Shortbits reviews Clockwork Chickadee

Shortbits reviewed Clockwork Chickadee and closed with this line.

This is a fun little steampunk parable whose apparent moral lesson (pride comes before the fall) is somewhat subverted by the cold, calculated nature of Chickadee’s schemes.

What’s interesting to me is that I thought about putting an actual moral at the end, but decided not to because it defused the story. I asked some early readers what moral they would put and they all said, “Well clearly it’s [x].” Except [x] was different for every one of them.

So, now I’m curious. What do you think the moral of the story is?

Did you know you can support Mary Robinette on Patreon!

9 thoughts on “Shortbits reviews Clockwork Chickadee”

  1. Women are pecky bitches.

    But no, really, I don’t see how the moral of pride coming before a fall was “subverted”. Ah well, everyone’s different and I’m allowed to think Shortbits is using ten dollar words when there’s only two in their piggy bank. But seriously, I don’t get it. The moral’s clear, we don’t need to be hit over the head with it…

  2. I think the fact that everyone described a different moral suggests you did the right thing by leaving it out. As long as they liked the story, of course.

  3. That’s a good question. You kind of have a “be happy with what you have” type thing, but the chickadee has an active part in the downfall of the sparrow. How about, ‘Be careful what you wish for, you just might get what’s coming to you.’ 🙂

    1. Rats will give you the world if you love them. Well, okay, the world as they know it, anyway, but they’ll give it to you. More loyal than any dog and about ten thousand times smarter, too. Definitely trustworthy, and most especially so if there’s something it for them.

      About the only thing I couldn’t trust my first and best rat to do was NOT pee on my pillow when we woke up in the morning because his lazy arse didn’t want to get down off the bed in time. 🙂

      (Crazy? Me? Surely you jest.)

  4. I suspect what Shortbits meant was that ‘Pride comes before a fall’ implies self-generated inevitability, the fall coming as a natural consequence. In this case it’s clearly due to external interference.

    There are multiple ‘morals’ to be seen I’m glad of and certain, since no story is ever about only one thing. What I see in it is that dreams make for easy prey.

Comments are closed.

Scroll to Top