Subversive and darkly humorous, THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF EVERYTHING is another must read by the talented Nick Mamatas
A trio of reviews and more about Nick Mamatas’ brilliant, oddball THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF EVERYTHING.
For SHELF AWARENESS, Cindy Pauldine praises the collection.
Nick Mamatas (I Am Providence) creates landscapes in THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF EVERYTHING that are off-kilter yet disconcertingly familiar. This short story collection examines his recurring themes of “the body, technology, [and] materialism” with tales that span conventional narrative, science fiction and dystopian fantasy; dark themes abide, touched with a fair bit of humor.
This collection also includes the preferred author edition of Under My Roof, a novel set in the near future when war is constant. A telepathic boy tells the very funny story of his father’s homemade nuclear bomb and the reaction to his declaring their house a new country. Part Kurt Vonnegut and part The Mouse That Roared, it’s a biting and relevant satire.
Mamatas adds author notes at the end of each story. The reader may come away with the feeling that it’s a minor miracle that any of his unusual work sees print–and a very good thing that it does–because his underground aesthetic and slightly skewed imagination give adventurous readers a wild ride.
THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF EVERYTHING is a subversive and darkly humorous collection of stories showcasing author Nick Mamatas’s ability to work across a variety of genres.
Nisi Shawl at THE SEATTLE TIMES enjoys the stories.
Bay Area author Nick Mamatas is renowned in his work and in his online presence as witty and perspicacious; his new collection, THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF EVERYTHING (Tachyon Publications, 336 pp., $15.95), will bolster that reputation.
Only “The Glottal Stop,” a fast-and-furious account of a harassed woman’s last date, is original to this book. Many of the rest of the stories, though, are gathered from venues either obscure, defunct, or both.
All of which goes to show that the brilliant, oddball speculations of Mamatas surround us on every side. It only takes the focus of this thoughtfully curated collection to bring out their gloriously surprising details.
For THE NATIONAL HERALD, Eleni Sakellis profiles the book and interviews the author.
Author Nick Mamatas’ latest book THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF EVERYTHING is another must read by the talented writer whose family hails from Ikaria. He spoke with The National Herald about his new book and the Greek-American aspects of some of the stories in the collection.
Mamatas told TNH, “THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF EVERYTHING includes a couple of stories about the Greek-American experience, or at least a Greek-American experience— The Phylactery, about a Greek-American man giving his child a filakto, and North Shore Friday which is a science fiction story set in the Ikarian-American enclave on Long Island. The short novel included, Under My Roof, is a modern-dress version of Aristophanes’ The Acharnians. There’s also plenty of dark fantasy and science fiction stories along the lines of the old Twilight Zone TV series and historical fiction as well.”
For those unfamiliar with the term, a “filakto” is traditionally a small cloth pouch made in a monastery and pinned to a baby’s clothes to ward off evil, like an amulet.
Among the 15 compelling stories in the book, North Shore Friday is especially entertaining with solid characters, touches of Greek, and a bit of “typographic trickery” as Mamatas describes it which draws the reader deeper into the thoughts of the characters and heightens the intensity of the story. “I have always been a sucker for typographic trickery,” Mamatas noted in the book, adding that “any book or story that features a disruption of layout immediately attracts my interest.”
Tammy Sparks on BOOKS, BONES, AND BUFFY reviews THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF EVERYTHING.
In the end, I’m very glad I picked up this book. If I hadn’t, I would have missed some very good stories, and that would have been a shame.
Nick Mamatas is curating the The Anarchist Bundle for STORYBUNDLE, which includes selections from Mamatas, Michael Moorcock, Marge Piercy, Dennis Danvers, and Lisa Goldstein.
The Anarchist Bundle, curated by Nick Mamatas: Anarchy is perfectly science fictional—it’s widely derided as absolutely impossible, even as the entire apparatus of state and capital are dedicated to making sure that anarchy never blooms. And yet, constantly, sometimes in venues as small as a household, or across entire nations and a worldwide social class, it blooms. Anarchy is inevitable.
Science fiction is the genre of change. The state and capital may try to forestall the future, contain it, or control it, but they will fail. The books in this bundle are about the weaknesses in authority’s stranglehold, and the fun we can have escaping it. Some science fiction is about anarchy; some is written in the spirit of anarchy and revels in the anarchic.
I’m extremely pleased to bring to this StoryBundle three titles available as ebook for the very first time. Lisa Goldstein’s The Dream Years is a stellar timeslip novel about Surrealism and the Events of May 1968 in Paris, France. Dennis Danvers’ The Watch brings Kropotkin into the twentieth century, with the key to changing the world. My own anthology The Urban Bizarre includes extreme early work by Charlie Jane Anders, Tim Pratt, Jeff Somers, and many more.
For more info on THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF EVERYTHING, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover by Elizabeth Story