“I loathed Blade Runner when I studied it in twelfth grade, and to the dismay of my class, I was extremely vocal about it. And just to clear something up: I aced the unit, so I did “get” it. But nearly ten years on, I still have nightmares about being forced to watch it. So when I was sent a copy of Tobacco Stained Mountain Goat by Aussie ex-pat Andrez Bergen and discovered it had been compared to Blade Runner, it made me a little apprehensive to flick through the PDF.
I shouldn’t have been worried, and flicking though became devouring every sentence.
TSMG is set in Melbourne, which has become the last city on Earth. Everything is essentially owned and operated by a corporation called Hylax, headed by a figure called Wolram E. Deaps. The obsession with beauty has resulted in extensive plastic surgery and GaGa-esque styling. French is a language that holds as much relevance as Latin does today. And, oh, “seekers” patrol the streets to arrest or annihilate “deviants”. Enter our flawed hero, Floyd. A Private-I, Floyd is forced to become a seeker when his wife is hospitalised with an “illness”. He is struggling with the world he lives in. He’s either going to destroy it, or himself.
Bergen writes with clarity, wit and ease. His writing is like a great drink of gin: smooth and complex all at once. The imagery is evoking, characters fascinating and certain themes perturbing.”
Another Sky Press