Aetherchrist by Kirk Jones
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
When a knife salesman named Rey stumbles upon a man with numerous TVs in his garage, all tuned to static on analog signals, his world is turned upside down forever. Now, his thoughts are showing up on TV screens and showing him things he'd rather not see...
Even though my Review Request Guidlines get harsher by the week, I'm really a big softie so I was happy to take Kirk Jones up on an ARC of his latest. This shit is pretty fucked up. I mean that in the best possible way.
"Part horror, part nutso conspiracy thriller" would be the best way to describe Aetherchrist. Much like he mined the Philadephia Experiment for Journey to Abortosphere, this time Kirk Jones takes on the ultimate question: Why did the government keep using analog towers long after cable was introduced?
Rey's kind of a loser, secretly lusting after his boss. When he starts seeing weird things in the analog static, shit quickly gets out of hand. The true scope of the book is reveal when Rey meets other people with the same ability. I'd say it's Kirk's most ambitious book to date and he did a great job weaving the various ideas together.
Bill's notebooks are used to do a little of the world building at the beginning of each chapter, which I liked. It sidestepped a lot of infodumping that way and gave hints of things to come. Once Rey met Aero, things really got going. The whole package reminded me of lost Twilight Zone episode that was too bizarre to air. Also, I couldn't get that Doctor Who episode where the video of the Weeping Angel is played on a loop out of my head while I was reading it.
Aetherchrist was one bizarre experience. Not for the faint of heart but ultimately an engaging read. Four out of five stars.
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