Richard Calder was born in 1956, in Whitechapel, London. His novels include the 'Dead' trilogy (Dead Girls, Dead Boys, Dead Things), Cythera, Frenzetta, The Twist, Malignos, Impakto, Lord Soho, and Babylon.
"Fascinating and superbly written."
"The trilogy holds many rewards, cerebral and aesthetic."
"Stunning . . . a wild trilogy"
This book is a weapon: heavy and dense and as beautiful as it is dangerous.
Of all the books I've read in my life, this is the one that seems to have no analogue, to exist in its own frame of reference, a maelstrom of language, sex, violence, and transcendence. Every sentence is a dance pirouetting on the knife's edge, wavering between the sublime and the horror.
In his Dead trilogy (Dead Girls, Dead Boys, Dead Things), Richard Calder creates a cataclysmic future where the difference between nature, technology, reality, time, life, death, and imagination all swirl and blend together, becoming more and more indistinct as the narrative unravels at a dizzying pace only to somehow come back together as something both magnificent and visceral.
The kinetic language will sweep you up until you're reeling from the poetic. The first novel contained in the trilogy is certainly the most straightforward, if one can even use that word here. It's fitting that it's printed as a trilogy because the second two novels are so inextricably bound that to read one and not the other is to dive in an orphic nightmare and leave drowning.
You will get lost. Unbelievably so, as you try to figure out what is dream, what is reality, what is psychosis. Let it take you. Throw the maps and ciphers away. Allow Calder's world and imagination to swallow you, even as the sun burns out and the night's left blank and desolate. Crawl, if you must, on hands and knees, because at the end of the tunnel is a light, and it burns so bright you'll won't remember the miles you wandered, lost and alone.
It's odd writing a recommendation for this, because it's very likely you'll hate it. Maybe you'll hate me for convincing you to read it, but that's a chance I'm willing to take. This book, truly, is like no other book I've ever read. Fearless and brilliant.
So read it. Then read it again. Hold it close and let it whisper its nightmare into you, become infected by its disease, because it will transform you, and, somehow, it'll make you better, a bit closer to the sublime.