Terrible Trudy on the Lam is a wildly fun read, introducing us to a tapir who has escaped from the San Diego Zoo. I loved this tale—it’s imaginative and as fun as a short story could be. We see Trudy become an ice-skating wonder, doing her act in a local club, much to the excitement of the local celebrity crowd. She’s a strong, independent tapir who refuses to be told what to do. The story shifts between fantasy and noir as Trudy discovers her second calling as a PI.
Our protagonist is modeled after an actual tapir who spent her early days escaping from the San Diego Zoo, adding a touch of whimsy to the tale. Imagining this tapir roaming the streets without any surprise from passing strangers is a wonderful visual. And how often do you get to read a story with a tapir as the main character?
Overall, Terrible Trudy on the Lam is a fun short, giving us an unlikely hero who does what she wants and gets to discover the world in the process. No cages can hold Trudy and we’re lucky enough to follow her through this journey.
Terrible Trudy on the Lam
Written by Eileen Gunn
Asimov’s Science Fiction