Lightbringers and Rainmakers: An enjoyable novelette

Felix Gilman The Half-Made World, Lightbringers and RainmakersFelix Gilman The Half-Made World, Lightbringers and RainmakersLightbringers and Rainmakers by Felix Gilman

Lightbringers and Rainmakers is a good novelette with some neat hooks tying it to the larger tale of The Half-Made World. We follow, as his business cards state, “Professor” Harry Ransom, Lightbringer &c, &c (who made a small walk-on cameo in The Half-Made World), one part charlatan and two parts idealistic scientist, as he is pulled into the midst of the inescapable war between the Line and the Gun. Not only has his “apparatus” once again been destroyed leaving him on the edge of poverty, but now he must deal with the machinations of a rival “scientist” (the rainmaker of the title) and the intrusion of the Line into the small western town he has found himself in as they cast their net in search of some characters we may be more familiar with from Felix Gilman‘s larger tale.

Ransom tells us his story, with varying levels of candor, through letters penned to various people, and he proves to be an endearing character. He is an idealist making the best of a bad world in the belief that it can only be made better. I definitely felt that Lightbringers and Rainmakers got better as it progressed, but it still pales in comparison to Gilman’s novel set in the same world… understandable given the short length of this novelette. I think I was hoping for a bit more from this story, either an unexpected twist or perhaps a wider range of characters/situations to give a broader overview of the people of the unmade West, but it was still an enjoyable excursion back to the Half-Made world.

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TERRY LAGO, one of our regular guest reviewers, is a Torontonian who, like all arts students, now works in the IT field. He has been a fan of fantasy ever since being introduced to Tolkien by his older brother when he was only a wee lad, though he has since branched out to enjoy all spectrums of the Fantasy genre and quite a few of the science fiction one as well. Literary prose linked with well-drawn characters are the things he most looks for in a book. You can see what he's currently reading at his Goodreads page.

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  1. I have not read any Felix Gilman yet, but I look forward to fixing that.

  2. Terry Lago (guest) /

    I definitely recommend reading -The Half-Made World- first.

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