cover image Green Thumb

Green Thumb

Tom Cardamone. Lethe/BrazenHead (, $13 trade paper (142p) ISBN 978-1-59021-367-4

For years or centuries, green-skinned Leaf lives an idyllic, dreamlike existence on a deserted island. He eats sunshine during the day, falls into a death-sleep every night, and has for company Skate, a human-aquatic hybrid living underwater, and fisherboy Scallop. Cardamone (The Werewolves of Central Park) uses evocative prose and detailed settings to capture the hypnotic rhythms of the sea, then takes a darker, more erotic and psychedelic turn when Scallop’s father is enslaved and forced to become part of a “human aqueduct” transporting water from Lake Okeechobee into the half-drowned, squalid ruins of Miami, now called Canal City. Attempting a rescue, Leaf and his friends face off against the King Pelicans, human-bird mutations with Mengele-esque inclinations toward medical experimentation. Despite a disjointed plot and overly allegorical characters, this imaginative postapocalyptic novella with New Weird sensibilities contains a tense undercurrent that continually evokes a sense of unease, and gradually unfolds to an unexpected, thoroughly unsettling ending. (Aug.)