No Good Deed by George J. Condon


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Post June 28, 2005, 10:26:11 AM

No Good Deed by George J. Condon

I want to like this story more than I do -- & there is a lot to like, don't get me wrong.<br><br>1) It has a solid science fictional setting with Teleporters, Bubble Cars, Robots, Energy blasters and jewels from Tau Ceti.<br><br>2) The girl Joanna, representing innocence despite her family's criminality or salacious treatment by the slavers, may not fit too well into that setting. No stem cells treatment, nanotechnology or cephalic augmentation -- No "Flowers for Algernon" miracles here. And none are really required. Her mental acuity has little to do with the tale. It is her innocence personified by the glass unicorn that is the profluent element in the short story. The figurine is a 'trade' of great value for the jewels stolen from the decadent Lady Daltry. Remember unicorns can only be captured by the pure.<br><br>3) I like that Dylan is a Gentleman Thief, like the "The Thomas Crown Affair" protagonist, or Fr. Brown's opponent and later ally in G.K. Chesterton's stories. Dylan has more trouble from rescuing a damsel in distress from slavers than pilfering baubles from the planet Avalon's rich.<br><br>4) The "Angel of Death" Judge/Godmother is a nice touch. (After seeing a bit of a certain crass and loud jurist on reality TV, I find it totally credible. :o)<br><br>5) The story is told in three parts: where Dylan steals from Daltry, where he rescues Joanna, and where he chooses not to steal from the fat man on the orbital shuttle. It is easy to see that the young woman's innocence has affected Dylan, giving him a life on the straight and narrow. The judge did feel Dylan too gallant for the mean streets of Avalon, and we do read of his chivalrous rescue in the middle third of the story, but, for me, I'm not sure if there was enough presented to make this life-altering moment believable.<br><br>6) It was an enjoyable read - I just would have liked it a little meatier. :-/<br>
'Beowulf's dragon, if one wishes really to criticize, is not to be blamed for being a dragon, but rather for not being dragon enough, plain pure fairy-tale dragon.'
J.R.R. Tolkien, 1936.

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Post July 01, 2005, 10:50:36 PM

Re: No Good Deed by George J. Condon

I'm in agreement with Cuchulain that there's much to like about this story. It was an exciting tale that kept me "turning pages" all the way through. <br><br>I do, however, feel that the story wasn't a true scifi tale. One definition of scifi says that you shouldn't be able to replace spaceships and ray guns with planes and revolvers, and replace Planet X with Earth, and still have basicilly the same story. Take away the scifi props in this story, and replace them with cars , guns, and such, and it wouldn't affect the story much, if at all. The teleporter was needed to get Dylan to his apartment fast to get his weapon, but that could've been fixed by Dylan keeping a gun hidden in his car.<br><br>Don't get me wrong. What I said in the first paragraph still stands. Scifi props or no, this story was a first class read. Anyhoo, I've probably written a few stories that would still stand if the scifi props were replaced with standard garden variety props.<br><br>All said and done, a good story. And meaty enough, or so I thought. :-)<br><br>Donald <br><br>
A really good story can compensate for less-than-brilliant writing, but brilliant writing will not save a bad story.

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Post July 06, 2005, 02:09:23 AM

Re: No Good Deed by George J. Condon

I liked this story well enough too. I liked the setting and the main protagonist. Dylan seemed like a good guy in the wrong profession.<br><br>I would agree though, that the event that made him go straight did'nt seem weighty enough to achieve that. Another thing is, he was such a good thief, I felt that the judge cheated him out of his real calling. He was a real talent. Whats he going to do now? He could join the IBI (Intergalactic Bureau of Investigation) and use his skills to rescue more Joannas.....<br><br>

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