Hi! Been kind of a while and I’m running out of things to think about, so I’m reviewing a book I read like last August. I bought it at a convention out of sheer curiosity. So anyway:
Cult Fiction is the tale of 2 Irish brothers who were sick of all the virtual reality stories and wanted to write one where pop culture was made actually real. So they up and wrote it. Set in a future on its way to becoming a dystopia, this book centers around Municipal City, a city-state where a bunch of rich geeks made every nerdy thing they could think of a reality: magic, Transformers, Pokemon, whatever. They simulate everything in this one area. After passing a fantastically nerdy 256-question test (get it?), new citizens can pick a character, and become that character as fully as possible (or just do their own thing). We follow a Tifa Lockhart tribute through the 90s sector (yes, decades have sectors) through the city as she interacts with the world.
This book… kind of made me uncomfortable. It was, like, the Dwyer brothers wrote the closest approximation to their entire souls they could come up with on the page, and now I’m reading it. You could tell how much love was poured into every page-as James Dwyer says in this interview (don’t know how to insert links into posts, so I’ll stick it at the bottom of the page), it’s “almost sexual, really”. All that makes it really, really hard not to love. On the other hand, it’s not written so well. Exposition is shoehorned in annoyingly and at really inopportune times, it was kind of cliched (I know there were times when it was supposed to be cliche, and I enjoyed that, but the rest of it was just annoying), the characters were… well, not bad, actually, but not great either. In the same interview, Dwyer suggests that inner turmoil and description are like a writer “masturbating his imagination on top of your face”, and he lives up to that. There’s almost none of either. All in all, it’s not a great book, but I love it anyway. I love the references, and it’s just so sincere you can’t help but enjoy it. (And the fight scenes are pretty good, too). I’m definitely reading Part 2 when it comes out.
Guess that’s it. Thanks for reading!
Link to interview: https://www.smashwords.com/interview/brendandwyer