When the magician, Kadmeion, and his Metal-man assistant, Bright, witness an event at a mandrake plant, they discover a Go Fer dog capable of producing magic, in Forever Boy, by Lita Burke. Rescuing the animal and bringing it to their ship, then bathing it, and cleaning its wounds, Kadmeion and Bright are dismayed when the Go Fer dog escapes. But after the dog, who it turns out can speak (and is something more than just a dog), discusses the matter with the ship’s Machine—the dog returns to the magician and his assistant. There, he learns his true identity and is named, Furgo. Upon discovering that he must return to, and be released by, his former master before he may join up with Kadmeion and Bright for good (and as a wizard’s familiar), the three come up with a plan for dealing with the evil pellar who would have allowed Furgo to die at the mandrake plant.
Forever Boy is a very short read. While it resolves the immediate issue of Furgo’s identity and sets the stage for future stories, it is not a work that will engage a reader for long hours. Even so, for those looking for a quick getaway, Forever Boy, fits the bill. Lita Burke has created a “clockwork punk” world (like a science fiction tale in an earlier period with fantasy elements) that is both unique and inhabited by unusual characters. If you are in for a different sort of tale that includes some traditional fantasy principles, take a look at Forever Boy.