Tor.com, December 2020
“Hammer and Tongs and a Rusty Nail” by Ian Tregillis
Reviewed by Victoria Silverwolf
This month’s only original work of fiction takes place in the popular Wild Cards universe of superheroes and mutants. “Hammer and Tongs and a Rusty Nail” by Ian Tregillis features a goodhearted but naïve fellow made of metal. A stranger convinces him to run for a place on the city council. With the help of his adopted daughter, a police officer, and a superhero, he uncovers the real reason the stranger wants him to be elected.
This tale of politics and financial chicanery could easily be told without the speculative elements. The metal man is intended to be a very likable character, despite not being extremely bright, but in this story he comes across as childish and stupid.
Victoria Silverwolf thinks this will be the last article she writes in 2020.