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Sci-Fi Undercover — Esther Friesner / Unknown Artist

March 18, 2014

Title:  New York by Knight

Listed Author: Esther Friesner (wikipedia link)

Publishing Info:  Signet, 1986, first printing

Pages:  252

Cover Artist:  Unlisted / Unknown

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          I’ve wanted to return to Sci-Fi Undercover for far too long and this novel gave me no choice.  Probably the most outlandish cover art I’ve encountered since I started looking, I bought New York by Knight on sight.  And it follows the rules, thankfully–published before 1990 and by an author I haven’t yet read or heard of.

And I already used up my one ‘do over’.

          That’s right–the last time I explored this feature I was utterly defeated by this thing.  While having the appearance of a science fiction novel, Pandora’s Box was actually an enchanted item that sucked all fun out of my life and sapped my will to read page by page.  In a world where each character was tragically born without a personality and the entire plot is detailed on the back of the book–reading wasn’t just a chore, it was replacing your shower curtain and rings with that dollar store brand that makes your fingers bleed.

          But, right–this new book by Esther Friesner has to be a step in the right direction.

I mean, LOOK AT THAT COVER

I don't remember this episode of Seinfeld.

I don’t remember this episode of Seinfeld.

          What else do you want?

•  Dragon

•  New York City

•  Medieval knight on a horse

•  A ‘Final Battle’

•  Probably time travel

It’s like individual plot lines from several bad movies came together for a drunken night that everyone regrets and, despite what everyone claims on Facebook the next day, it really did happen.

Except how could this not be good–the first three lines from the back cover:

“Now the showdown has begun.  On a planet called Earth and the city known as New York, knight and dragon confront each other in one final battle.  As the deathly dance begins, the city of asphalt and steel slowly wakes to the magic in its midst.”

          I bought my copy for $1.50 in Berkley and have a feeling it’s worth at least $1.75.  Check back later for my full exploration of the novel, author, cover art, and perhaps I’ll even track down the mysterious unlisted cover artist!

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