Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Adventures of Darger & Surplus

Michael Swanwick's new novel is out, and for those of us who enjoy swashbuckling stories of rogues and rascals, well, we are very lucky. The novel, Dancing With Bears, follows the far future adventures of two of Swanwick's most delightful characters, the con-men, cheats, and all-purpose swindlers Aubrey Darger (the most nondescript man in the world) and Sir Blackthorpe Ravenscairn de Plus Precieux (aka Surplus), who hails from the Demesne of Western Vermont, and who is a six foot tall dog who wears human clothing.

photo by Jack Versloot

To get up to speed on these two slippery characters, you might first want to check out Swanwick's story collection The Dog Said Bow-wow, which includes the first three Darger and Surplus stories, in which they swindle their way through London, Paris, and Greece; by the time of the novel, the pair has made it to Russia, bringing with them a brilliant plan, entirely foolproof, for making a tremendous amount of dishonest money...

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