Friday, January 14, 2011

Python Duck Weapon

My latest Astral Weeks column is up at the L.A. Times. It's a review of Jon Armstrong's novel Yarn. A tidbit!:

His world-building is at once blithe and satisfying, bubbling with Dadaist brand names (Melancholy Mouse Burger, Python Duck Weapon) and anchored by a moral seriousness. All the details, from the slang to the stitching, add up to a dazzlingly grim read. Here, "cut" is a curse, and "fashion" is used as a euphemism for sex — the actual phenomenon of which is virtually absent. Everything, even shopping, is a kind of war. Robotic "infofighters" bombard customers with coupons and directions. Even more grotesque is what happens upon walking into a high-end boutique. A "saleswarrior" gives herself one hour to sell you something: "If I have not assisted your material freedom and truth, the necklace will cut my air."

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