Travel. Snow. Pools. Beer. Sleep. Read. Read. Read. And holy mind fucks, Batman! Which is not erudite we know, or academic, or probably an appropriate way to discuss books at all. Yet both How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by the Charles Yu and Transubstantiate by the Richard Thomas are just that, total, fucking mind fucks, yo. Maybe it's the fact that we are talking science fiction and neo-noir respectively in the first place, and all the speculative, twisty, dystopian futureness inevitably captured therein. But it's not just that. It's also their respective abilities to bend narrative, to build, even morph, towards the slow reveal, and to create graphic imagery. Mostly though, it's the telling of stories that are fractured and discursive, while still being immersive reads, that beg you to read the next page and the one after that.
Further, while it's true that Thomas' work is more violent and sad, a narrow slice of a universe and experiment gone terribly wrong, LOST meets Vacation by Jeremy C. Shipp, high praise yo, and Yu's is more gentle, seeking to somehow explain the origins of time travel in all its fucked-upedness, though ultimately a story of how families lose one another when they forget how to communicate, and obsessiveness and mental illness, skew the dynamics at hand, they are of piece. Alternative, yet complete worlds, that fuck with the reader in ways we want to be fucked with, challenging our perceptions of place and self. And yes, that's a lot of fuck, but there was also a lot of beer, sleep, snow, kid, and pool. And so here we are. And here you are. And you can hit these books as we did. They just might change your life. And this regardless of how much snow is afoot, or how much you sleep, or drink, or kid.