Monday, January 27, 2014

Wake Up, Phil

An excerpt from my review of INTERZONE #250 (TTA Press) here:


Wake Up, Phil by Georgina Bruce
“‘If only you knew,’ said Throom. ‘If only you knew how many chances you’ve had.’”
It seems unlikely that the author intended Throom to be a morph of Theramin, but it seems appropriate if she did so, especially in the context of the overall gestalt. The untouchable executive doctor in a corporation, a corporation that vies with another corporation, each seeking the slavish loyalties of its staff. This is on the face of it the clinching satire finale of Stufflebeam’s “I can’t escape my job” opening salvo. It is also a compelling and engaging absurdist narrative that sometimes approximates a painting by Picasso but is mainly a 1950s/1960s SF novel where townships work diligently at their own employments in the face of alien invasion or cerebral counter-clockworlds like Yoachim in reverse, and homely and housewifery things mixed in with the crazy fantasies or with a theramin music backing to various Forbidden Planets to where these wholesome nuclear families travelled to fraternise with robots or replicants or just playmates or puppy dogs,
There is a character in this last story – a writer called Phil – middle-aged and portly and wearing Hawaiian shirts. I hope this is not a spoiler but, for me, and perhaps for me alone, this is Philip K Dick. But there you go – the light bulb’s finally gone out. Good job I had two.
“Built-in obsolescence meant that Callihounds would die after seven years.”

No comments: