Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat review @ The Nameless Horror

I’m waaaaaaay later (to the tune, Finder tells me with its ‘file info’ stats, of a whole year) to this than I wanted, and I haven’t yet even finished it, but here’s the non-quite-complete book review for Andrez Bergen’s superbly-titled darkly humourous sci-fi film noir hybrid thing Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat.

You can, if you follow that link to the publisher, read it for yourself, gratis, and decide if it’s worth paying actual money for (seriously; Another Sky Press puts its e-ditions out for download, with a ‘pay what you thought it was worth’ arrangement if you like them, which is very cool), and that’s probably the best way to see what it’s about. I won’t go into the plot, save to say it’s a character-driven noiry thing set in a near-future/alt-present Melbourne. If you picture Blade Runner mixed with Sam Spade and A Scanner, Darkly, you’re probably in roughly the right area.

It’s very good stuff. The writing’s sharp, Floyd (the main character), is likably miserable, and while it has its feet planted squarely in Bogart’s shoes (though it also has other feet elsewhere, so you might imagine it as some sort of centipede if that helps) it always stays the side of good rather than cheesy. The plot’s nice and convoluted and grimy, the titular goat is there, as described, and everything moves along very nicely indeed. And it has one of the finest titles there is.

I commend you to the downloadatron.

JOHN RICKARDS/SEAN CREGAN, 21 June, 2012

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