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Bullettime Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 225 pages
  • Publisher: ChiZine Publications (August 14, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781926851716
  • ISBN-13: 978-1926851716
  • ASIN: 1926851714
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 5.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #947,602 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Nick Mamatas. Author of a number of novels; Move Under Ground (Night Shade 2004, Prime 2006) and Under My Roof (Soft Skull Press, 2007), Sensation (PM Press, 2011), The Damned Highway (Dark Horse, with Brian Keene, 2011), Bullettime (CZP, 2012) Love Is the Law (Dark Horse, 2013), and The Last Weekend (PS Publishing, 2014) two collections; 3000MPH In Every Direction At Once (Prime 2003) and You Might Sleep... (Prime 2009), and the novella Northern Gothic (Soft Skull, 2001).

He is also the editor of the anthologies The Urban Bizarre (Prime 2003), Phantom #0 (Prime 2005), Spicy Slipstream Stories (with Jay Lake, Lethe 2008), and Haunted Legends (with Ellen Datlow, Tor 2010). As part of his day job, he co-edited the Locus Award nominee The Future Is Japanese (with Masumi Washington, Haikasoru 2012).

Nick also co-edited the magazine Clarkesworld for two years, which was nominated for the Hugo and World Fantasy awards. Stories from Clarkesworld have been collected in a pair of anthologies: Realms and Realms 2 (Wyrm Publishing 2008 and 2009).

Nick's own short stories have appeared in literary journals such as Mississippi Review online, subTERRAIN, and Per Contra, slicks including Razor and Spex, and fantasy and horror magazines and anthologies including New Dark Voices 2, Poe's Lighthouse, ChiZine, and Lovecraft Unbound.

His fiction has been nominated for the Bram Stoker awards three times, the International Horror Guild Award, and Germany's Kurd-Laßwitz Preis. His reportage and essays have appeared in the Village Voice, The Smart Set, H+, Clamor, In These Times, various anthologies. With Kap Su Seol he translated and edited the first English edition of a firsthand account of South Korea's Kwangju massacre--Kwangju Diary (UCLA Asian Pacific, 1999).

Nick now lives in the California Bay Area, where he is editor of tradebooks for VIZ Media and edits both Japanese science fiction novels in translation and books associated with Oscar-winning filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki's Studio Ghibli.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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After I finished this book, I realized the story was just as good with the chapters read in reverse order.
Kate Kligman
Mamatas never writes the same kind of book twice, but I kind of wish he'd make an exception in this case, because reading just one book like this isn't enough.
T.A. Pratt
The book is a breathless, dizzying read, at points funny, emotional, poignant, sexy and un-sexy, tense, awful, and queasy-making, but mostly very very sad.
Molly Tanzer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Molly Tanzer on August 7, 2012
Format: Paperback
In BULLETTIME, as in Sensation (Spectacular Fiction), Mamatas explores the notion of human agency through an unusual, detached, fallible, inhuman but all-too-human narrator. In SENSATION, that narrator is a collective arachnid consciousness that observes the course of human events while waging a war against their enemies, a species of predatory wasps. In BULLETTIME, protagonist David Holbrook narrates the story of his own life--indeed, all of his possible lives--from within the Ylem, a place beyond reality, trapped there by Eris, goddess of discord.

Most of David's lives center around his having been a bullied teen in a rough New Jersey high school, where he is beaten up and mocked by day, and must, at night, deal with his awful father and alcoholic mother. He survives the madness by guzzling cough syrup and not caring about much. The various Davids within the novel snap or don't snap, sometimes prompted by Eris (who torments David while manifesting as "Erin," just another student at David's school ... albeit a wild, teasing, instigating student), sometimes by ineffective authority figures who fail in myriad ways to make David's terrible life any better. All these realities end up with David dying before the age of 41.

The book is a breathless, dizzying read, at points funny, emotional, poignant, sexy and un-sexy, tense, awful, and queasy-making, but mostly very very sad. It feels simultaneously up-to-the-minute and dated, which lends the narrative a timeless quality. Both main characters, David and Erin/Eris, are fascinating to watch, even though at no point can the reader possibly believe their relationship will end in anything other than mayhem and horror. Reading BULLETTIME feels like receiving CPR while you're conscious. It's 100% worth picking up.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Drax on August 16, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Nick Mamatas' brutal and brilliant new novel BULLETTIME should be shelved in every High School library in America. It won't, which is a pity. Though not intended or marketed as YA, one can all too easily imagine the ruckus this little book would ignite among librarians and administrators, as it contains many core elements usually found in YA novels, only ramped up to a level of nightmare that is very real and painfully familiar to angst-ridden teens: David Holbrook is ignored by self-pitying, ill-equipped parents who allow him to be bullied at school, and worse. David copes by slugging down buckets of cough syrup, enduring his daily beatings and humiliations in a sluggish dextromethorphan haze, and it is during one of these trippy, unhappy mornings when he meets Erin / Eris, a new girl / old Goddess who both dazzles and offers new torment to our luckless (and doomed) teenaged protagonist. The reader learns in short order that David truly * is * doomed, for via the all-encompassing scope of the Ylem, "the canvas places are painted on," David is able to "live every decision and detail of an infinite number of me," zipping back and forth from first to third-person narrative, zooming-in then back out on all the possible trajectories and conclusions of his life--all of them bad. While Mamatas gleefully delivers scenes of unrelenting teenage hilarity and horror, the book is at times a sober meditation on the nature of predestination and possibility, and though often cruel, it is a book not entirely devoid of hope. Some early reviewers complained that the supporting characters were superficial and one-dimensional; I found this not to be the case.Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Laurel VINE VOICE on September 2, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
BULLETTIME is narrated by Dave Holbrook, outside of time in the Ylem, watching Dave Holbrook the teenage boy as he traverses the multiple paths Dave's life might take -- all of them miserable and leading to an early death.

He's a scrawny kid, with messed-up parents, constantly picked on at school. He copes (sort of) by downing lots of cough medicine. He seems likely to bumble his way sadly through high school until he meets Erin, a beautiful girl who finds him very interesting. Except she's actually Eris, the goddess of discord, and the reason she finds him interesting is because of the mayhem he may cause. We all know the most dramatic way a picked-on teenage boy can act out, and Erin is relentless in manipulating Dave toward a violent breakdown.

Honestly, Dave is kind of annoying, but his situation is so painful and hopeless that you can't help but feel sorry for him, especially since he doesn't really feel sorry for himself. This is just the way the world works. He doesn't have any way out. Everything he tries, in all his alternate lives, still leads to one kind of misery or another.

Even though we know the ending(s) almost immediately, the story is compelling, because obviously Ylem-Narrator-Dave is looking for something as he watches himself. He's trying to find some sort of meaning or resolution along the infinite paths. He does find something, at the end.

I was a little concerned that this book would be too brutal, or too gory, or too depressing, but it's not. It's very matter-of-fact about a difficult life, with a lot of sympathetic insight, dark humor, and the faintest hint of hope.
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