When a first time novelist hits his mark, then it’s one well worth reading, and Gregory hit his mark with Pandemonium. I just read his book and apparently really good reviews have already hit the internet by those lucky first readers. It’s one of those books where I wish I was a lot smarter and could pick up on all this references to “collective unconscious”, Jungian psychology and archetypes, A.E. Van Vogt and everything Philip K. Dick. I do know about Rock ‘em Sock ‘em Robots, Nixon, Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel and mashups, so I feel I’ve crossed several generational divides in the book.
Del Pierce is “possessed” by a demon. As a young child Del, became possessed by the demon, “Hellion”. Beginning in the 1950′s there began a recurring phenomena that involved certain people being possessed by demons, the demons doing the possessing included; “The Captain”, “The Truth”, the “Little Angel” ,and the “Painter”. Throughout the book you’ll meet these demons up close and personal. Unfortunately Del’s demon attached itself to young male blond haired children and he fit the bill. Subsequent accidents in Del’s life seem to have revived his “demon”.
The story revolves around Del’s ability to deal with his problem, his family’s reactions and interactions with him, the outsiders who apply various measures to “fix the problem”, which range from an attempt to do away with him by the “Human Leaguers” in Harmonia Lake (absolutely not so harmonious), Mother Mariette O’Connell and the “Red Book” clan applying Jungian psychology and hypnosis on him and a final tornadic climax in Kansas.
Hopefully something in this review will stir you to read Pandemonium, you’ll be glad you did.
Gregory recently picked up the very tasty Crawford Award for a new fantasy writer with a first book, presented at the International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts. And best yet has a new book in the works.