Thursday, August 4, 2011
While not reaching the heights of language or assured experimentation of W.S. Burroughs, “Atrocity Exhibition” era Ballard, or Borges, it should be know that the Jerry Cornelius stories are way more fun, as Jerry and his cast of players turn 20th century atrocity and culture into wild theater. The world ends over and over, wars are always being fought, music blaring, awesome outfits are worn, science fiction gadgets buzz and scream, they kill each other over and over, time blurs, and we rotate through this world over and over again from a variety of permutations. All possibilities are explored.
A grim John Brunner future rewritten as a Firbank farce. Off course Brunner’s futures are basically today but with domed cities and the war on drugs finally ceasing its screaming obsolescence and this book is accordingly about now and what is to come. Jerry Cornelius seems at home in the day and age of 24 news channels, encroaching ecological disaster, out of control corporatism, government gangsterism, and terrorism. The war on terror as a video game, the U.S invading the U.S., a disturbing vibration cannon, cartoonish violence, London and Washington D.C. both get destroyed, battle blimps, and a note of despair with the silliness. Who else of Moorcock's generation is writing stuff this weird and savage? Alan Moore’s intro nails it and is a worthwhile essay on the Cornelius books.