BAD MAGIC

Stephan Zielinski, Author . Tor $23.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-312-87862-7

As in the movie Men in Black , most people are mercifully unaware of the horrors that surround them in first-time author Zielinski's wacky occult fantasy. It's up to Al Rider and his cohorts, who operate out of San Francisco and are aware of and willing to use their third eye, to confront vampires, ghosts, zombies, zombie dogs (not to be confused with thin dogs) and a host of other undead creatures anxious to take over the world. While the humor is often scattershot and undisciplined, the author shows some genuine wit. One redundant, rapid-fire dialogue exchange could have been taken from Joseph Heller's Catch 22 . When the heroes run on water, they do the "Sea of Galilee boogie." A recipe for preparing thin dog dinner makes a deliciously gruesome aside. But Zielinski doesn't play it strictly for laughs. At the start, Rider steals "invisibility" from a homeless woman for use as a cloak. "It will crumble at sunrise; the street person is, in part, defined by her invisibility, and so it must return to her." An appendix features a windy treatise, full of scholarly references, by a Miskatonic University professor. The final item, "the author's top ten rejected bio blurbs," will provoke more than a few smiles. (Dec. 1)

Reviewed on: 10/18/2004
Release date: 12/01/2004
Genre: Fiction
Ebook - 256 pages - 978-1-4668-6265-4
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