Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Pg. 69: Brian Francis Slattery's "Spaceman Blues"

The current feature at the Page 69 Test: Brian Francis Slattery's Spaceman Blues.

About the book, from the publisher:
When Manuel Rodrigo de Guzmán González disappears, Wendell Apogee decides to find out where he has gone and why. But in order to figure out what happened to Manuel, Wendell must contend with parties, cockfights, and chases; an underground city whose people live in houses suspended from cavern ceilings; urban weirdos and alien assassins; immigrants, the black market, flight, riots, and religious cults.

Painted in browns and grays and sparked by sudden fires, Spaceman Blues is a literary retro-pulp science-fiction-mystery-superhero novel, the debut of a true voice of the future, and a cult classic in the making.
Among the praise for the novel:

"What a breathless, mad, tornado of words! When it shakes itself awake the earth trembles and the helpless reader is dragged gladly into its light. I haven't had this much fun with a book in years."
--Harlan Ellison

"Slattery's debut is a kaleidoscopic celebration of the immigrant experience ... Pynchon crossed with Steinbeck, painted by Dali: Impossible to summarize, swinging from the surreal to the hyper-real, a brilliantly handled, tumultuous yarn."
--Kirkus Reviews

"Call it what you want; surrealist, transrealist, post-modern, absurdist, slipstream, fabulist, literary fantastic ... whatever, there's no word that does justice to Spaceman Blues. A few here might remember me mentioning a promise to review what I thought was one of the most original novels of the year. Well, here it is."
--Adam Balm, Ain't It Cool News

"For fans of the surreal odyssey of Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man [and] Plan 9 from Outer Space ... A-."
--Simon Vozick-Levinson, Entertainment Weekly

"Spaceman Blues plunges us into the not-so-dire, nearly-dystopian future that we're living in at this moment.... For readers who love the language, who read for the sheer joy of having words zip through their brains like el-trains through the sleazy neighborhoods of New York, well, Spaceman Blues is the ticket. You will not need to check your brain at the door, though you might need to check it afterward. It's still there, I assure you. It's just been changed."
--The Agony Column

"Early reviews of Spaceman Blues threw around the names of Pynchon, Doctorow, and Dick as stylistic touchstones. But Slattery should really be considered alongside NYC homeboys like Lethem and Shteyngart, the former for his loving tweaks of vintage pulp (see Motherless Brooklyn), the latter for his sharp immigrant comedy (see Absurdistan).... he's written a breezy, funny, formally playful book that, as apocalyptic novels go, is a helluva cheerier beach read than Cormac McCarthy's The Road, and so visual it cries out for a film treatment."
--Will Hermes, The Village Voice

"Spaceman Blues is a welcome Band-Aid for those still mourning the loss of Kurt Vonnegut and his uniquely wacky, satirical brand of sci-fi. There's also a touch of Paul Auster's flair for genre blending and New York mythologizing.... A strange and whimsical mash note to the city, Slattery's apocalyptome proves that this newcomer is as thoughtful and irreverent as doomsayers come."
--Drew Toal, Time Out New York

Read an excerpt from Spaceman Blues and learn more about book and author at Brian Francis Slattery's website.

Slattery is an editor, writer, and occasional musician living in New Haven, Connecticut.

The Page 69 Test: Spaceman Blues.

--Marshal Zeringue