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Close Your Eyes Paperback – June 20, 2018
Language is a virus. Open this book. Read the words. Feel them infect you. Identity is a disease. Flip the pages. Stay up all night. Watch it transform you. You cannot deny it. You cannot close your eyes and shut out the changes. You know you want to. You really want to. But it’s too late. You can’t.
Critically acclaimed author of weird fiction Paul Jessup sends puppets to speak and fight for their masters. Welcome to a far future universe that stretches the imagination to breaking, where a ragtag crew of post-human scavengers rage and love on a small ship in the outer reaches of space, and moon-sized asylums trap the unwary in a labyrinth of experimentation in both identity and sanity.
Welcome to Close Your Eyes, a mind expanding surrealistic space opera that not only includes the out-of-print classic Open Your Eyes, but takes it to whole new level in a much awaited sequel.
Go ahead. Pick it up. Read it. Let it infect you.
“A beautiful, fractured story of beautiful, fractured people in prose powerful enough that it feels fired from a shotgun.”
– Jon Hollins, author of the Dragon Lords trilogy
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- Publisher : Apex Book Company (June 20, 2018)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 226 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1937009696
- ISBN-13 : 978-1937009694
- Item Weight : 10.2 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.57 x 8.5 inches
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This was not an easy book for me to read. In part, that could be because I do not usually read in the weird fiction genre. The first half, 'Open your Eyes' started off a bit unusual ("Her lover was a supernova..." actually meaning a real supernova), but I fell into the story and was interested in what was happening.
A brief synopsis - a woman is found by a diverse group of humanoid-ish space explorers as they are travelling in search of something. Each crew member has a different purpose for being there, and the ship itself is alive and has its own purpose. You eventually find out what everyone wants, and you find out (kind of) what happened to Ekhi, the woman they found. There is also a dead language that is actually a infectious virus that comes into play. The language of this novel is quite dense and flowery - except for the dialog, which seemed to me a bit simplistic.
The second half, 'Close your Mouth' takes place a long time after the events of the first half, and it was even more confusing to me, as some of the same characters appear, but seem to have different personalities and/or motivations.
Again, the language was a bit dense and flowery - almost random seeming poetry at times. I struggled to understand what was going on, and that pulled me out of the story somewhat and made me not care that much.
Overall, it was interesting and I do not regret reading the story.
Jessup has his own style of writing that is unique in all the books I’ve read. At times it’s punchy, direct, and almost Spartan in its usage, at other times it flows with the symmetry of poetry. As if his concept of linguistic viruses wasn’t enough, he uses language to great effect to heighten the more surreal aspects of his world.
Think of Close Your Eyes as sci-fi with a purpose. It would be easy to say the ship’s AI is reminiscent of HAL from 2001 or the linguistic virus as similar to Stephenson’s Snow Crash, but Close Your Eyes goes in different directions. Even if the idea that there is nothing new under the sun is true, that doesn’t mean existing things can’t be rearranged into new and exciting things.
All in all, a good read.