Let me say it’s been a while since I picked up a good piece of dystopian, tech savvy literature. Jeff Somers hit the nail on the head with his newest work “The Electric Church“.
Before I go into more details, here’s the closest thing to what I can think happened:
- Somers broke into William Gibson’s house, stolen his pens
- Next, broken into the storage space of Sterling and found an unused ream of copy paper
- Frantically channeled the spirt of these two men into a brutalized amalgamation of cyber-punk-esque madness
Now to convert you to the church:
The Electric Church(TEC) is based in a near future/post-apocalypse based world where crime is the standard and every man has his price. Thieves, gunners, and techies wade in the cesspool of civilization left by the unification of the system. Constantly hiding from the bootheels of the system security force, Avery Cates is a man who knows his price. A gunner for hire he has become adept at separating the politics from his work. Everyone has done something bad in their lives, it’s just a matter of whether the price is high enough to make you pay. With the rising tide of “The Electric Church” controlled by it’s founder & high priest Dennis Squalor, its the fastest growing religion. Monks on ever street corner promise eternal life and ‘an endless trail of sunsets’. But what happens when you become a pawn between the System and The Electric Church?
All in all, the book was written superbly. The language is not pretentious. In fact, the vocabulary, though small, is quickly established and maintained. Somers goes into great detail about how poor the quality of the bathtub gin is. I could have done well with him mentioning it only about half as many times as he did, but that’s his style. He takes an idea and runs with it and never hesitates to reuse a choice turn of phrase.
After reading the book, I must say I became even more of a fan. At the end of the book there was a link to a well made website: http://www.the-electric-church.com. Being the nerd that I am, I wondered what google may have indexed in the site which didn’t turn up much. A google search for sites which linked to it was much more fruitful and turned up a couple of character based blogs from the novel. Finding these was a nice touch. While in general, they exist more to help the main sites google page rank, it was awesome to see someone put in that kind of time into easter eggs, especially for a book.