Pretty Little Things To Fill Up The Void

January 21, 2008

PLTTFUTV, by Simon Logan

Pretty Little Things To Fill Up The Void, by Simon Logan.

It’s like mixing a cocktail of some dubious chemical, wearing welder’s goggles and with the acid burn of your ingredients slowing searing its way up your arms. Take one drachm Brian Wood’s DMZ and Channel Zero, a hundred cc’s of Kathe Koja’s Skin and strip back the oxides off some of Simon’s own Rohypnol Brides and Nothing Is Inflammable, and you have this: a nightmare near-future chemical-fetish world where everything is rubble and broken and rusted, populated by the razor fringes of society and constantly reinventing itself in a nihilistic, furious shriek of death and anger.

The prose and descriptions are barbed wire around your throat. Some elements of the story were genuinely uncomfortable to read, so far off the track of what, in these terrorism-defined days, is socially acceptable, and that’s a good thing — if ever there was a book to tear you out of your comfort zone and make you question the validity of your ideals and your conceptions of art, it’s this one.

From the insanity of the train-riders (hanging onto the outside of a massive toxic waste carrier at 100mph, with death inches over your head, simply for the thrill of it) to junk-city galleries, burned and collapsed and seething with struggling, broken artists and their equally insane, focative art; from the burning, war-torn city streets where SWAT choppers shoot on sight and the taggers and boarders scuttle like cockroaches in the shadows of their wake to the sundered warehouses and the data-pirates, hackers and purveyors; from Elisabeth Afterlife’s hell of self-denial and subsequent journey towards something that might be hope (if that’s what you can call it) to the inimical, monstrous and brutally compelling Shiva (whose rationale makes a hideous kind of sense, which is just one of the reasons you’ll come out of this book feeling as filth-stained as the oil- and rust-choked streets and buildings)… it’s a ride into a world you didn’t know existed, but which is right beneath your fingertips, as cracked and bloody and torn as they might be.

It has the intensity of an acid burn and the cold, jittering brilliance of oxyacetylene. Industrial fiction doesn’t get much better than this.  


4 Responses to “Pretty Little Things To Fill Up The Void”

  1. mepost Says:

    I checked your blog out for your book reviews b/c I’m thinking of doing my own book blog. While our tastes are somewhat different, just want to say, you are a very good writer and I enjoyed most of your book reviews (I don’t do blood/gore, but I’m going to read Donaldson based on your review). Thanks.

  2. sarcade Says:

    Thanks very much!

    I actually started this thing a few weeks ago for two reasons: (1) because I like books and get through a lot of ’em, and hopefully may turn a few people onto some of my favourites, and (2) because I’m trying to kickstart my own writing, having been writer’s blocked for… a very long time now, and writing something, ANYTHING, might help. And it seems to be, a little.

    And yep, I like the gore, but I read just about anything and I can probably guarantee that at least SOME of the future reviews I do won’t have anything to do with zombies. 😛

    I’ll look out for your bookblog with interest. Good luck.

  3. […] Read the full review here and feel free to leave a comment if you wish. […]

  4. sarcade Says:

    Hi Simon. As I said, it rocked.

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