Just finished reading Stephen Graham Jones’s It Came From Del Rio on my new Kindle. I’d wanted to read it for ages, but couldn’t get it here in Sydney, so it was the first book I bought on the kindle. Okay, this is a read that grabs a hold of your psyche and just won’t let go. Think Dashiell Hammett meets Carlos Fuentes in hell—radioactive bunnies, chupacabra (bald, blood-sucking canines) vengeful border narcs, zombie dads, and that’s just the wildlife. Throw in a bad case of mouth ulcers, a Bonny-and Clyde subtext, and a lonely ham radio nerd and you’ve got one of the strangest murder mysteries this side of the border, told with Stephen Graham Jones’s signature heart, elegant prose and killer sense of place. I became hooked on Jones after reading How Billy Hanson Destroyed the Planet Earth and Everyone On It—there’s not many sff writers around of whom you can ask every single time—how the hell did s/he do that? Jones is one of them
‘Amazing technologies, deviant desires.’ Map that onto antebellum America, throw in some hardscrabble characters and a strange journey that cuts across time and space, and you’ve got Enigmatic Pilot, the second installment in Saknussem’s Lodema Testament. This is a seductive, enfolding trip of a novel, an audacious yarn that nods to the New Weird and tips its hat to the evolving traditions of Steam Punk, but owes as much to the ghosts of Melville and Samuel Clemens, whose spirits, like the enigmatic script at the center of the story, illuminate the pages with the queasily addictive light of true lies. More than just a subtitle, this ‘tall tale too true’ takes up where Saknussem’s cult hit Zanesville leeaves off, or rather before it begins, not so much a prequel as the source code. It is more accessible, less obscure, even more darkly hilarious, and packs quite a haymaker. If Saknussem has matured, he most certainly has not mellowed.
I watched this at the Sydney Film Festival and I dug it. There was Ginger Snaps (2000) and Bigelow’s Near Dark before that, but U.S. indie offerings in the vampire genre have been somewhat wanting compared to what the British have been serving up for years: zombies (28 Days Later), for instance, and werewolves (Dog…
There are monsters that dress in the skin of men, and hauntings that go beyond your average apparitions, alive and threatening. Women turn to lizards, dead dogs can see, and the things that drive men mad can step from their imaginations into broad daylight or slink around by the light of the moon just beyond the…
Better red than dead in this Zombie Nazi romp from Tommy Wirkola.
Oh, but just before I do… watched Daybreakers last night, a little post Halloween treat. Killer take on the vamp story. Australian feel to it, but in a good way. Sam Neil wasn’t entirely convincing as the evil corporate sucker, but he played it for camp, always good to see a fine actor enjoying himself….