A Warning About Your Future Enslavement That You Will Dismiss as A Collection of Short Fiction and Essays by Kit Power
Amazon Digital Services (November 2017)
268 pages; $2.99 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington
Nearly two years ago to the day, I read and reviewed Godbomb! by Kit Power. It was one of the most amazing books I read in 2015. Now Kit has returned with a collection of short stories and essays which are hard to describe, but I’m willing to give it my best shot here.
A Warning About Your Future Enslavement That You Will Dismiss As a Collection of Short Fiction and Essays covers a lot of ground and is loosely woven together with a story set in a future where most of human history has been forgotten or purposely covered up. A mid-level government employee is doing his best to uncover the truth through a series of stories uncovered in a hidden mainframe.
Truthfully, I have no idea what I’ve just read, I just know that I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. It’s true that some of the stories were better than others, but the overall effect was a win.
“Temüjin”—Family, half-brothers, and revenge. “Loyalty comes first. All else is dust.”
“The Chicken and the Three Gods”—Original and intriguing story of a henhouse and the hens’ nemesis, told from the third person POV of the hens.
“Conference”—An actual alien invasion taking place at a con. Who would notice?
“Valentine’s Day”—A subtle tale of the massacre.
“Wide Load”—I felt real pain reading this story. “…in Beccy’s spell book, a single-word incantation was circled in black ink, with a small neat tick next to it. Goldbricker.”
“Richard Madeley Is a Fucktard and We’re All Going to Hell”—“There are times when my rage cannot be adequately expressed in 140 characters.”
“Reverse Engineering” – Bruce and June want to be parents. In the future, it’s not as easy as you might think. A thought-provoking tale with a bit of a twist.
“The Film That Made Me: Robocop“ – I enjoyed Kit’s essay on his love of Robocop so much I actually rented and watched it for the first time in thirty years.
“Cold Shock”—A great story. One of the best I’ve read this year. A killer opening line, too: “It takes twenty minutes for a submerged car to fill with water. Seth doesn’t even wake up for the first four.”
“My Brief Career as an Eleven Year Old Slave Trader”—A primary school student’s assignment to provide an account of events from the point of view of a slave trader. A very interesting exercise.
“Zombie Dad”—Kit excels at opening lines: “My dad’s got a pretty good left jab, especially for a guy who’s been dead for two years.”
“Keep It Up Son, Take a Look at what You Could Have Won”—A favorite band goes in a new direction. Wow.
“Feed the World”—I’m thinking this story may have been inspired “Do They Know It’s Christmas” by BandAid, the 1984 recording to raise funds to help the starving children in Ethiopia. “Where the only flowing water is the bitter sting of tears.”
“Like a Charm”—A rookie cop purchases a bullet at a gun show which turns out to be a good luck charm.
“Ted”—Jason just loves the ragged old teddy. The two are inseparable despite his mother’s attempts to tear them apart. Toy bears freak me out and Ted is no exception.
“Enemies”—Without saying as much, this wonderful short is likely a conversation with Charon, the ferryman charged with transporting souls of the newly dead across the river Styx into the Underworld.
“The Hand”—I’ve played a lot of Texas-Hold-‘Em over the years and Kit has managed to capture the adrenaline rush of high-stakes poker in this amazing short.
“Baptism”—The bathing of a child turns into a horrible nightmare.
“Time Out of Mind”—What would you do if time travel was a thing?
“The Final Setting of the Sun”—About a three trillion gigaton fusion bomb called Larry.
“The Bar at the Edge of the Desert”—“But here’s the good bit. When you get to the end, you go to a bar, and they give you a drink. And you drink down the distilled essence of your life experiences, and you savour it, and it becomes a part of you. Then you leave the bar, and outside is a desert, and you cross the desert, and on the other side is another life, another set of experiences and lessons and stories and love and heartache. It never ends. That’s the good news.’”
Reading Kit Power never disappoints, if for no other reason than his work is far from ordinary. Strongly recommended.