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Sensation (Spectacular Fiction) Paperback – May 1, 2011
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A network of beacons allows ships to travel across the Milky Way at beyond the speed of light. The beacons are built to be robust. They never fail. At least, they aren't supposed to. Learn more
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About the Author
Nick Mamatas is the author of the novels Move Under Ground and Under My Roof, as well as the short story collection You Might Sleep. His writing has been translated into German, Italian, and Greek, and he has been nominated for the Bram Stoker and International Horror Guild Awards and the Kurd Lasswitz Prize. He is the coeditor of the online magazine Clarkesworld and his essays have appeared in the Clamor, In These Times, the New Humanist, the Smart Set, and the Village Voice. He lives in Oakland, California.
More About the Author
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) and Phantasm Japan (with Masumi Washington, Haikasoru 2014)
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.
Top Customer Reviews
The thing about Sensation...it's one hell of a novel. Genre conventions given the brainiac treatment, barbed pop and counter culture references aplenty, a style that's simultaneously inventive yet effortlessly accessible, and a healthy smattering of almost-too-clever-for-their-own-good gags all stewed up in Mamatas' vision of America, a place uncomfortably close enough to the real thing to make you check for webs over the bed before tucking down. Yes, but is it both fun *and* profound? Yeppers.
What's it about? You, me, the whole shebang--read the product description if you're the type who needs to know if there's a bone of SF under all the meaty stuff (spoiler alert: there is). The bottom line is that if you like your fiction sharp, quick, relevant, and refreshingly reckless, this is the fix. Yahbye.
At the same time it is, without question, a story told by spiders about mutant wasps changing the course of human affairs. It's also a book about humans changing the course of personal affairs, and a book about social movements, and about online social networks, and about New York, and... well. It's about a lot of things. But they're things with a great deal of verisimilitude and they are strung together in an entirely enjoyable fashion, and that's what you're looking for, right?
Unless you're looking for a neat ending. In which case you've probably come to the wrong author, frankly.
He spots Julia in public near where they lived in Lower Manhattan. The first time was at a grocer she never shopped in buying items she never ate when they were married. The second encounter is in Times Square in which Raymond chose flight rather than confront Julia with why. His running saves his life from an observer ready to push him into traffic. A distraught Raymond will soon learn why Julia committed murder and fled. He finds out about the insect eggs in her arm and the Simulacrum where anarchist wasps and a super genius spider hive that collectively is a "man" ready to shove the professor into traffic. These two insecticide species battle to steer or crash humanity.
Sensation is an entertaining modern day parable that looks at the accumulative stress of minor annoyances in a world in which the individual has no wiggle room alternative. Told by the spiders, Nick Mamatas looks at the Butterfly Effect of chaos in an absolute controlled environment that makes independent thought that breaks away from one's profile impossible. Although the two intelligent insect species are underdeveloped leaving readers with a void; fans will enjoy this allegorical look at New York, in which Seinfeld is right that as Queen sings in Bohemian Rhapsody "Nothing really matters, anyone can see nothing really matters ...."
I really enjoyed this novel, and if you're a fan of well-written social commentary or mind-bending science fictional exercises (a la George Saunders, Philip Dick, or Brian Francis Slattery) then I think you'll enjoy it as well.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I hadn’t thought about it much before, but secret societies have long been a reliable element in weird fiction of all varieties. Read morePublished 21 months ago by GJ GBUR
Checked this out and found that I don't really like the way this guy writes. The book seems unfocused and all over the place. Read morePublished on February 8, 2013 by Amazon Customer
There's a certain flavor of delight I feel when reading fiction that is smart, witty, cynical, and of-the-moment. The stuff that makes me laugh while being discomfited. Read morePublished on September 16, 2011 by Aric Haley
Hard to classify Sensation by Nick Mamatas without describing the work like some obscure underground internet radio station. Read morePublished on August 30, 2011 by gonzobrarian