Steve Aylett,
(Thunder's Mouth, 2005)

Lint has got to be one of the oddest books I've read in quite some time. It is the purported biography of science fiction legend Jeff Lint -- don't worry if you've never heard of him. I'm fairly well convinced that he's a figment of Steve Aylett's imagination. On the other hand, you will find not one, but two Wikipedia entries on him, as well as an official web site and MySpace page.

Supposedly born in 1928, Lint was quite a character. His short stories appeared in most of the pulp publications of the day. Misunderstanding a comment from an editor, he delivered all his manuscripts while wearing a dress. Like another famous SF writer, Lint wrote a Star Trek script, but unlike his contemporary, his script was never produced. Lint died in 1994. Supposedly.

Lint is an astoundingly strange work. Much of it reads like the surrealist version of "Why did the chicken cross the road? (Fish.)" For instance, he is reported to have said, "When the abyss gazes into you, bill it."

While Lint is quite clever, it's extremely difficult to take in large doses; the very cleverness gets tiresome after a few pages, and it often feels like refrigerator poetry -- words strung together just because they're there.

What more can I say about Lint? It really has to be read to be believed.

by Laurie Thayer
17 March 2007

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