Thursday, December 1, 2011

100 Books 70 - Mark A. Rayner's MARVELOUS HAIRY



I wonder if Mark A. Rayner and Kurtis J. Wiebe know each other, because they seem to share as deep a love for monkeys and robots as they do an antipathy for mad scientists.

But that's neither here nor there, and my elbows are paining me. Moving on. Because god damn, did I get a kick out of this whacked-out Tom-Robbins-without-all-the-half-baked-lyricism-esque sci-fi satire of a novel, which takes a firm stand  against biotechnology firms and executives who think their wealth and power entitles them to play god without ever getting too didactic, because, well, how didactic can you get exactly when you've got a character whose main way of responding to tense or weird situations is to release a dozen macaques (and, once, a Komodo dragon)?

Yeah, it's like that.

Marvelous Hairy purports to be a novel in five fractals, which is maybe meant to be a stylistic/narrative experiment of some sort that I didn't bother teasing out because I was just enjoying the mostly straightforward, only slightly asynchronous, story of a gang of old college buddies (who might do as a more realistic version of Wiebe's Intrepids) (and who spend a lot of time, as smart people with too much time on their hands and too easy an access to recreational drugs might, pondering the supposed evolutionary layers of the human brain, the human, the monkey, the lizard and the fish) who pit themselves against a big bad biotech corporation when said big bad biotech performs a wildly unethical experiment on one of their own, their loopy blue-eyed boy, who is suddenly and rapidly devolving into some kind of pre-human monkey man state that is perhaps irresistibly sexy to the lay-days but harms, perhaps, his future prospects for employment.

The revenge/take-down they cook up is worthy of Repairman Jack.

Yeah, it's like that.

Sounds good, doesn't it?

Well, that's because it is.

Disclosure: the author was feeling generous on Twitter one day and offered to send a free ebook copy of this to whomever might be seeking something new and different. Ever such, I said meeeeeeeee. And I wound up so falling in love with this quirky craziness that I now definitely consider myself a Mark A. Rayner fangirl. And I want to read his other extant novel, The Amadeus Net, pretty soon. It apparently concerns a secretly immortal Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and his exploits in the mid- to late- 21st century. Yeah, it sounds like that.

But so anyway, that's how you create fangirls, ladies and gentlemen. Here endeth the lesson.

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