Review: 'Lagrange' by Phil Guesz
They called Marvin a chicken. And he was. (But only 5%.) He also plays the piano.
In the far-flung, space-traveling future, genetic manipulation has created a small subculture of modified humans that aren't exactly well-respected, but people will at least have sex with them and pay for the privilege. Marvin is pilot of the Pussy Pod, a small ship that safely transports people to and from the Henhouse, a brothel that sits just outside the limits of a space station's jurisdiction.
Legion Printing, May 2012, 78 pages. Available in eBook from Amazon.
Marvin's not a sex worker, but he respects them and cares about them. If he's a trifle ambivalent about his cattle car full of Johns, who can blame him? He's an excellent pilot and deserves more in his life. He shouldn't need to be covered in feathers, but his boss insisted because of the Henhouse's name. For Marvin, every day is a struggle to do his job well and not be bitter. He simply doesn't have the connections to find better work. But a man's got to make a living, even if it's just chicken feed.
There are a few cute moments in this story. Some made me smile, but not enough to actually merit calling it a comedy. It's a lightly-told disaster story. I have a few quibbles, not the least of which is how flexible and well-behaved a bullwhip should be in a total vacuum.
The science everywhere else is spot-on, as you would expect in a Phil Guesz story. Most of the space-walk climax feels very realistic. During the emergency, the social interactions of the crew, sex workers and staffers also feels very realistic.
Is it a furry book? Not quite, it's a novella set in a universe where furries exist, so there's that. And Marvin is covered with feathers. You could say that he's been... orni-thropomorphized.
(Previously reviewed on Flayrah by Fred Patten.)