River of teeth

Sarah Gailey

Book - 2017

In the early 20th Century, the United States government concocted a plan to import hippopotamuses into the marshlands of Louisiana to be bred and slaughtered as an alternative meat source. This is true. Other true things about hippos: they are savage, they are fast, and their jaws can snap a man in two. This was a terrible plan. Contained within this volume is an 1890s America that might have been: a bayou overrun by feral hippos and mercenary hippo wranglers from around the globe. It is the sto...ry of Winslow Houndstooth and his crew. It is the story of their fortunes. It is the story of his revenge.

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Subjects
Genres
Alternative histories (Fiction)
Published
New York, NY : Tom Doherty Associates 2017.
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Item Description
"A Tor.com book"--Title page verso.
Physical Description
175 pages : map ; 21 cm
ISBN
9780765395238
0765395231
Main Author
Sarah Gailey (author)
Review by Library Journal Reviews

DEBUT Winslow Houndstooth is assembling a crack team made up of a sharpshooter, a con woman, a demolitions expert, and an assassin. But don't call it a caper he's plotting; he's running a legitimate operation, employed by the federal government, to take care of a wild hippo problem in southern Louisiana. It seems that in this alternate version of late 19th-century U.S. history, the government imported hippos to America to use as a food source. Ranchers raised them, riding some of the smarter breeds like horses. But an unscrupulous riverboat entrepreneur named Travers has allowed hundreds of feral hippos to threaten commerce on the Mississippi. Houndstooth has a job to do, and some scores to settle, but his crew all have their own agendas as well. VERDICT First-time novelist Gailey assures us that her premise for this novella, bizarre as it seems, was really contemplated by Congress. Along with her swift-moving plot, she includes a sweet romance between Houndstooth and his gender-ambiguous demo expert Hero. Readers will wish they had their very own hippo to ride around the bayou.—MM Copyright 2017 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Gailey's debut novella is as intricate as her scheming characters' plotting. In this alternate late 19th century, imported hippos have taken over the Harriet area ("not quite a lake and not quite a marsh") of the Mississippi River. Right now the area is used for riverboat gambling, but the government wants to open it as a trade route down to the Gulf of Mexico, so former hippo breeder Winslow Houndstooth is hired to herd the feral animals into the gulf. After assembling a team gathered from the highest echelons of western novel archetypes—with some modern twists, including a genderless demolitions expert and a heavily pregnant assassin—Houndstooth develops a plan that will satisfy the requirements of the job and allow him to take revenge on the people who burned down his ranch 10 years before. The tight pace, complex relationships, and twisting motivations of the characters keep the reader engaged, and the alternate history of American hippo farming is clearly illustrated without clumsy exposition. Fans of seedy westerns will greatly enjoy this tale of gold-tusked hippos and the miscreants who ride them. (May) Copyright 2017 Publisher Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

In an alternate 1890s America, feral hippos have overrun the Mississippi bayou and it is up to Winslow Houndstooth and his motley crew to hunt them down and bring them under control.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

A Finalist for the 2017 Nebula Award for Best NovellaSarah Gailey's wildfire debut River of Teeth is a rollicking alternate history adventure that Charlie Jane Anders calls "preposterously fun."In the early 20th Century, the United States government concocted a plan to import hippopotamuses into the marshlands of Louisiana to be bred and slaughtered as an alternative meat source. This is true.Other true things about hippos: they are savage, they are fast, and their jaws can snap a man in two.This was a terrible plan.Contained within this volume is an 1890s America that might have been: a bayou overrun by feral hippos and mercenary hippo wranglers from around the globe. It is the story of Winslow Houndstooth and his crew. It is the story of their fortunes. It is the story of his revenge.