Review: The Falling Woman by Pat Murphy


Publisher: Open Road
Publishing Date: April 2014
ISBN: 9781480483149
Genre: fantasy
Rating: 1.5/5

Publisher Description: When night falls over the Yucatan, the archaeologists lay down their tools. But while her colleagues relax, Elizabeth Butler searches for shadows. A famous scientist with a reputation for eccentricity, she carries a strange secret. Where others see nothing but dirt and bones and fragments of pottery, Elizabeth sees shades of the men and women who walked this ground thousands of years before. She can speak to the past—and the past is beginning to speak back.
As Elizabeth communes with ghosts, the daughter she abandoned flies to Mexico hoping for a reunion. She finds a mother embroiled in the supernatural, on a quest for the true reason for the Mayans’ disappearance. To dig up the truth, the archaeologist who talks to the dead must learn a far more difficult skill: speaking to her daughter.

Review: There are a couple of covers floating around for this novel. I really like this one.

This was originally published in 1987 by Tor and won the Nebula Award. Why Open Road Media is re-publishing this drivel is beyond me.

Wow, the Nebula. Was no one else writing anything of note that year? Did George RR Martin just one day in 1987, say “Fuck it. I am done writing for awhile. I need some time off to draw some weeners.” This was the era of Orson Scott Card, Larry Niven, David Brin, William Gibson and Greg Bear for fucks sake. Is this a case where a review panel fell in love with the notion that iterative dialogue, if psychotic enough, deserves some ass-play?

I am going to have to hang up writing reviews if this POS seriously won the Nebula. Eighty five percent of the novel is Mom/daughter drama and endless dialogue. Then throw in some spots from “I see dead people…er…Mayans” and that is it. There is a faint rejoinder at the end that we may have a sequel to look forward to. Seriously, I would rather have a sockeye salmon shoved up my ass.

You know what, I need to get over myself. This happened in 1987. 1987 was a damn good year for me. I finished college at my fourth university, Stevie Ray Vaughan was Live in Nashville, and …….ok, it was a lame year in history (Except for the SRV Nashville thing) so maybe it was time to elevate a novel based on daily happenstance, the dialogue that ensues and dead people talking. I guess if you make your main character demonstrably “Eccentric” and olde (yes old-ay) at 51 years, then fuck, here’s your Nebula. You could literally walk around for the rest of your miserable life surprising people with your award. Even if you wrote nothing, say for forever, you could still bash someone over the head with that award and have nuns chenuflecting at your feet.

I feel like Lewis Black. I am so pissed off right now, I have this degenerative scream that fails to escape a frustrated throat crammed with curses. I could kick a puppy right now. Nah, I love dogs. I could seriously kick a kitten right now.

3 thoughts on “Review: The Falling Woman by Pat Murphy

  1. How about kicking a sockeye salmon and preserve your a$$? Ahhh, the Nebula Award. That’s one “award” I do not understand and generally stay away from anything that’s won it. There may be some winners in there, but in my opinion you really have to know what to look for to find one. Congrats for finishing this, I don’t know what’s with Open Road Media republishing oldies in different genres. Seems to me there’s plenty of fresh talent out there if given the chance. Loved this review. Classic Koeur!

  2. Excellent post. I was checking continuously this blog and I’m impressed! Extremely useful information specially the last part bfeaeedeadad

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