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Kadrey, Richard

Entry updated 6 November 2023. Tagged: Artist, Author.

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(1957-    ) US rock musician, author and illustrator; he did the cover for Interzone #9 (Autumn 1984) and the vigorous though somewhat derivative collage illustrations for Dream Protocols (coll 1992 chap) by sf poet Lee Ballentine (1954-    ); he has also contributed articles to Science Fiction Eye and Whole Earth Review. He began to publish sf with "The Fire Catcher" for Interzone, Summer 1985. Not wholly assimilated influences including Cyberpunk as a whole and J G Ballard in particular give an element of pastiche to his early work, including his first novel, Metrophage: (A Romance of the Future) (1988); but the latter transcends it in a vigorous and inventive tale of a mean-streetwise drug pusher's problems in a Near-Future Los Angeles (see California) that is being eaten alive by urban decay, police corruption and corporate cynicism. It reads like a supercharged arcade game that appals even its creator, as does the later Accelerate (graph 2007), a Graphic Novel also set in LA. Covert Culture Sourcebook: A Guide to Fringe Culture (1993) surveys similar territory from a nonfiction point of view.

After Kamikaze L'Amour: A Novel of the Future (1995) – a Climate Change tale in which in runaway global warming has introduced tropical rainforests to North America, drawing into this deadly honeytrap a rather Ballardian rock singer engaged in faking his death – Kadrey concentrated more on horror, usually with a sometimes transparently gonzo use of splatterpunk tropes. Despite the occasional overindulgence, especially in the scenes set in Hell, Butcher Bird (4 April 2005 Infinite Matrix as "Blind Shrike"; rev 2007), which has connections with the Sandman Slim fantasy sequence is all the same an invigorating example of Cosmological horror which argues that the terror of the world is entirely visible (see Horror in SF) but for the fact that we instantly forget what we see (see Perception); Sandman Slim (2009) is set in a Monster-irradiated Los Angeles, further confirming a complexly transgressive and Equipoisal take on the hypnotic nightmare of modern urban California. The next volumes – Kill the Dead (2010), Aloha from Hell (2011), Kill City Blues (2013), The Getaway God (2014) and Killing Pretty (2015) – continue at about the same unforgiving level of garish intensity; King Bullet (2021), the declared finale to the sequence, climaxes in a Los Angeles during the savage aftermath of a Pandemic.

The Grand Dark (2019), a singleton, moves sf-wards in its depiction of a kind of Alternate History twentieth century Europe Between the Wars, though the wars have never truly ended; the punkish dis-ease, the contortions of urban life (see City), the horrors of Genetic Engineering: the portrait, though sideways, is of a recognizable contemporary world. [PN/JC]

Richard Albert Kadrey

born New York: 27 August 1957



Sandman Slim

  • Butcher Bird (San Francisco, California: Night Shade Books, 2007) [Sandman Slim: pb/Dan Dos Santos]
  • Sandman Slim (New York: Eos, 2009) [Sandman Slim: hb/Ervin Serrano]
  • Kill the Dead (New York: Eos, 2010) [Sandman Slim: hb/]
  • Aloha from Hell (New York: Harper Voyager, 2011) [Sandman Slim: hb/]
  • Devil Said Bang (New York: Harper Voyager, 2012) [Sandman Slim: hb/Craig White]
  • Kill City Blues (New York: Harper Voyager, 2013) [Sandman Slim: hb/Craig White]
  • The Getaway God (New York: Harper Voyager, 2014) [Sandman Slim: hb/CrushCreative]
  • Killing Pretty (New York: Harper Voyager, 2015) [Sandman Slim: hb/]
  • The Perdition Score (New York: Harper Voyager, 2016) [Sandman Slim: hb/]
  • The Kill Society (New York: Harper Voyager, 2017) [Sandman Slim: hb/]
  • Hollywood Dead (New York: Harper Voyager, 2018) [Sandman Slim: hb/]
  • Ballistic Kiss (New York: Harper Voyager, 2020) [Sandman Slim: hb/]
  • King Bullet (New York: Harper Voyager, 2021) [Sandman Slim: hb/]

Another Coop Heist

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