Little Better than a Beast (Marla Mason)
Still, who knew how much time they had to finish the plan? Rondeau was on his cell calling in Langford and the rest of the team while Marla looked down at the beast. Something about its shape made comprehending its form difficult, as if it had joints and limbs that weren't entirely in this dimension.
Whatever it was, demon or god or refugee from another plane of existence, it didn't belong here. Maybe it had once, when Felport was just trees and dirt and hills, but this was a human place, now. The beast couldn't stay, even if it had a prior claim on this land as a home.
- Congratulations! Its Asperger Syndrome.
- Lheure des Rats (French Edition).
- The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion.
He was dressed in period finery doubtless dug out of mothballs in some deep basement in the Chamberlain's estate, and he smelled faintly dusty. Malkin's company at all. I am the chief sorcerer here, and I will not be -- " Marla pulled open the back of the truck, and Malkin shut up when he saw the beast bound with 'chanted chains in the back, watched over by the technomancer Langford, who had a tranquilizer pistol in one hand and an overcomplicated cell phone in the other. He beckoned, and the others climbed into the back of the truck.
I'm not fond of mysteries, and this creature is unprecedented in my experience. He pointed to a silvery mesh net that covered the beast's lumpy skull. It's a beautiful place, in there. If you're a monster. So, if we can't defeat it, I figured, why not give it what it wants? Woodland creatures are simple to emulate, too, and there are hardly any humans, just the occasional native for the beast to dismember.
I did use magic to bridge the impossible bits, admittedly. If this thing is capable of being happy, it's going to be happy. We're taking it to a little place outside the city, called the Blackwing Institute. It's where we keep sorcerers who go crazy and pose a danger to themselves, and others, and the substance of reality. Husch, is totally hot," Rondeau said. Marla rolled her eyes. It's a secure site. He called me the weaker sex. Husch before the security monitors.
Malkin was on screen, sleeping on a bed in a pleasantly-appointed -- but impenetrable -- apartment in the Institute's east wing. Poor bastard actually thinks he's Everett Malkin, the first sorcerer of Felport, you believe that? He came to the city and started talking about how he was the rightful ruler, demanding I give him my dagger, crazy stuff like that.
Better to keep him in maximum super-isolation, we figure, with every magic-nullifying countermeasure you've got. She looked at the Chamberlain. The beast of Felport is bound, dreaming peacefully, in my basement, and if one creature can come from the past, can't another? The Chamberlain was the key here. Rondeau was trustworthy, and Langford was both uninterested and trustworthy, but the Chamberlain could change her mind.
She had a potent connection to the early days of Felport through her relationship with the ghosts, and she didn't really like Marla all that much.
- A HISTORICAL SURVEY OF THE DANIEL’S “SEVENTY WEEKS” AND ITS COMPLETE FULFILLMENT WITHIN THE GENERATION OF CHRIST;
- Little Better than a Beast (Marla Mason Series).
- Broken Mirrors » Blog Archive » Chapter 11!
But, on the other hand, Malkin had ordered her around like a servant, and the Chamberlain said the ghosts who'd known Malkin -- especially his apprentice Corbin -- had really hated the guy, so maybe she'd stick to the plan. He's basically a jerk the phrase Asshole Leper Hero comes to mind. He even - famously - has an attack of rage and helplessness and sexually assaults someone.
A lot of people lose sympathy with him at that point and stop reading the series - and even though I love the series, I can't really blame them. Covenant's crime is a tough one to read past, and even when told that he regrets it and spends pretty much the rest of his life trying to atone. Then we have Marla Mason, who is - I am given to believe - wildly popular. However, what's the real difference?
I'd argue that her actions in this story are roughly morally equivalent. She doesn't use as much physical violence, but she exerts humiliating power over someone, completely removing his ability to influence the course of his own life, forever. One could even argue that what Covenant does is ultimately less bad - his victim, at least, has a chance to put her life back together she never really does, but that's a different story. I don't actually want to get into that argument - I'm not entirely sure, myself - and I don't think it's the point.
Comparing shades of moral atrocity is ultimately kind of boring and pointless, and besides, that would totally derail the thread. The difference for me is that Covenant is reflective and tormented. He does something seriously wrong.
Little Better than a Beast (Marla Mason, #) by T.A. Pratt
It's treated as a terrible act by everyone around him. We get a chance to look inside his head, at the hellish vistas his act opens up inside him. He spends a long time trying to fix it for others, and finally, trying to fix the thing inside himself that led him to do something like that. Mason - it seems at this point - is not.
Marla Mason Series
For me, that's the real killer. Now, I know you could argue that this is a short story, and the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant is a series. And, if all I'd read of Thomas Covenant was the rape incident, I'd probably have not read any further. Reading what came before it gave me the inertia to read what came after. I accept that Marla Mason might be in the same category. If my to-read pile wasn't so big, I'd even pledge to read Marla Mason next and find out for myself. As it stands, I'll say that she isn't off my list, but neither, realistically, is she likely to be next.
What I find interesting, though, is the audience's reaction to the story Pratt actually wrote. Pratt clearly knows his audience, because it seems like most people buy Marla Mason as a hero, even after a story like this. Even after a short story like this. The same isn't true of many readers after half a novel, in Thomas Covenant's case. I generally enjoy Tim Pratt's work, but I tried to read the Marla Mason series, got halfway through the first one, and put them down forever, pretty much because of what ElecPal pointed out here: Marla is a horrible person whose company I do not enjoy and whose actions I find reprehensible, and the narratives she lives in don't ever seem to notice.
If anything, they seem to think she's put-upon and showing admirable restraint when she does what she does. It's like watching Fox News, and it makes me feel similarly tired and angry at the same time. The Dresden Files - I like them, but they're pretty schlocky, and honestly I'd rather have read the Lieutenant Murphy Files, if such a thing existed.
I resent rolling my eyes at Harry's maudlin self-pity less than I resent trying to root for someone who appears to have no moral compass beyond pragmatism. Very Short Stories Words. This is what I love about this place and humanity in general. Things one person loves, the next person is lukewarm about, and the person after dislikes.
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I know I've said it before, but I love the character of Marla Mason. She is unapologetic and harsh and violent, yes. But she's written in a way that makes me forgive her for some of them. Her motives are generally genuine. Scattercat on October 19, , I have no complaints about the story, except for how Marla dealt with Malken in the end, which everyone else is already discussing. EA, please insist that your readers pause a moment between sections, or insert silences in the recording before posting it.
Of course, this is all assuming that the story itself has breaks. While I enjoyed this fine, I did think the "I'm going to lock this guy up as a madman" was morally dubious. About as morally dubious as sending a terrible monster into the future so that our descendants have to deal with it and depending on your political leanings--and if you're American--I'm either hinting at the coming storm of climate change or the debt.