By Kenneth Wishnia
OK, kids, it’s time to give a shout-out to fellow PM Press author Nick Mamatas for his hilariously deranged novel, Sensation. In fact, I was reading Sensation on the Long Island Railroad, sitting next to a woman who was reading Fifty Shades of Gray, and she didn’t appear to be having anywhere near as much fun as I was. So there.
This speculative novel about ‘love, politics, and parasitic manipulation’ features a woman’s spontaneous attempt to resist gentrification and consumerism that unexpectedly grows into a movement (there is even a prescient appearance of the Guy Fawkes mask from V is for Vendetta), and the characters’ efforts to radically change humanity’s ways of thinking, including a valiant attempt to bring back the mimeograph machine that ends rather tragically, yet also hilariously. Nick’s good at that sort of thing.
It’s full of sharp, witty observations about such diverse cultural phenomena as the Starbucks replication conundrum, Homeland Security absurdities, and hipsters who think it’s badass to walk around a neighborhood that used to be dangerous.
And Richard Nixon dollar coins! Yes! When are we going to start putting disgraced presidents on the money? It’s such a great idea, let’s take it further: Where is the Warren G. Harding $3 bill? Or the Clinton half-dollar? (Although Monica Lewinsky said it was only the diameter of a quarter.) And maybe we can pacify all those morons who want to put Reagan on the money with the official Ronald Reagan plugged nickel (careful: each one transfers a debt of $3 trillion to the bearer). And when that moment finally arrives, you can bet that it’ll be visionaries like Nick Mamatas who got us there. And not a moment too soon, baby.
P.S.: Nick and I are in Akashic’s Long Island Noir together, and he’s got a great story in that, too. (Check ’em out!)
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