Tuesday 9 February 2021

The Moon Is Not My Name - ML Clark - Menagerie Mysteries Book 2

The Moon Is Not My Name 
ML Clark

This is the second of the Menagerie Mysteries from the pen of M.L. Clark. I loved the first story, but I had to go back and reread a chuck of it. This one in my opinion was even better. I must admit I had pretty high hopes for this story and for the series, and it did not disappoint. I have been following Clark’s works for several years, and I admit to eagerly anticipating each new work. I also lament some that have yet to see the light of day. I went around 25 years with a reading gap on mysteries. I got back into it by being intrigued by one I picked up for my father and have read many over the last 2 or three years. However, knowing Clarks body of work, and having read the first story in this series, Third Planet Fall Down, I was well aware that this would not be a normal mystery. It is a great read for fans of the mystery or Science fiction genre and for mystery fans willing to take a risk.  

The story focuses on Pax Murillo, he was an on screen detective in the movies in the 2040s. He was brought back as a character in an amusement park on Earth. But not the Earth he remembers for humans have been wiped out. He was created just as part of an exhibit but after multiple run throughs of a scenario he developed self-awareness and is outgrowing his AI programming. He proved his worth and has been moved to the Archives on the Moon. On Luna he is in the administration development. When several important visitors come to access the archive, there seems to be stress on several of his creators. Both the Irian Archivist and Zin are greatly agitated. And then when the Archivist is poisoned in a way that they thought had been eliminated Pax is back on the case, and a case like no other.

This is an inserting story on many levels. Fist is the nearly completely alien environment and species. The second is Pax’s growing self understanding, and learning to navigate this alien world he has been thrust into. And the underlying arc of the economics of the major species and the game, used to control and manipulate them all. The economics of control, both financial and of information. Of particular interest is species that can revert to earlier stages of development and their need to start over again. And the deliberate suppression of memories or experience learned prior to the reversion. Some secrets should see the light of day. And some secrets others would do anything to keep buried. 

For fans of Clarks works this is great volume added to the canon of her work. In many ways I enjoyed this second story even more than the first. It is an excellent read, but be warned it will leave you desperate for the next volume and finding out what Pax is up against then. 

Books by M.L. Clark:
The Bitter Sweet Here and After - Short Story
Uncle Remy's Whizz-Bang Circus
Game of Primes
Fat of the Land
The Shape of Things to Come
The Stars, Their Faces Uplifted in Song

Then Raise the Dead Man High
The Shadow & The Shadow

The Menagerie Mysteries:
The Stars, At Last Count
Wildly Runs The Dying Sun

K-City Kink Sisters:
Lacing Up To Reality - Short Story
One For The Team - Short Story

Contributed to:
Bastion Issue #6 September 2014
Lightspeed: Year One
Lightspeed Magazine, March 2011
The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy, 2017

Analog Science Fiction and Fact, June 2013
Analog Science Fiction and Fact, March 2014
Analog Science Fiction and Fact, September 2015

Clarkesworld Magazine, Issue 199
Clarkesworld Magazine, Issue 193
Clarkesworld Magazine, Issue 181
Clarkesworld Magazine, Issue 173
Clarkesworld Magazine, Issue 165
Clarkesworld Magazine, Issue 162
Clarkesworld Magazine, Issue 156
Clarkesworld Magazine, Issue 123
Clarkesworld Magazine, Issue 92
Clarkesworld Magazine, Issue 86
Clarkesworld Magazine, Issue 80
Clarkesworld Magazine, Issue 74

Works translated by M.L. Clark:
The Marquise of Yolombo - Tomás Carrasquilla

No comments: