Thursday, September 9, 2010

Another new laugher: Japanese Devil Fish Girl and Other Unnatural Attractions by Robert Rankin

First there was The Four Fingers of Death (Little Brown, July 2010), a 725-page Vonnegutesque novel written by award-winning author Rick Moody featuring “a hard-luck writer in 2025, whose novelization of a remake of the 1963 horror cult classic, The Crawling Hand, spins a satirical tale of a returning Mars expedition."

Then there was Black Hole Sun (Greenwillow Books, August 2010), a new Young Adult "future-dystopia kick-ass action novel set on Mars" with "intelligent sophomoric humor," written by YA science fiction author David Macinnis Gill.

Now there is another new laugher: Japanese Devil Fish Girl and Other Unnatural Attractions (Gollancz, September 2010) by British humorous novelist Robert Rankin. Here’s the product description, taken from Amazon UK:

The pickled Martian's tentacles are fraying at the ends and Professor Coffin's Most Meritorious Unnatural Attraction (the remains of the original alien autopsy, performed by Sir Frederick Treves at the London Hospital) is no longer drawing the crowds. It's 1895; nearly a decade since Mars invaded Earth, chronicled by H.G. Wells in The War of the Worlds. Wrecked Martian spaceships, back-engineered by Charles Babbage and Nikola Tesla, have carried the Queen's Own Electric Fusiliers to the red planet, and Mars is now part of the ever-expanding British Empire. The less-than-scrupulous sideshow proprietor likes Off-worlders' cash, so he needs a sensational new attraction. Word has reached him of the Japanese Devil Fish Girl; nothing quite like her has ever existed before. But Professor Coffin's quest to possess the ultimate showman's exhibit is about to cause considerable friction amongst the folk of other planets. Sufficient, in fact, to spark off Worlds War Two.

Are we seeing a new trend in Martian science fiction?

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