Sensation: A Review


by J. L. Comeau
The Tomb of Dark Delights

I enjoy weird fiction, and I must say that Sensation is one of the weirdest, funniest, flat-out strangest novels I’ve read since Thomas Pynchon last published. Although the narrative belongs to a hyper-intelligent species of spiders that have been waging a millennial war against a mutant species of anarchist wasps, this novel skewers current American pop culture, cyber culture and politics in a most humorous way. Julia Hernandez flees her marriage and shoots dead a Brooklyn real estate mogul before slipping out of this reality and into another called the Simulacrum, a place that exists just beyond our detection, where intelligent spiders and wasps battle to control human history. The missing Julia is being sought via an onslaught of media coverage when Julia’s ex-husband spots his former wife, following her into the strange Simulacrum otherworld where Julia has become media phenomenon as well. He discovers that it is by insidious parasitization that Julia and the entire human race are being manipulated and controlled. However, The Butterfly Effect reigns, making any semblance of order or control of impulsive creatures such as humans impossible. Sensation is as sobering as it is amusing, revealing our foolishness, folly and self-absorption. How we–a collection of weird little creatures clinging to a rock flying through space–have come to take ourselves so seriously turns out to be very funny indeed in the hands of Mr. Mamatas. For more information about the author, you will find his website at

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