Reviews of Stealing My Rules
by Don Webb

(1 review: Review of Contemporary Fiction)

(From Review of Contemporary Fiction, review by Lance Olsen)

Don Webb. Stealing My Rules. Cyber-Psychos AOD, PO Box 581, Denver CO 80201, 1997. 74 pages.

At the turn of the last century Alfred Jarry invented proto-pomo 'Pataphysics, or "the science of imaginary solutions" as he called it in Gestes et opinions du Docteur Faustroll (1911). Don Webb, someone we should all be paying a lot more attention to at this point in his career, has kept Jarry's torch of paradox and nonsense burning madly for more than a decade. His latest offering, Stealing My Rules, a dozen flash fictions ranging from a haunted piece of slipstream to a wacked-out version of cyberpunk space opera featuring The Great Ubu himself, carries more plot and ideas per paragraph than most fully formed novels, and does so through a jagged prose that has little use for commas, subordinate clauses, or other emblems of linear mundaneness. Webb's world makes Julio Cortazar's look a little predictable, Philip K. Dick's a drab shade of mimetic. Every object and person shimmers with mystic mythic mystery at the verge of an epistemological phase transition: people caught in a traffic jam decide to abandon their cars and desert their city for twenty-four hours; a puddle of oil talks; a woman becomes the Welsh banshee she mimics to fool her husband; men wear each other's bodies like fur coats; and today flickers into 1966 or 2637 just like that to feed a Living Dead's time addiction. Rife with sacrifices and spells, split-open viscera and sexual horrorshows, green goo and intra-body Ubu-morphing, these fictions don't so much steal as break the rules while proving again that Webb has more electroshock inventiveness in his left toenail than most writers have in their entire cosmos. [Lance Olsen]

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