Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Paul di Filippo visits the Creature From the Black Lagoon

Tuesday, November 07, 2006
09:24 PM

Paul di Filippo visits the Creature From the Black Lagoon: "Cory Doctorow:

Award winning gonzo sf writer Paul 'Steampunk Trilogy' di Filippo is the improbable author of an improbably rollicking new movie tie-in novel, Creature From the Black Lagoon: Time's Black Lagoon.

This is evidently part of a larger series of classic monster movie tie-ins called 'Universal Studios Monsters.' At a recent sf convention, I found a number of writers intrigued by the idea of having a romp in a classic monster movie, and it's clear that di Filippo was more than up to the task.

Creature From the Black Lagoon won't win any prizes for advancing the state of literary sf, but it is undoubtedly a Paul di Filippo novel, which means that it is funny, deeply weird, and action-packed. Di Filippo's story starts on a Rhode Island university campus in 2015, where a young biologist finds himself working with the department's mad old tenured prof -- who turns out to have been the junior scientist on the ground during the vivisection of the original Creature From the Black Lagoon, discovered in the 1950s.

In the tradition of the great sf adventure story, our biologist just happens to have a boyhood chum who has just built the world's first functional time machine (out of an nth-generation iPod, no less!) and the rest is basically inevitable -- the title, after all, is 'Time's Black Lagoon.'

Di Filippo manages to cram every great tradition of the science fiction adventure novel into this one, giving it the feel of one of his baroque masterpieces, like Ribofunk. It may not have the heft of classic di Filippo, but it surely has the style.

If you're looking for a fun little paperback to take you away from your life for a couple hours, you need look no further.


Update: Bbum sez, 'Creature from the Black Lagoon is also considered to be one of the best early 1990s pinball machines ever made. Beautiful machine. Totally captured that campy '50s/'60s horror flick feel, including a swamp monster hologram below the playfield that glowed green and moved.'


(Via Boing Boing.)

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