Sting of the Wasp

by Jason Devlin

Slice of life
2004

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Number of Reviews: 6
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful:
Postmodern Vanity Fair, May 24, 2013
by kala (Finland)

It is not too often that one encounters IF with cultivated social criticism. Sting of the Wasp can be considered such case, wrapped in a ludic shell of surprising success.

The author's writing deserves a special mention. It is well sophisticated, somewhat close to Emily Short's historical style samples. Responses are always enhanced with a touch of witty satire, yet never falling into descriptive excess.

The puzzles are fair. An advanced reader might consider them simple, excluding the final. Overall, most of the problems are integrated with delightful thematic functions -- a feature not too common in fiction puzzle design in general. Taking a couple of hours to finish, Sting of the Wasp becomes a short novel with a steadily paced challenging narrative.

When reading aspiring IF, it is important not to compare them to canonized literary texts like those of Thackeray's as such. IF is a distinct cultural form with its own aesthetics. How works of IF engage in satirical expression is an art that has no points of comparison outside the history of the form, and in this context, Sting of the Wasp can be seen as one of the postmodern pioneers.