Fantasy Mystery Romance Comics Non-Fiction

The InCryptid Short Stories: Jonathan Healy and Frances Brown

Sunday, April 20, 2014

The InCryptid Short Stories: Jonathan Healy and Frances Brown (2013/2014) Seanan McGuire

Having read the latest InCryptid book, I realized I had downloaded a bunch of InCryptid short stories, but not gotten around to reading them. Since I didn’t feel like starting a new book, I blew through them all. As of right now, all these stories are available for download for free from Seanan McGuire’s website.

one-hell-rideOne Hell of a Ride (Incryptid 0.2)

Jonathan Healy and Frances Brown met under less than usual circumstance (in the first short story, available in an anthology I don’t currently have) and now that she’s lost her job with the circus, he’s taking her home to Buckley Township, Michigan, to help her get back on her feet.

Unfortunately, trains in the West aren’t quite as reliable as the rail companies would have you believe.

no-place-homeNo Place Like Home (Incryptid 0.3)

After an eventful train ride, and a long horse ride, Jonathan and Fran are finally arriving at Jonathan’s home. He’s unsure how his parents are going to react to Fran, and Fran isn’t sure how they’re going to take her, but as far as the Aeslin mice are concerned, everything is perfectly in order.

married-greenMarried in Green (Incryptid 0.4)

After being together for several years, and somehow managing to do the pregnancy before the marriage, Jonathan and Fran are finally getting married.

sweet-poison-wineSweet Poison Wine (Incryptid 0.5)

Because their son was born soon after their wedding, Jonathan and Fran are just now getting around to taking a honeymoon, and hoping to stay out of trouble while they’re in Chicago.

This does not happen. First Fall (Incryptid 0.6)

I somehow managed to read this story second, which really screwed things up for me, as in this story, Jonathan and Fran are dealing with a terrible death.

Yes, this is, in fact, a very sad and depressing story.

loch-keyLoch & Key (Incryptid 0.7)

After years of grief, it looks like Jonathan and Fran are slowly getting back to normal. To help things along the way, Enid and Alexander Healy (Jonathan’s parents) insist that Jonathan and Fran come on the annual fishing trip with them.

There are, of course, monsters and danger in store for them.

both-go-down-togetherWe Both Go Down Together (Incryptid 0.8)

Fran is pregnant again, and despite every argument thrown at her, insists upon accompanying Jonathan on his trip to Maine, to deal with a problem in Gentling. (The fact it is miserably hot and humid plays no small part in this insistence.)

The mermaids in this story are rather heart breaking.

All in all, it was an interesting collection, and I quite enjoyed the time period. Even though the dialog occasionally veered into modern, I’m not going to hold that against a free story.

I particularly liked how most of the stories held their own without background. When I read the tales out of order, it was irritating because I hate reading things out of order, not because I was lost in the timeline. There is an art to writing a short story, to making a cohesive whole in minimal words. I was delighted to see that Seanan McGuire managed it admirably.

If you’d like to check out Seanan McGuire’s writing (assuming you hadn’t already) this is a good way to check her out. If you’re a fan and you didn’t know these stories were available for fee, get the to her website and download.
Rating: 8/10


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