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Wave of Mutilation Paperback – October 4, 2011

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 100 pages
  • Publisher: Fantastic Planet Books (October 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1936383969
  • ISBN-13: 978-1936383962
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,750,581 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

  • The universe has a hole in it and reality is leaking out.  Who knew it would be this much fun?  Doug Lain's Wave of Mutilation is the story of Christian and Samantha; a story that generates itself as it devours itself.  Its characters and surreal scenes are rendered with an engaging style and seem to have truths to tell us about relationships, politics, sex, the history of furniture.  At the same time, they convince us they are insubstantial, errant, nothing but the illusion of the world.  Terrific writing, good laughs, and the flawless execution of a fictional tightrope walk between "reality" and nothing. Wonderfully original! -JEFFREY FORD, author of The Physiogonomy 

  • In Wave of Mutilation, you will find echoes and shadings of J.G. Ballard, Philip K. Dick, Tim Powers and Walker Percy (which is stepping in some high cotton).  Lain shares an obsessive fascination with the interface between technology and psychology, and has a keen eye for sharp juxtapositions (as in the contrast between eroticism and hygiene).  But what I admire especially is his grasp of the subtle and pervasive mood of paranoia and melancholy that haunts our digitalized era--an elusive sense of spiritual desolation complicated by the ghostly infestation of forces and presences we can never really understand.  An intellect and a questioner of literary forms, Lain is also a husbanding, fathering advocate for the Everyman in us all.  The result is curiously human and intimate--down to earth, even as the universe falls apart in our hands.-KRIS SAKNUSSEMM, author of Zanesville and Enigmatic Pilot

  • Wave of Mutilation is brilliant: a Barthesian examination of structure, a reverse Russian nesting doll of increasing surreality and emotion. To find oneself alternately pondering the metafictional importance of a Sesame Street book and choking back the tears induced by a surprisingly human drama is a testament to Lain's writing. I loved every sentence, every word. -J. DAVID OSBORNE, author of By the Time We Leave Here, We'll Be Friends.

  • Wave of Mutilation is about what everything means. It's what you get when the stuff in your head comes out to play -- the love of your life floating in a motel swimming pool, unreality leaking from the world, block parties of identity destruction, and interstitial spaces where you might spot Donald from Mathmagic Land motioning you into a strange place between now and a distant childhood that might not even be yours. Lain's writing is sharp and surprising. You'll have a good time. -RAY VUKCEVICH, author of Meet Me in the Moon Room

  • Go ahead, read WAVE OF MUTILATION-if you dare. Only, be warned: the space between fingers and page will vanish, text and meta-text sixty-nine, and (like the protagonists) you'll find yourself on both sides of your eyeballs. True, Douglas Lain examines the higher resonances of architecture and politics, the lawn chair, googie design, the Gore-Bush Florida vote count kafuffle, all linked, we discover, to a leakage of reality consequent to a nuclear accident, but this book is really an epistemological inquiry into the bases of everyday perception, a wacky yarn pushing at the borders of science fiction like acne, eczema, elephantiasis, or _anuttara samyak sambodhi._ It's a mutation, folks, another species of fiction. - ELLIOT FINTUSHEL, author of Breakfast with the Ones You Love

  • Wave of Mutilation is incredible. I loved it. A Proust-like intellectual obsessive-compulsive display. There is a historical moment, and a set of archetypal characters, that eternally recur in Lain's writings with Nietszchean regularity. This is not a bad thing. In fact, it's one of the things that sets Lain apart. Lain is a fantasy writer who has a dearly beloved fantasy world and who explores it in obsessive detail, but his fantasy world is his own mind. He's painting a hyperrealist portrait of the inside of his own head using concise language to make real all the stuff that usually feels uncomfortably amorphous. -MK HOBSON, author of  The Native Star

  • Wave of Mutilation is classic Douglas Lain, dancing about architecture on undercurrents of love, despair and politics. He yokes magic realism and science fiction in harness together to instantiate a trenchant cultural critique that is at once almost maddeningly oblique and a bellwether call to arms stretching from Florida to Oregon to the end of the world. Highly recommended for long-time Lain fans and first time readers alike. -JAY LAKE, author of Escapement

  • Douglas Lain's writing is as close as you'll ever get to throwing your brain into an industrial tumble-dryer. In Wave of Mutilation, he once again takes an unflinching look at all the things that most of us would rather hide from... and he does it so stylishly and in such an intriguing fashion that even though we might never be the same again, we rather want to thank him. -AM DELLAMONICA, author of Indigo Springs

  • Wave of Mutilation is poignantly recursive. Its metafiction disassembles ideas about readership and plot with familiar cultural simulacra and wormholed textual experimentation. A very welcome welcome break from the cult of linear narrative. -DARIN BRADLEY, author of Noise

More About the Author

Douglas Lain's work has appeared in literary and genre magazines since 1999. His first short story collection, "Last Week's Apocalypse", was published by Night Shade Books in 2006.

Lain's non-fiction book "Pick Your Battle", a quasi-memoir/surrealist self-help book, will be published in 2011, with the help of Kickstarter funding, and a second short-story collection. His second short story collection "Fall Into Time," will be published by Fantastic Planet Press in May, 2011.

His first novel, "Billy Moon: 1968", is due out from Tor Books in 2012. It tells the story of Christopher Robin Milne's fictional involvement with the French general strike of May, 1968.

Doug is also the host of the weekly philosophy podcast Diet Soap. Recent subjects covered include Henri Lefebvre's concept of the Production of Space, Theodor Adorno's concept of the Ideological State Apparatus, and how to find an exit when stuck in Plato's cave.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 7 customer reviews
Really great book, had fun reading it.
When dealing with elusive concepts, it's very important to keep your writing plain and concrete.
Vanessa Wu
Mostly, we get Christian's thoughts on reality, and it's really some good stuff.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Vanessa Wu on November 5, 2011
Format: Paperback
This seems to be a very good time for science fiction. I was prompted to explore some of it partly on the strength of this novella, which hit me like a blow between the eyes and left me breathless and dizzy for a few days.

The writing is very smooth and controlled. I love clean, precise writing like this, especially when it involves a swimming pool and the promise of sensuality. This drew me in and took me swiftly to the end of the first chapter, where I received my first shock.

I won't tell you too much more about the plot. There's some science stuff and a little problem with a particle accelerator. Reality takes a bit of a knock. Strange things start to happen. There is some sex, lots of nudity, some cross-dressing and a birth of sorts. But it's all a little bit surreal.

Perhaps it's also a little bit old-fashioned. Think Dada and Derrida, Brecht and Barthes. You might get all kinds of dubious intellectuals latching onto this and confusing you with their philosophical babble about it.

The thing you've got to hang onto and not forget is that the book is short and really easy to read. It's also funny and light.

When dealing with elusive concepts, it's very important to keep your writing plain and concrete. This the author does with admirable consistency. The ending couldn't be clearer.

I'd never heard of Douglas Lain before and still don't know very much about him. He seems to be one of those cult science fiction writers who carves out his own niche and tries not to get noticed too much.

But it's probably wrong to call this a science fiction book. It's probably better categorised as literary philosophy.

But it's all just words, really. Read it for yourself and make up your own mind. Or don't. It's up to you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By shane on July 21, 2012
Format: Paperback
I have no idea how to write a book review, so I'll just say this: Doug Lain is a nice guy and an athlete. Read his book. I did.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Glenn on December 5, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Good stuff here. I knew very quickly that this was not going to be one of the books sitting on my shelf with a bookmark 1/3 way thru it waiting to be revisited.

This was a trippy journey through a chaos magical dreamscape brilliantly seeded with Gen-X artifacts. Very reflective, enabling the reader to see what he needs to see. And changing depending on the perspective its viewed from.

As the subtle humor and love counterbalace and negate the violence of the mind bending sci-fi you're ultimately left with a really clever mediation on collapse. Collapse of identity, economy, or culture depending on which thread you tug on. I say tug on them all. Well done.
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Meet Christian and his wife, Samantha. They are your typical American couple...except for the fact that Christian's father is responsible for creating a hole in reality, and now unreality is pouring out of this very hole. He is having conversations with his dead father's ghost, and his wife is literally opening up and storing things in her body. Does Christian even exist? How can you tell the truth from a dream?

This surreal cup of tea is quite a jaunt. Slightly demanding of the reader's full attention, Lain's book is intriguing and thought-provoking. I was impressed with how he takes the reader through Christian's story, his thoughts, and his examinations of himself and the world around him. I definitely recommend this to those that enjoy reading something beyond a simple spoon-fed story.
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