OR: Pixel Juice

A review that originally appeared in The Third Alternative #22:-

PIXEL JUICE

Jeff Noon

Corgi pb, 306pp, £6.99

Innovative novels such as Vurt and Pollen have seen Noon applauded as one of the most exciting and original voices in modern SF, an impression that is confirmed by this collection of forty three short stories and half a dozen odd pieces of verse.

The writer Noon most readily puts me in mind of is John Sladek. This book has the zany, anything goes sense of fun that typified Keep the Giraffe Burning. The only thing to expect is the unexpected, and Noon delivers with stories that are as quirky and individual as they are remarkable for the ideas they contain. The discovery of an off switch in the human body, children who attain media notoriety, adverts that fight back, the sexual practices of robots, a device to separate the libido from the body, are but some of the goods on offer. Characters and lines of prose wander out of one story and into another, while some of the best pieces have a found art quality to them, such as the hilarious Pimp – The Boardgame or the delightfully clever Metaphorazine, in which various literary terms become drugs. There’s even a witty and self-deprecating verse review of the book itself. Not everything works, and one or two pieces veer too close to self-indulgence and outright gibberish, but there’s more than enough to justify the price of admission many times over.

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