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1 Beaverton Science Fiction and Fantasy- A to Z

Last Week's Apocalypse

by

Last Week's Apocalypse Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Gore Vidal meets Philip K. Dick: These stories present electric messiahs, identity constructs, the Beatles, and even nuclear Armageddon as comic foils for Lain's everyman characters. Here is an America where the packets of Sea Monkeys that arrive in the mail contain secret messages and the girl next door can breathe underwater. With Last Week's Apocalypse, Douglas Lain arrives with a punch line and a warning.

Review:

Being paranoid provides no reason to doubt that They are not out to get you, as Lain's ambitious postmodern story collection proves. In homage to past warriors against totalitarianism, contemporary Winston Smiths battle the trap of capitalism's ever-receding promise of a meaningful life via meaningless work ("Instant Labor"). Picking among the castoffs of baby boomer consumerism, Lain's Gen-X protagonists desperately try to construct an identity in a culture where novelty undermines authenticity. The simplicity of sea monkeys ("The Sea Monkey Conspiracy") and the rigidity of the Cold War ("I Read the News Today") are the closest to fixed values that can be found, and even they are uncertain at best. Characters learn, via a malfunctioning holographic Jesus ("How to Stop Selling Jesus"), that salvation is not granted but attained. Lain intrudes in his narratives, exploiting metafictive devices like direct address and references to other stories, tying a character's quest for identity to his own quest to unravel the stifling logic of America's malled-in society. Distracting typographic tricks contribute to the atmosphere of uncertainty. (Feb.) Copyright © Reed Business Information. All rights reserved.

Review:

"Lain takes full advantage of sf's surrealist possibilities, with results that one sometimes wishes were funny rather than disturbing and provocative.... Sf comes no stranger, nor for some, surely, more gratifying, than this." Ray Olson, Booklist

Table of Contents

The '84 Regress
On a Scale of One to Three
The Word 'Mermaid' Written on an Index Card
The Sea Monkey Conspiracy
Music Lessons
Subliminal Son
The Headline Trick
The Suburbs of the Citadel of Thought
The Dead Celebrity
Shopping at the End of the World
Instant Labor
How to Stop Selling Jesus
I Read the News Today
Identity is a Construct

Product Details

ISBN:
9781597800341
Author:
Lain, Douglas
Publisher:
Night Shade Books
Illustrator:
Vaucher, Gee
Author:
Vaucher, Gee
Subject:
Fantasy - Short Stories
Subject:
Science Fiction and Fantasy-Fantasy-Short Stories
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20060101
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
YES
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
8.5 x 5.5 in 11 oz

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Related Subjects

Children's » General
Computers and Internet » Networking » General
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » Fantasy » Short Stories

Last Week's Apocalypse Used Trade Paper
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Product details 256 pages Night Shade Books - English 9781597800341 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , Being paranoid provides no reason to doubt that They are not out to get you, as Lain's ambitious postmodern story collection proves. In homage to past warriors against totalitarianism, contemporary Winston Smiths battle the trap of capitalism's ever-receding promise of a meaningful life via meaningless work ("Instant Labor"). Picking among the castoffs of baby boomer consumerism, Lain's Gen-X protagonists desperately try to construct an identity in a culture where novelty undermines authenticity. The simplicity of sea monkeys ("The Sea Monkey Conspiracy") and the rigidity of the Cold War ("I Read the News Today") are the closest to fixed values that can be found, and even they are uncertain at best. Characters learn, via a malfunctioning holographic Jesus ("How to Stop Selling Jesus"), that salvation is not granted but attained. Lain intrudes in his narratives, exploiting metafictive devices like direct address and references to other stories, tying a character's quest for identity to his own quest to unravel the stifling logic of America's malled-in society. Distracting typographic tricks contribute to the atmosphere of uncertainty. (Feb.) Copyright © Reed Business Information. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , "Lain takes full advantage of sf's surrealist possibilities, with results that one sometimes wishes were funny rather than disturbing and provocative.... Sf comes no stranger, nor for some, surely, more gratifying, than this."
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