possibilities brought my scoring down. ( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
Great fun, in the same vein as the Discworld books but with Turtledove's alternate world skills. ( )
  Murphy-Jacobs | Jan 4, 2020 |
A semi-serious adventure up and down the LA basin and SF valley from Long Beach to Chatsworth in an alternate 1990s where magic is used instead of most technology and carpets on flyways are the means of transportation. Heavy, very heavy on the puns which along with the sly renaming of local features is the basis of the humor, as the actual story is a possible end of the world as they know it as seen from the point of view of the EPA (Environmental Perfection Agency) agent. The gods are real and you'd better hope yours can protect you. ( )
  quondame | Aug 28, 2018 |
This was delightful! ( )
  glindaharrison | Oct 19, 2015 |
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Wikipédia em inglês (2)

In an alternate America that runs on magic, a potential environmental disaster plunges an overworked bureaucrat into a deadly conspiracy of evil gods and darkest sorcery David Fisher pushes paper for the EPA in a world that's a lot like ours . . . only different. In this California--and throughout the alternate United States--all gods are real, science doesn't exist, and magic rules everything, running imp-driven computers and creating anxiety-inducing bumper-to-bumper flying-carpet rush hours. Unfortunately, unchecked magic use can leave dangerous residues, creating hours of mind-numbing deskwork for David and his fellow bureaucrats at the Environmental Perfection Agency. Now a leakage at a toxic spell dump in Angels City is about to complicate David's life in ways he never imagined, unleashing vampires, werewolves, and soulless babies. Even the actual spooks at the CIA concerned. But looking too closely into what might be more than just an accident could have David stepping on the toes of some very nasty deities indeed, imperiling his future on the Other Side . . . and on this one, as well.   When it comes to creating alternate histories--and worlds--no one does it better than the great Harry Turtledove. The multiple-award-winning master of the fantastic carries readers on a droll thrill ride through a richly detailed, ingeniously imagined fantasy reality where the impossible is mundane--and absolutely anything can happen.

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