Glimmering: A Novel of the Coming Millennium

Elizabeth Hand, Author HarperPrism $22 (400p) ISBN 978-0-06-100805-4
Fresh from her Nebula and World Fantasy Award-winning novel, Waking the Moon, Hand extrapolates a brutal vision of Apocalypse 1999. Present-day social and scientific calamities--environmental collapse, the AIDS epidemic, global warming--meld into the Glimmering, a phenomenon in which the ozone layer devours itself in a frenzied melange of unearthly shapes and colors. Against this backdrop and a New York City seething with human desperation, Hand plays out two intertwining dances of death. In his last days, 40-ish gay AIDS victim Jack Finnegan comes home to his family's threadbare mansion to die, and slowly spirals toward intersection with young Trip Marlowe, a gospel singer turned rock idol, addicted to the hallucinogenic drug IZE. Pulling the strings that enmesh their fates is Jack's former lover, Leonard Thrope, a ""sociocultural pathologist"" bent on turning the death throes of his planet into a sick and sickening parody of art. Often, Hand's intersecting vignettes of decay are rendered in language that has an incantatory beauty even as she unflinchingly attempts to describe death and morbid sexual acts that preface both physical and moral extinction. Decidedly not for the squeamish, Hand's powerful vision of these days of wrath is not so much a protracted self-pitying whimper as a Nietzschean insistence on salvation through creative evolution. Hand seems to insist that humanity must prune itself before transplanting, mutating, growing. From her enigmatic title onward, she hints--barely--that after the harrowing voyage taken upon her fictional ship of death, humanity may yet emerge strange--and lovely. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/03/1997
Release date: 03/01/1997
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-06-101256-3
Mass Market Paperbound - 537 pages - 978-0-06-101216-7
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