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Byrne, Brendan C

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(1982-    ) US author who first began publishing work of genre interest with "Donald Asshole and Los Elementos de Rock" (Spring/Summer 2008 Flurb), followed by "Wasps/Spiders" (Fall/Winter 2010 Flurb), both published in a journal mentored and shaped by Rudy Rucker. A novella, The Showing of the Instruments (2011), and "Human Child" (2014 Flapperhouse) are tales of disaffected youth, both invoking Near-Future urban settings and ambiguities about Identity and the nature of reality. "A Stone and a Cloud" (2016 Flapperhouse) is a terse, understated tale of digital spaces and a decision to extinguish personhood. "From the Three Stigmata of Peter Thiel (After Philip K Dick)" (November 2016 Donald Trump The Magazine of Poetry as "The Three Stigmata of Peter Thiel"; exp October 2019 Big Echo) is a satirical collision of the Posthuman title character of Philip K Dick's The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch (1965) with issues of surveillance capitalism. Critical writings of interest include reflections on Thomas M Disch's Endzone blog as "Thomas M. Disch's 'Endzone'" (5 September 2013 Rhizome); a succinct essay on the work of Tim Maughan, "An Extremely Reductive Tim Maughan Reading List in Reverse Order" (2019 Big Echo); and the M John Harrison interview "Late Style and Early Stories: An interview with M. John Harrison" (2020 Big Echo).

The Training Commission (2019 web), co-written with Ingrid Burrington, was published serially as a newsletter and cumulated as a website. Formally innovative and intellectually rigorous, this epistolary novella chronicles life in a future America and the omnipresence of AI technologies, after a civil war and a truth and reconciliation commission. Accelerate (2021), a solo novella, focuses on a hurtling road trip across a Near-Future Post-Holocaust America, from Los Angeles (see California) through the Feral Territories to New York, the narrative powered by attitude and the canting language of couriers, whose metabolic integration with their armoured "beater" vehicles is near-complete (see Mecha). Joam, the driver of the beater, experiences utter loss in the course of his journey and becomes a human being again. [HW]

Brendan Carney Byrne

born Washington, District of Columbia: 7 July 1982



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