I-0: Industrial Nightmares

22 Sep

(Note to regular readers: yesterday the blog got misflagged in a bot search. It was down, now it’s up. Everything’s fine and it’s back to business as normal.)

So when i was thinking of writing stories for the Dieslepunk Radio Hour i thought i would see what other writers were doing with industrial, dieselpunk fiction. On a whim i picked up I-0 by Simon Logan. It’s a collection of short stories. Most have a simple premise and a simple twist, then bam on to the next story. However, that doesn’t quite get across how interesting as a whole the book turned out to be. These stories are dark. They’re dark, industrial and gruesome. The stories “explore a world of dead TV’s, hallucinogenic chemicals, sad machines and concrete wastelands of scrap metal.” This is a dystopia that is unrelenting. This is a dieselpunk assembly line in which the battle for humanity has long since been lost and there is no better world outside of a hopeless industrial wasteland. It’s depressing as hell. It’s also quite powerful. I mean, if you’re having problems getting up in the morning to go about your life for heaven’s sake do NOT read this book. But if you want a taste of the truly dark side of dieselpunk, i found this book to be very powerful all told and was an interesting excursion for me into a more shadowy, nightmarish side of sci-fi. Like dieselpunk sci-fi horror. Oh! I found an excerpt. Here: . I live with the sound of static in my ears, up here amongst the pylons. The network of transmission stations, communications cabling and electrical supply lines has grown above the city far below like some great mechanical spider‘s coaxial web. Which would make me, and the other engineers, the flies trapped within. It was getting nearer the next electrical surge (they were set to a schedule laid out by an atomic clock but most of us still relied on our own senses to know when one was due) so we had begun to finish up our work and move towards the nearest rubber station. There was a latent electrical charge in the cables at all times which our suits and gloves protected us from for the most part. But when a surge came, a tidal wave of hundreds of thousands of volts that exploded along the power lines in one sudden, raging blast we had to climb inside one of the man-sized vulcanised balls that were scattered around between the pylons and towers, a cocoon of sour-smelling latex—the rubber stations. The cabling network ran for tens of miles in every direction, wafer thin wire and foot-wide pipes, spiralling twists of plastic-coated filaments, metal struts to support them and to link communications towers. Hundreds of [and at times a thousand] feet below lay Reykjavik, nothing more than a mass of concrete obscenities, high-rises, sky-scrapers scabbed with dirt and plague and the solid black veins of traffic that ran between them. We were high enough up in the steel-grey sky that a gossamer layer of cloud was there for us to reach out and touch if we so wished. ……………………………. I probably will go on to read Katja From The Punk Band by Logan, just… after i take a break and read something a bit lighter. Hey the sequel to one of the best sci-fi books i’ve read in the past year (The Quantum Thief) is due out this month, but i’ll touch on that one later.

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Posted by on September 22, 2012 in Uncategorized


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