EPS Review #191 - Vurt and Pollen

Vurt and Pollen, by Jeff Noon, Pan 1995, about 350pp each.

My colleague Tom recommended these, saying they were different from most SF. And they are. Noon does a lot of word-painting that is sort of poetic, except that it involves so much bestiality, necrophilia, and poo. I thought I would wait and review them both together, but feared that I would have forgotten Vurt by the time I read Pollen. No worry -- they are set in the same dystopic dream world. Vurt ended with a guessable "it's all a dream" implication, but in Pollen dream and reality seem mixed on some firmer basis. The allows for dog-people, zombies, and sex with plants, but has the expected pitfalls in deus-ex-machina plotting and not caring much about what happens. I guess Cyberpunk has to involve excreta and drugs? Getting tried of that angle. I did like the idea of feathers as delivery mechanisms.

Scott wrote: it's telling that when it recently came time to clear out bookshelves to make room for newer books, neither of these made the cut. but there are still some used book stores that give $$$ that I can spend on books I like better. Have you read Starfish, Maelstrom, etc by Peter Watts? I liked them.