This is one of the most original science fiction books I’ve read in years!
Imagine Philip K. Dick and Franz Kafka and John Norman and Henry Miller writing a story together in a world created by Tim Burton, Ridley Scott, and Quentin Tarantino, and you come close to the strange normalcy that is Blope.
Author Sean Benham starts his book with the ending, confusing the heck out of the reader, with body-part transplants and a description of characters that doesn’t seem real. But staying with the book pays off, and I’d be surprised if anyone didn’t go back and read the beginning once reaching the end. I know I did, and I ‘m sure I’ve never done that before.
Benham gives us just enough background to understand that in another version of history, the American Southwest becomes part of a Taiwan and its ageless ruler uses it as an experiment, segregating the territory into hexagonally shaped Prefectures — the citizens of each sent based on the pigment of their skin — the darkest to Prefecture A, the lightest to ‘M’ and a variety in between.
Our hero, Billy Lopez manages to live first in ‘F’ Prefecture, and then ‘M,’ where he realizes his first and only love (the prostitute/porn-slut Mona) and the worst that humanity can deliver. The citizens of ‘M’ are dying out — slaving away at mindless factory jobs and trading their meager wages for porn VCR tapes from a business which Billy inherits.
I was constantly surprised at each little curve that Benham throws at the reader. From the invented drug to the Frankenstein-like plastic surgery. But because this is some strange, skewed form of alternative history, and not future sci-fi, per se, there’s a weird (ie, ‘nice’) juxtaposition of new and old. New: full body transplants. Old: VCRs.
Even once I got used to this world and didn’t think there were any more curves that would surprise me, Benham wallops the reader with still more (for me, it was information about Dr. Timothy).
I can’t recommend this highly original, dystopic, fantastic world enough. If you want to read sci-fi that is different than the rest of what’s on the bookshelves, then click on the photo above, go straight to Amazon, and don’t leave until you’ve ordered your copy. You won’t be disappointed. Fair warning, though: this book is not for the weakly constituted or faint-of-heart.
Looking for a good book? Look no further…it’s here.
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author: Sean Benham
paperback, 300 pages
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