The Barnes & Noble Review
Witpunk, an edgy collection of sardonic fiction, was inspired when someone asked on an Internet literary forum, "When did reading SF/fantasy stop being fun?" Claude Lalumière, a popular Canadian author and columnist, took exception to this and, along with editor Marty Halpern, put together an anthology of some of the best works of satirical fiction in the last two decades. p
While some of the stories are speculative classics, like Robert Silverberg's "Amanda and the Alien," Pat Cadigan's "Mother's Milk," and Nina Kiriki Hoffman's "Savage Breasts," half the collection is made up of never-before-published works by some of the brightest authors in contemporary science fiction and fantasy, including Paul Di Filippo, Allen M. Steele, Bradley Denton, and Pat Murphy.
Included are stories about a science fiction writer gone temporarily insane, a post#150;global warming society where infertile infants are killed by priests in the name of God, a boy's friendship with a turkey, demonic light bulbs, and a secretary with lethal weapons under her sweater -- to name but a few.p
The back of Witpunk says it all: "When the world is just too stupid, brutal, or annoying to believe -- strike back by laughing at it." This diverse collection of stories, which ranges from witty science fiction to black-humored horror to just plain bizarre fantasy, is a typical Four Walls Eight Windows offering: highly intelligent, brilliantly clever stories with that unique mix of style, irreverence, and attitude. Those afflicted with a twisted sense of humor will cherish this collection for a long, long time.
Paul Goat Allen