Monday, September 06, 2010

SF/F: Noise by Darin Bradley

In every niche and genre and corner of fiction, critics and fans always have their ears open for the voice that will lead them into the future or, at very least, will define the fictional moment in terms of the art and the craft of wielding those words.

Considering the nature of his dystopic fiction and the fullness of his vision, I can perhaps be forgiven for thinking that, in his debut, Darin Bradley may be The One. Noise (Spectra) is relentless and so succinct, it’s almost not there at all. Bradley has the sharp and pummeling vision of a noirist, but, in the end, this isn’t noir. Rather, it is the end: a view of a world gone so bad, the only thing left to do is destroy it. And so friends Hiram and Levi begin at the place it was once most vital: schools and universities throughout the US:
The plan was simple. We wouldn’t steal, which is paranoia -- we would take, which was force. Things were falling apart faster than we expected.
Noise is not a thick book, so the dense layering and compelling characterizations will surprise you all the more. It’s unexpected. And given Bradley’s dark view and haunting prose, it’s even possible you won’t like Noise. But it is not possible that you will forget it. ◊

Lincoln Cho is a freelance writer and editor. He lives in the Chicago area where he works in the high tech industry. He is currently working on a his first novel, a science fiction thriller set in the world of telecommunications.

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