The French commander, I see, enjoys his comforts. In the corner of the tent there's a bed with a crowning hill of silk pillows, and just by it on a French mahogany desk there sits a bottle of Champagne: a Veuve Clicquot, 1855, a very good year. I spot a six foot candelabra cactus in a pot and on the wall, next to a world map, there is a painting of a leafy forest. A Monet by the look of it; I recognise the clumsy brushwork.I got this on a whim at Novacon in 2013, and the author kindly autographed it. It's the story of a counter-assassin in the aftermath of the Franco-Prussian war. My heart sank when I saw the map which is the frontispiece:
Yep, the borders on the map are (most of) those of 1990 rather than those of 1870. The anachronisms and poor use of language threw me from the start, and I don't think I lasted twenty pages. This was the sf book that had lingered longest unread on my shelves (though TBH I am not certain that it had any sfnal elements, but the fact that I bought it at an sf convention is suggestive) and also the shortest unread book of those that I acquired in 2013. Next on those lists respectively are Above/Below, by Stephanie Campisi and Ben Peek (which will have to wait until I have finished the unread 2013 books), and the EU Lobbying Handbook, by Andreas Geiger. You can get this miserable effort here.