I've been on a bit of a Shirley bender lately, and that's an apropos way of describing how many of his books I've recently read. But I have to say this about In Extremis: these are some of the sickest, most brilliant stories around. Feel the desire to skewer the pop spectacle? There's a story in this volume for that. Ever wondered who or what the logical extension of J.G. Ballard is? It's John Shirley. Read the ingenious "Cram" and discover the hairline fault that cleaves the space between sex and death in urban population clusters. Disaster? Yeah, it's in there. Humanity - always. It's always at the heart of his stories, no matter how graphic or disturbing. A clarion call for the 21st C. Shirley's a street walkin' cheetah with a handful of napalm, a 21st Century boy.
All of these, nearly all of them, are prime examples of contemporary black humor. They're tightly written, efficient in their excess and call to mind the likes of Bataille and, as mentioned before, Ballard, among others. Highly recommended.