bag·man (băg’mәn) n., pl. –men (mĭn). 1. Slang.

dishonest official; a person who collects, carries, or distributes illegal payoff money.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Heavy on the Desperate Dystopia--An SF Pulp Noir Foreword

You really want to know about Bipolar Express? 
 Three things first.
  1. Parents: This is not a children’s story. It’s pulp noir, full of desperate characters and no hope. A reminder that the door to hell locks from the inside. 
  2. Bipolar Express is my 2012 novel. Ten years ago, I figured everybody would be doing one. Guess I missed that call. That’s the main reason it’s appearing on the blog and I’m not shoving it through the transom somewhere. It was time.
  3. This story scares me.
          Like any other writer, a part of my characters comes from me. See, when I started writing Bipolar Express—almost ten years ago—I was a different person. It’s one of the reasons Frank “Mac” McCullough’s last living relative allowed me to write his adventures. There are things no one is supposed to know, and I had stumbled on to some of them. Literally.
Bipolar Express has been described by maybe two people as SF Pulp Noir. I’ll take that proudly. It may look like the David Goodis version of a near dystopic future, but it’s about a lot of other stuff, too. You figure out the themes. I’m a different person than the one that wrote it ten years ago—and the one that finished it in ’06, shelved it, and kept shopping around short stories. That’s the reasons I’m printing it here. Then it’ll just be another demon depossessed. A secret I’m not as sick as.
But I am not any of the three madmen depicted in this book. Never was. I wouldn’t last a day in their neighborhood. Jack and Wes are composite characters of real people I met in and out of institutions. Holt, our narrator, is just a feeling. Holt wants you to feel his pain, then he feels bad when you do.
Not a bad yarn, just hard to pigeon hole. It’s a good story for 2012 and, regardless, you’ll never be able to guess what happens next. Chapter one will be the only chapter of the book told from the perspective of a man in delirium. In chapter two Holt goes to the asylum.
Come Wednesday, you’ll meet madness.

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