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Sunday, May 14, 2023

Illuminations: StoriesIlluminations: Stories by Alan Moore
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Alan Moore's first short story collection is everything I hoped it would be.

I can't always say that I'm the biggest fan of the subject materials he chooses, but here's something to consider: he ALWAYS seems to pick the biggest underdogs, the strangest viewpoints, the utter quasi-losers, and writes them WELL.

The language is almost ALWAYS 100% gorgeous.

Hypothetical Lizard - a very disturbing look at a SFnal pleasure district twist that is even more disturbing by who gets hurt worst. Lush descriptions.

Not Even Legend - Crypto-zoology Moore style, utterly original cast of creatures, society, and a heartbreaking look at how one such creature lives.

Location, Location, Location - Jesus and Lawyers. Trust me, it's quite original. Damn those contracts.

Cold Reading - an okay paranormal turnaround story.

The Improbably Complex High-Energy State - Funky cool and weird as hell. I couldn't stop laughing at the state of all these copulating comb-overs. Truly great weird-fiction.

Illuminations - A lot of nostalgia. A lot of slow burn that turns into a great little horror.

What We Can Know About Thunderman - My personal favorite of the bunch. It serves two great purposes for me: I love to read about the old, old days of the comic industry and just how messed up it all was. Moore goes several steps out of his way to illustrate it all wonderfully while making sure he puts his spin on every single property, changing names and styles. It's practically a tour de force.

American Light - Beat poetry at its best, made up fresh, complete with full analytical commentary including a full supporting cast of all the old Beat Poets and their place in the poem, real life or metaphorical. It's crazy how well-thought-out it is. :)

And, at the Last, Just to Be Done with Silence - Not my favorite, a bit too obscure even for me, but I can still appreciate the middle-ages references. Moore is definitely intimidating.

So, all said, a very interesting short story collection. Fantastically creative if not always enjoyable, it is always very impressive.

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