is a series created by Eric Flint
and Richard Roach, consisting of two books so far with several more in the pipeline.
Long ago, a caveman named Joe created food to keep the humans going. Then, he invented sex to keep the humans occupied. Then, he invented work to keep the population in check. To help organize work, Joe then invented bosses
. To help the bosses keep the worse workers in line
, Joe invented the police
. To help keep the worst ones in line Joe invented priests
, and to help priests put the finishing touches on keeping everyone in line, Joe invented God. God, in his turn decided that Joe was a liability to him, and froze Joe in a flash ice age
Since then, the bosses, police, priests and God himself have fallen short of Joe's expectations. Even mentioning Joe is considered heresy and the common man is downtrodden. Luckily, there is a resistance movement
going on, led from the
libertarian/anarchist nation of Mutt. And now, Joe's about to come back.
The first book, The Philosophical Strangler
by Eric Flint, tells the tale of Greyboar, the greatest professional strangler
around, and his agent Ignace. The book opens with an account of what was supposed to be a routine royal strangulation; the crown prince of Sundjhab wants his uncle, the king, dead. The job goes smoothly until Greyboar declares the king his guru, and strangles him as a matter of professional ethics
, Greyboar then has to strangle the prince for hiring him to strangle his own guru.
After a Time Skip
, the story picks up with Ignace and Greyboar back in New Sphinctr, the capital of Sphinctria, a kingdom on the continent of Grotum
, after a Noodle Incident
in Prygg, among other things. What follows is a number of separate stories relating to the general story.
The second book, Forward the Mage
, written with Richard Roach, has two separate storylines. One focuses on the artist/mercenary Benvenuti Sfondrati-Piccolomini and Greyboar's sister Gwendolyn, and the other on the wizard Zulkeh and his dwarven
apprentice Shelyid. The book is set mostly during the Time Skip
of the first book, providing some background on the first one and shedding light on the Noodle Incident.
The series subverts
or just generally plays for laughs most of the tropes it uses.
Provides examples of