"Every suicide line he called turned out to be an anti-suicide line. He was trapped."

This is Steve Aylett's first novel to hit the US. It's a densely packed with clever phrasing, characters, and events. It's a dizzying look at crime & law that never blinks or stops for air. Aylett has written about the future city of Beerlight in many of his works. It's a world where murder has become so cliché that the guns themselves where made to give it meaning. Above the chaos two characters are my favorite:

The enigmatic Eddie Gamete.

"In his tender years, Eddie Gamete wrote a mindmauler on "The Difficulty of Locomotion on the Upper Lattice Face of a Proton Pulse Bridge." The difficulty alluded to was the fact that Proton Pulse Bridges were a figment of Gamete's imagination and anyone attempting to locomote on one would surely die. "And I'll certainly laugh," he concluded.
And the hilariously feindish Chief Henry Blince.

"Blince saw diversity as a disease and never embraced it. He took one swatch at the mischief engine's jeweled thorax and raised his Colt. "I'm Chief Henry Blince. My soul magnifies the law. I'm arrestin' you for incitin' something to the nature o' which I may dimly comprehend in the fullness of time."
I'm a seeing the strange network of UK writers a bit more clearly now. Grant links to Steve. The bloodied 'smiley face' of Alan's Watchman is echoed in the persistent 3 eyed version in Warren's Transmetropolitan. If there is a UK cabal, hopefully they can exorcise the American banality.
"There's no concept of privacy or personal space in England. Everything is everyone else's business. In America, people might intrude on you but at least they know they're doing it. I think the personal space thing is why we're a knife culture and they're a gun culture - in the States they keep their distance even when they're killing you."

-Steve Aylett, a Slaughtermatic interview

I wonder what the effect of the increasing influence of UK writers will have on the US culture. I fear that the Borg/Microsoft nature of this country will adopt the Knife aspects into a Gun with bayonet culture.

More: Review Slaughtermatic interview Fan site Bits & pieces of his other works, etc.:on ATOM The Waffle Code The author

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