Saturday, October 17, 2009

Brian Francis Slattery: Liberation

Brian Francis Slattery's Liberation (with a 16-word subtitle) seemed to me to be closer to mainstream fiction than to the fantasy it's packaged as or to science fiction. It was still a fun read, but quite bizarre. The prose was quite lyrical and the timing mesmerizing. The story itself was weird, disjointed, and acausal, but it drew me in none-the-less.

The story replays the adventures and reunion of a dispersed band of mythic super-powered robbers and avengers after the apocalyptic collapse of the USA. The country has dissolved into fragments which are each ruled by whatever warlord can hold power (if anyone can). Some sections of the country don't hold together, and there are only local communities. Communication among the parts is slapdash, and it takes luck to get from place to place. One kind of luck is to happen on Dr. San Diego's apparently magic bus, which is drug infused and ferries people to and from unreachable places.

Anyway, the slick six have parted ways, but they'll need to regroup to defeat the forces of evil, slavery, and tyranny. They mostly do, though it requires a bunch of peripatetic adventuring to accomplish, and a few superhuman feats. I'm not sure there's much more that's coherent to say about this, but the language definitely kept my interest, even if the plot summary is mostly superfluous.

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