Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Review: Spaceman Blues - A Love Song
3 Stars - Recommended to readers who like their sci-fi a little more literary
A man who managed to turn New York City against him suddenly disappears. His lover decides to find out where he went. Tracking him down will prove to be the biggest challenge of his life... if he manages to survive it.
Spaceman Blues is not your typical "aliens come to take over the world" story. Don't get me wrong, once you hit the end of the book, there is some of that. There are no little green men with anal probes who beam screaming humans up into their ships - although there are 4 Horsemen donning raincoats who fly around NYC on hovercraft-type machines, demolishing people and buildings with their guns of green light.
Forget the aliens for a moment, though. This is really a book about Manuel, who has gone missing, and his boyfriend Wendell, who is willing to go through just about anything to uncover what's happened to his "baby". And yet, it goes even deeper than that, doesn't it? It seems to be saying something profound about our ability to persevere and endure under the most trying of situations; our refusal to give up in the face of failure and defeat; our need to stand up against the unknown...
Ooooor, it could just simply be trying to tell us that bloody cockfights, underground cities, religious cults, unidentifiable dead bodies found floating in the river, and alien assassins are fucking awesome and I'm just reading too much into it.
Brian Francis Slattery winds his tricky and twisty prose around your head, filling it with momentary explosions and bright burning lights to confuse and disorient you. Because, truthfully, sometimes Spaceman Blues really does confuse and disorient you. But no worries, because once the smoke dissipates and the fires die down, you'll quickly find the trail back to our Spaceman hero Wendell. Just sit tight, breathe through it, and all will be well in the world. Well, unless, you know, you've awoken the wraith of an alien race and continue to test their patience...