Review: “Copping Squid” by Michael Shea

Copping SquidCopping Squid by Michael Shea
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This tale borrows from Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos for ambiance, but falls short in using it to any greater means.

Late night San Francisco convenience store worker Ricky Deuce finds himself defending his till and store against a potentially tweaking homeless guy, Andre, who’s armed with a large knife. But Ricky’s knife is the only one to draw blood. Then he gives the Andre $10 and a ride in his ’65 Mustang into unknown rough neighborhoods and beyond.

Then, things get weird. Starting with Andre now giving Ricky $5000 to drive him further yet to be a “witness” . . .

Ricky’s motivations do not follow his created persona nor any sort of city common sense ultimately making him not only an unreliable narrator, but an unbelievable one. The tale was not helped by the heavy-handed descriptions using mollusk and oceanic terms for every object and feature.

This story was included in the anthology The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror: 2010 edited by Paula Guran. I’d previously read and reviewed this author’s “Momma Durtt”.
[Check out my other reviews here.]

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