Kindle. A 2015 collection of shorts (some offcuts from The Orphan Master's Son) which won Johnson a few prizes. The stories seem to have direct antecedents in recent cinema:
- Nirvana: The prez is assassinated and reincarnated R2D2-style as a hologram, and responds in the manner of the I Ching. Yes, relationships with constructs: Dirk Gently, Her, Ex Machina, etc. The reincarnator's wife has a degenerative condition and is a big Cobain fan.
- Hurricanes Anonymous: Louisiana, post hurricane. The bloke works for UPS, probably-his-kid's mum is in prison, his girlfriend is not entirely straight.
- Interesting Facts: Very Sixth Sense.
- George Orwell Was a Friend of Mine: The Reader? The East Germany prison warder narrator is obtuse and reflexively defensive, which in combination with the dog put me in mind of David Ireland's recent outing.
- Dark Meadows bravely reflects on child abuse, and is thoughtfully, provocatively ambiguous. Johnson is not really across his technology though.
- Fortune Smiles is the material left over from the novel. Johnson places two quirky North Korean defectors (one tricked into doing so, the other being his driver) in Seoul. At times it reads like a travel guide, taking us along random subways just for the hell of it. Gangnam Style, for sure.