Thursday, 7 January 2010

Quid Pro Quo by Manna Francis (Part 4)

The story Family focuses not only on the relationship between Warrick and Toreth but also places it in the context of the larger Administration world. Toreth goes home with Warrick for the New Year holidays. Imagine this happening at the beginning of Mind Fuck and it seems impossible.

Perhaps the most important thing we find out in this story - apart from the fact that Toreth fantasizes about Warrick and Dillian - is the insidiousness of the Administration world. In a way it's been kind of abstract up to now, but this story brings it home in chilling detail. Even more scary because of the normalcy in which it occurs.

It also illustrates the line that Toreth is walking. And the fact that he isn't always aware he is walking a line. In this story it's brought home that he can't afford to forget who is employers are. He is employed by the Adminstration to interrogate prisoners and obtain confessions. Though there is sometimes a dichotomy between what Toreth thinks and says in polite company he can never afford to forget that the Administration controls everything. This is brought sharply home to him here - even in the most benign environment you have to be careful what you say and whose past you decide to poke around in.

There's also one very significant line from Warrick where he acknowledges the danger of the relationship.
"Yes, I trust him, but it can never be entirely safe. If it was, I wouldn't want it."
I will also note here that any paragraph which starts - Toreth started the night with good intentions - you know is going to end badly.

Quid Pro Quo ends with the short story Mirror, Mirror. I'm not going to say too much about this. It's ten pages long and possibly one of the best erotic short stories I have ever read. It's the same sexual encounter told first from Warrick's point of view and then from Toreth's which allows you some insights into their thinking and the realisation that Toreth is perhaps not as indifferent as he'd like to be.

Hope I've tempted more of you to try out the Administration Series. :)


Kris said...

"Hope I've tempted more of you to try out the Administration Series. :)"

Don't think I don't know that you're talking to me, Lesley. *mutter, mutter*

LesleyW said...

Kris - glad you got my 'subliminal' message. lol