A Better Way to Die (Jonathan Hamilton)

RoguesA Better Way to Die by Paul Cornell
My rating: 1 out of 5 stars

Jonathan Hamilton believes he’d heading to his death on an estate that is connected to multiple alternate worlds, facing off against a younger version of himself that he had “humiliated” several weeks prior at a dinner party in a card game. Now his younger Alt-Self has stolen money from the College of Heralds and even kidnapped a young senior Herald Precious Nothing before making his way to a place he can get back home or take Hamilton’s place. Unfortunately this story suffers because unless you’ve read previous Jonathan Hamilton stories, what I just wrote above is the only thing you understand in the entire story. The story features a little twist that makes you wonder who the “true” rogue of the story is, but without understanding anything about the world it’s almost worthless.

2 thoughts on “A Better Way to Die (Jonathan Hamilton)

  1. That is one thing why I get leery of short stories. Some authors can’t seem to write them without using a pre-existing universe and making the short story rely on previous knowledge. That is why I usually stay away from collections of shorts by a multitude of authors. I don’t have the knowledge of the universe they are writing in and so the story is pointless to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Honestly that’s always one of my fears as well and this particular story is literally the fulfillment of them.

      However, I’ve found most short stories that occur in an existent universe are more like “A Cargo of Ivories” than this story; an author seeing it as an opportunity to get people interested in some of their work and so giving readers information in a way that doesn’t slow the story and helps it make sense to them.

      Liked by 1 person

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