This is one of the things about Robert Charles Wilson books: he often mentions that people elsewhere are handling things interestingly, but then he doesn't go there and show us. I want the red roses on the rival's corpses and the extremely high-tech dueling pistols. I want characters who are doing a hell of a job at whatever they're doing instead of wandering around behind this guy they knew when they were 10.
I have a Dorothy Dunnett book in my backpack for next, so that's okay then.
Also: the problem with the Indigo Girls' "Jesus Christ Superstar" is not at all having a girl Jesus. The girl Jesus is one of the best things in it (the girl Simon Zealotes is actually my favorite). The problem is that half the cast appears to have shown up to read the thing for the first time when they were supposed to be recording. And smoked a good deal too much weed in the process. So you end up with lines that are supposed to sound irate or dismayed and instead sound confused-stoned. Girl-Jesus is fine, though. Half of the Indigo Girls makes a better Jesus than the other half makes a Mary Magdalen, I think.
This is probably because I am a hippie menace, but I'm okay with that.