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Showing posts from November, 2015

Kamikaze L'amour by Richard Kadrey

If ever a novel needed its own niche, Kamikaze L'amour by Richard Kadrey might've been it. Dipping here, there, everywhere, from many subgenres inside and out of science fiction—dystopia, post-apocalypse, urban fantasy, cyberpunk, timeslipstream, satire, literary fiction, magical realism, it eluded a single label—a good thing—but also eluded sales—not so good; it's unclassifiable nature reminiscent to me of Steve Erickson's inimitable oeuvre, particularly his second novel RubiconBeach, in which an encroaching jungle, a parallel reality Los Angeles, and a mysterious woman named Catharine, all figure prominently. Could've been coincidental, there being so many striking similarities between the two novels, though I suspect Kadrey was probably paying Steve Erickson some much deserved homage.

When Kamikaze L'amour opens, San Francisco and Los Angeles are in ruins. "San Francisco was on the verge of some discrete internal shift accompanied by subtle deviations …

All Twenty-One of Stephen King's Books I've Read* so far (or Attempted to Read) Ranked from Worst to Best

Vulture released a worst-to-best ranking a couple years ago of Stephen King's sixty-four books and I thought they got it mostly right.  But I like this hardcore King fan's list better.

*I've read -- completed -- eighteen books by Stephen King so far in my life and have attempted to read three more.  The three I couldn't finish are the first three listed.  So, here's my personal worst-to-best ranking of the twenty-one books I've read or attempted to read by Stephen King.

21.The Tommyknockers (1987).  A heartbreakingly bad reading experience that ended my then loyal relationship with Stephen King.  I made it 200-250 pages and gave up in disgust.  It's good to see I wasn't the only reader who thought this novel was tired, bloated, and just generally all-around atrocious.

20. The Complete & Uncut 1990 version of The Stand.  Three years had passed since I abandoned Stephen King.  Having such fond memories of the much shorter (by about 400 pages) original v…

Nakamura Reality by Alex Austin

Reading Nakamura Reality by Alex Austin is like riding a perfect wave. In its exhilarating, grips-you-from-the-get-go prologue, "slabs of water, rhinos the surfers called them" are booming off shore. Closer, the shore break "sounded sharply like a gunshot."  As you read Nakamura Reality (and do know it will be difficult not to complete it in one sitting), keep in mind this dualism Austin first evokes here with the imagery of waves: inside versus outside, far versus near.  Incoming infinitely, ephemeral as they are, Austin's waves foreshadow and harbor clues in Nakamura Reality's epic prologue.

Alex Austin is a practiced illusionist in words and images. He's been a playwright; he's witnessed his words and images staged in Los Angeles and New York.  He's published many stories both online and in print, including publication in two issues of Black Clock.  You could safely say, as I will, because yes I know Alex, that he has a special way with word…