Looking out for Number 2

A few eons ago, Sheri S. Tepper wrote of Mavin Manyshaped, one of a clan of shapeshifters, who, once her powers develop, flees from the family compound, lest she be abused like the other women in the clan. Mavin takes her younger brother with her; to speed the process along, she assumes the shape of a horse.

So far, this is a fairly routine fantasy concept, but Tepper is never routine. If you think about it — obviously she did — the Mavin/horse is going to have to eat, and eat a lot, during a long journey like this, and once she returns to human form, well, what’s going to happen to all that bulk she was carrying as an equine?

Exactly. Tepper doesn’t dwell on the point, but she doesn’t evade it either.

Nor does Lileks sidestep the issue:

[L]ast year’s Magic of Pegasus … was really the Phantom Menace of the Barbie movie genre. Not to give anything away, but it turned out that the talking Pegasus was actually Barbie’s sister, which was rather creepy. I suppose they figured it was a little girl’s dream — a flying horse who’s also your bestest sister ever — but if you thought things through, flying horses would necessarily drop huge pies from great heights. Once your sister had retaken human form (and started borrowing your stuff without asking) she couldn’t use the bathroom without making you wonder whether she’d taken out a cottage or two with a few high-velocity sky apples.

Do not expect this wisdom to be reflected in this year’s My Little Pony® product line.





3 comments

  1. McGehee »

    21 September 2006 · 10:40 am

    And here I thought it was advice more along the lines of “watch your step.”

  2. Francis W. Porretto »

    21 September 2006 · 3:51 pm

    Someone else who’s read The True Game! I was fairly sure I wasn’t the only one, but still…!

  3. triticale »

    22 September 2006 · 7:14 pm

    I loved that series. Someone should reprint it in one (or worst case three) books instead of the nine it came in. I’ve misplaced half of it. and not the half in stock at the downtown library’s used book store.

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