Happy book day to my friend G. Scott Huggins! He’s releasing his fantasy novel All Things Huge And Hideous today. As you might have guessed from the title, this is a humorous veterinary magic adventure, which is in my opinion a much-neglected sub-genre.
Here’s the official summary:
Everyone says it was better in the Good Old Days. Before the Dark Lord subjugated us. Before he gave all the good land to his ogres, orcs and trolls, reducing the civilized races to serfdom and the dirty work: pig farming, sewer cleaning, veterinary medicine.
But even before that happened, things weren’t that much different for the veterinarians. Everyone cheered the heroes who rode their unicorn chargers into combat against the Dark Lord’s dragons, but no one ever remembered who treated the unicorns’ phosphine burns afterward. The only real difference is that now I’m treating the dragons. Today I have to save one’s life. Know what fewmets are? No? Then make a sacrifice of thanks right now to whatever gods you worship, because I have only a few hours to figure a way to get them flowing back out of the Dark Lord’s favorite dragon. Yeah, from the other end. And that’s just my most illustrious client.
I’ve got orcs and trolls who might eat me and dark elf barons who might sue me if their bloodhawks and chimeras don’t pull through. And that doesn’t even consider the possibility that the old hag with the basilisk might show up.
The only thing that’s gone right this evening is finding Harriet to be my veterinary assistant. She’s almost a witch, which just might save us both. If we don’t kill each other first.
This is an expansion of an earlier work by Huggins, which was a lot of fun to read.
One of my favorite parts of these stories is the veterinary details. Huggins’ wife is a veterinarian, and there’s a sense of real truth to the protagonist’s frustration with neglectful pet owners and the various challenges of keeping all these magical animals healthy.
You can read an excerpt on Huggins’ website to get a feel for the story and the humor.