I had great expectations for this book. The author wrote Apocalyticon, which I loved. A goofy post apocalyptic book with a really poignant underlayment. So you can imagine my delight in coming across his newest offering.
It has all the ingredients for something really cool in the quantum fiction arena: Clone Lake, where a dip creates an Evil Twin clone of you, or Plasma Creek, glowing green and which will change anything that enters it into something…..else. Rain that is hard as nickel, because it IS nickel. the Fields of Insanity, where the corn whispers despairing words and makes you crazy; two square miles of Mars, right next to the supermarket. A Walmart with an Evil Aisle 8, magnetic fields like you wouldn’t believe, rendering all computer components useless, a visitors center that you certainly don’t want to visit.
As the plot blurb tells us:
Welcome to Anomaly Flats, a mysterious Midwestern town that’s tucked in somewhere between our world and some other. Or others. Others, probably. Yes, almost certainly many other worlds.
Here, you’ll find a bed and breakfast with tentacles in the plumbing; an all-night diner where you have to drink the coffee before the coffee drinks you; a night sky that’s an all-consuming void; an ancient evil that lives in the local Walmart; and oh, so much more.
Anomaly Flats is the story of a woman on the run who makes a wrong turn into the wrong town.
Our gal Mallory, having arrived in Anomaly Flats where here car immediately dies, meets the only other non-local who has come to town in 12 years, a dweeby scientist who finds all of this fascinating and amazing, and has devoted what appears to be his life to investigating all the phenomena in town. There is the drooling car mechanic who used to be a famous neurosurgeon until lured into the Walmart for cans of cheap beats, where upon he was attacked by something, and forever changed.
Ok, so that is the bones of the story. As far as plot goes, it went. The story didn’t so much arc as it wandered and dribbled off into The Land Of Jokes. Kind of like a comedian who does nothing but one liners. It had so much potential, none of which was realized, descending into the trite and true Ancient Evil trope, partnering with the Evil Twin/Clone trope.
I was so disappointed. If I were his editor/publisher, I would give it back, yell REWRITE AND THIS TIME MAKE SOMETHING OF IT. A string of goofy jokes do not a decent novel make.