Another first

Twenty years to the day after getting my first chunk of change for a piece of non-fiction (an article for the San Diego Herald-Tribune bizarrely titled, Home is Where the Art Is!), I just got my first check for a piece of fiction, and it is for the exact same dollar amount. Sweet…

Kris Saknussemm’s Enigmatic Pilot

‘Amazing technologies, deviant desires.’ Map that onto antebellum America, throw in some hardscrabble characters and a strange journey that cuts across time and space, and you’ve got Enigmatic Pilot, the second installment in Saknussem’s Lodema Testament. This is a seductive, enfolding trip of a novel, an audacious yarn that nods to the New Weird and tips its hat to the evolving traditions of Steam Punk, but owes as much to the ghosts of Melville and Samuel Clemens, whose spirits, like the enigmatic script at the center of the story, illuminate the pages with the queasily addictive light of true lies. More than just a subtitle, this ‘tall tale too true’ takes up where Saknussem’s cult hit Zanesville leeaves off, or rather before it begins, not so much a prequel as the source code. It is more accessible, less obscure, even more darkly hilarious, and packs quite a haymaker. If Saknussem has matured, he most certainly has not mellowed.