Venera Dreams: A Weird Entertainment

Claude Lalumière. MiroLand, $25 trade paper (252p) ISBN 978-1-77183-216-8
The city of Venera, if it exists, is a Mediterranean island that exports the psychedelic drug vermilion and is ruled by a repressive Earth-worshipping church. Or it’s ruled by fish-goddess-cultist near-mermaids. Or it’s an alternate dimension accessible through a Montreal bookshop. Or it’s simply an aspect of Venice. Lalumière (The Door to Lost Pages) has created a lushly gorgeous mosaic that falls somewhere between collection and novel; the through-line is the city itself, but a city in many different, refracting, sometimes contradictory versions. The individual stories don’t begin or end where one might expect. A few in-jokes aimed at science fiction fans fortunately don’t break the spell, though they don’t particularly land as either satire or humor, and the overall pattern turns out to be both shockingly clever and startlingly gorgeous. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 11/06/2017
Release date: 08/01/2017
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