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The Last Hot Time by John M. Ford

The Last Hot Time (2001)

by John M. Ford

Other authors: Tristan Elwell (Cover artist)

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A good read. I didn't bond with it as much as the friend who loaned it to me did. It was a little preoccupied with what everyone was wearing, but they were wearing such neat clothes that I don't grumble. ( )
  GinnyTea | Mar 31, 2013 |
A truly, truly top-notch work of fiction. Every time I read it, new nuances bubble up, forcing me to reconsider the work. Honestly one of the best-crafted novels I've ever read. ( )
  ractatma | May 23, 2011 |
How have I missed this author?

There is a great tabletop role-playing game system called Shadowrun that was originally published in 1989. In it magic returned to the world in 2011, bringing with it mythological creatures and turning some humans into orks, trolls, dwarves, and elves. In the gaming system it's initially 2050 and it's a cyberpunk urban fantasy world that prefigures a lot of the popular fiction being written now, where mega-corporations rule the world and operate sort of like organized crime syndicates - sort of William Gibson meets Tolkein. It's an awesome gaming system and I've never understood why it isn't more popular. Related to this are the Borderland Series based on a similar fictional universe and created by Terri Windling. There are a number of collections of short stories edited by Ms. Windling and several novels of which my favorite is Finder by Emma Bull.

The Last Hot Time is set in a similar sort of universe. Its Chicago and the elves have punched through into our universe bringing with them all kinds of magic and transitory places. This is a coming-of-age story whose main character is plopped down into the middle of things in this alternate Chicago. A paramedic by trade, training, and vocation, Danny Holmann becomes Doc and learns about life, friendship, and the possibility of love.

If you can imagine elements of high fantasy crossed with a film noir feel you'll get a sense of the flavor of this wonderful and original book. Ford writes well and tells a great story and now I want to find everything he wrote. As an aside, Mr. Ford is the person who introduced Klingonaase to the world in his Star Trek novel, The Final Reflection. How geektastic is that? ( )
  kraaivrouw | May 2, 2010 |
This is a deeply satisfying book with a few odd moments, but the oddness is well in keeping with the overall feel and theme. I have a great weakness for books about competent people being competent, and that's exactly how this book starts.

The bulk of the plot is the protagonist, a young kid from the sticks, learning to navigate the dangerous and delightful streets of what was Chicago, and probably still is, but it got pulled into a strange halfway state between the world we know and the world inhabited by elves and other fantastic things. The fantastic elements often provide the motivation and the plot, but the characters are what drive this story, and none of it is anything less than good. ( )
1 vote SaintBrevity | Feb 2, 2010 |
(Amy) I'm not sure why I have never gone on a tear and read every single Ford work ever written, given that of the ones I've read, I've never met one I didn't like. Ah, well, it means I get to encounter these little nuggets of excellence in dribs and drabs, which is not such a bad thing.

The cover of this edition, just above the title, says "a contemporary fantasy". I think I would have to beg to differ with that - if it's contemporary, it's alternate-history contemporary fantasy, which is distinct from the usual kind. More likely in my mind is that it is a near-future fantasy - a future in which Elfland comes back from whereever it's been these last few centuries and really quite dramatically breaks the world.

The story takes place, as do so many of this style, on the border between the elves' world and what's left of the human one, as our late-teenaged-human protagonist arrives there and proceeds to, well, grow up. It's a borderland story, an elves-and-humans story, a coming-of-age story, a post-apocalypse story. How could I not love it?

It's a quick read, which might actually be my only real complaint. I could really have spent more than 200 pages of time in this world, though I respect an author's right to say, This is how much story there is to be told, and no more. (Still, I also respect my own right to pout about it just a little.)

Recommended, in any case. Along with anything else the man ever wrote, pretty much.
( http://weblog.siliconcerebrate.com/zenos-library/2009/05/the_last_hot_time_john_... ) ( )
  libraryofus | May 15, 2009 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John M. Fordprimary authorall editionscalculated
Elwell, TristanCover artistsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312875789, Paperback)

When Danny Holman leaves the cornfields of Iowa for the bright lights of Chicago, he expects his life to change. He just can't guess how much and how fast. A violent incident on the road brings Danny the favor of a man known only as Mr. Patrise, who gives Danny a job, a home, and a new identity.

The City is a different world from the one Danny--now called Doc--knew, and literally so. Long-vanished powers have returned, and more is going on in the streets than nightlife and street warfare. Power is gathering: a power rooted in terror, madness, and death. To fight it will require Doc to face what he fears most. To defeat it will take something more than courage.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:49 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

After saving the life of a beautiful woman, Danny is propelled into a strange world where men and elves interact freely, and finds himself transformed into Doc Hallows, house medic for the powerful and dangerous Mr. Patrise.

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