Short Fiction Friday: A Kippled Meal

A Kippled Meal by Daniel Polansky and Lawrence M. Schoen

When the idea of having Lawrence M. Schoen and Daniel Polansky write together came up, it seemed an unlikely match.  Daniel’s The Builders is a tale of of bloody revenge and razor sharp wit, while Lawrence’s Barsk is a story of prophecy, the afterlife and deep pathos. Then we looked again and realized that Barsk features sentient, genetically engineered post-elephants as protagonists, and The Builders has a star studded cast of anthropomorphic desperados. Of course! Each authors’ characters are sympathetic and human-like, but the choice of creature matters, revealing key character- and world-building details.

“A Kippled Meal,” the result of their collaboration, is a meditation on the nature of various idealized animals. 

 I have been a big fan of Daniel Polansky ever since the Low Town series. Just about a few weeks back I read his latest short story. The Builders, simply put wow. Awesome story and once again Daniel Polansky showed what he is worth. 

Earlier this week when I was looking up The Builders on the tor.com website I came across another story set in this universe. A Kippled Meal, which is written by both Daniel Polansky and Lawrence M. Schoen. 

A Kippled Meal just as with The Builders picks up in an inn. This time around the Captain isn't there to get his crew back together. Instead some animals are having an in-depth discussion about food. A cat, mole, sloth, dog and prairie dog walk into a bar. They are hungry and want to eat. Though not a lot of things are on the menu... in the end the only thing that is served is meat. Though the origin of the meat is obscure it kind of tastes ok. While the various patrons are eating a discussion follows as to what makes the perfect meal. Here there patrons each have a different opinion. The opinions range from haute cuisine fine dining, to the place where you eat to the company with whom you eat and much more. The ending is a bit of a gruesome one. But if you look at it. It is all in the nature of the animal. 

If you haven't read this story or The Builders yet, I kindly urge you to do so. This universe is definitely the next big thing. 

Read the full story here

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