Book Review: VirulentBlurb: Fractures / Author: Kneel Downe / Publisher: Self Published via Lulu.com / Format: Paperback / Release Date: Out Now
“Non ingestion of ReGen is not illegal but the State will not cover medical repair. ReGen protects from the Foul. Take your pill. Live long.”
VirulentBlurb, brainchild of the amusingly monikered Kneel Downe, began on Twitter as a story unfolding in successive Tweets. Fractures compiles the first twelve 'Phazes' of the story, along with some equally enigmatic pieces of background, and three mini-scripts that focuses the story, highlighting of the characters, Detective Kurt Lobo and brings it into a more cinematic, and orderly structure.
The Blurb Universe is a place of humans genetically spliced with animals and birds, a plugged in dystopia in the vein of Blade Runner and Sin City. A web of intrigue and impending revolution set against a noir-esq futuristic background.
Downe's world is one of pop culture influences, from classic rock bands to Alice in Wonderland, in the style (but not derivative) of the likes of Philip K. Dick and Jeff (Automated Alice, Vurt) Noon (who himself uses Twitter as a platform for his micro fiction). Delivered in often dizzying, descriptive prose, more akin to Sci-Fi poetry than a straight novel, the 140 character Twitter format makes for a staccato flow during the initial Phazes of the story, and once you get into the swing of it is very absorbing.
The book has already attracted praise from Downe's literary hero, the aforementioned Jeff Noon and the story has caught the attention of media companies keen to expand on his Universe, for whom the mini-scripts were prepared. This is an ideal opportunity to catch up with the happenings and inhabitants of the Blurb. Go in with an open mind, and prepare to be spliced.