Tea with the Black Dragon
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Martha MacNamara arrives in San Francisco to visit her computer programmer daughter Elizabeth, only to find that Elizabeth has disappeared. She investigates, with the assistance of her new friend Mayland Long, an enigmatic Chinese gentleman who has made his home in the hotel where she's staying. Then Martha disappears too...
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- Don't Be Ridiculous: During Martha's first conversation with Mayland Long, he tells her a version of the tale of Thomas the Rhymer, which continues past the usual ending point to talk about Thomas' son. When he finishes, she remarks that he tells it with such authority she could almost believe he'd had it from Thomas in person.
"From the Rhymer?" He leaned forward and lifted his eyebrows in mock wonderment. "How could that be? ... I have the story from the boy, of course. The Rhymer's son.
"Beautiful boy," he added, after a moment. "Resembled his mother."
- Genre Busting: Tea with the Black Dragon is a contemporary cybercrime adventure story, but the dragon of the title is not just a metaphor.
- Mythical Motifs: The dragon.
- Our Dragons Are Different: Tea with the Black Dragon starts with Chinese legends, and adds a few wrinkles of its own.
- Punk in the Trunk: Mr. Long after being abducted.
- Shout-Out: In a metaphorically-significant scene, the protagonist is introduced to Conway's Game of Life.
- Vehicle Vanish: Martha's disappearance in:
She stepped into the street. A bus pulled into the crosswalk behind her, concealing her from Mayland Long's sight. A black Lincoln stopped at the corner parallel to her path, then turned right into the crosswalk.
The light changed as Mr. Long reached the corner. He raised his eyes over the roofs of the cars, seeking the blue dress along the next block.
She was not there.
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