Punktown BOOK review [Jeffrey Thomas]

Book Reviews
Punktown BOOK review [Jeffrey Thomas]
May 1, 2000, 04:13

PUNKTOWN by Jeffrey Thomas; Ministry of Whimsy Press, 2000

Punktown is a collection of fantasy/horror short stories that take place in a colony established by earthlings on another planet. The colony, Paxton, is a crime-laden technoslum littered with refuse and gutted machinery. Humans interact with mutants, androids, and clones in an environment of shared cultures. Using physical constructs similar to those found in Blade Runner and Cyberpunk fiction, Thomas depicts the lives of contemplative characters that coexist in a violent society. Throughout his fiction Thomas ponders complexities such as the relationship between an artist and art, and the ways in which emotion and memory influence behavior. Unfortunately the engaging qualities of these abstract notions are neutralized by clichéd attributes assigned to the principal characters of Paxton. Females are typically identified by their alluring features and clingy outfits, aliens by their grotesque forms. Punktown is admirable in that it allows compassion and beauty to exist in a style of fiction that frequently ignores such traits, but because it conforms to stereotypes that are symptomatic of fantasy and horror fiction it fails to transcend the limitations of either of those genres.

- Jeffrey L. Ouch

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