Richard Kadrey Says Aloha from Hell

Blue Blood readers may have come across Richard Kadrey first as a photographer, with his Blue Blood VIP work of Stephy Slaughter and Soma Stardust. I came across his creative work first reading his cyberpunk novel Metrophage. Aloha from Hell, the newest book in his Sandman Slim series is about to come out and I can’t recommend it highly enough.

Urban fantasy is a sub-genre which is currently growing in popularity. I mean, most bookstores will shelve science fiction, fantasy, and horror all together, but different styles will wax and wane. Most of the current urban fantasy is YA stuff where mystical not-entirely-human beings exist in the real world, for the purpose of deflowering teenage girls. Which I am totally not knocking, but I love that Richard Kadrey’s Sandman Slim series amps urban fantasy up to 11. His primary mystical being is a talented not-entirely-human magician whose fatal flaw was trusting a bunch of occult scenesters. Who sold him out to demons. So, for his poor taste in friends and associates, he lost his girlfriend and spent eleven years as a hitman in Hell. A very very competent gladiator and hitman whose primary function is more vengeance and wrath than deflowering teenage girls.

I recommend starting the series with the first book, Sandman Slim, as events do build on one another and various brutal actions make more sense with the background. The main character James Stark has a bit of a problem in that he sometimes feels like maybe he belongs in Hell more than he belongs in Hollywood. In the video interview with Richard Kadrey here, he talks about how Los Angeles is full of vampires and ghosts, those who feed on others and those who gave all they had but it was not enough to make it. I’m not saying he is wrong or anything, although a lot of the Sandman Slim action takes place within walking distance of my house. I just have to add that the Hell of the Sandman Slim books is all politics in a very San Francisco way. I have so many friends and compatriots in San Francisco that I’ve certainly considered moving there, except that so many of them all hate each other. So, at least in my reading, James Stark is a man torn between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Whether you feel like overinterpreting SoCal versus NoCal themes, these books are a fast-paced and extremely fun read.


Posted by on October 10, 2011. Filed under Books, Headline, Personalities, Video. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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