First They Came for the Pigs – by Chadwick Ginther (Cdn – Winnipeg)
Premise: A wealthy merchant hires four “gifted” mercenaries to help him drag the mushroom infested body of his household steward through the undercity to the Vile Truffle, a sort of Fungi deity, who wants its children (the mushrooms) back or else. Can the mercenaries be trusted?
There is a sort of Thief of Bagdad/Sinbad/Arabian Nights cheekiness present in this story set in a timeless/placeless fantasy world. The premise itself is absurdly cheeky. This is not something you take seriously, but rather something you decide to accept and simply go with the flow to where it carries you.
Rating: Entertaining. In a certain sense the choice of characters and even the place names are purely arbitrary and devoid of background, but it doesn’t matter. Normally it would, but in this case, not necessary. Bit of a jape really, not much more than that, but cheerfully pleasing.
Excellent title by the way.