New Seattle Welcomes Visitors*
That sign should have been enough to clue in former cop Huckleberry Lindbergh that going home (or at least, to the last place resembling home) is often difficult, sometimes dangerous. And in the city of New Seattle, ruled by the iron fist of the Health and Safety Department, being dangerous can get you arrested…or worse. Before he knows it, Huck is caught up in a whirlwind of bureaucratic red tape (literally and figuratively), high-tech conspiracy, and sentient household appliances. At the center of it all is Nena, who seems to look right past his jaded, often confused exterior, deep into the heart he’d tried so hard to bury alongside his lost love. Amid a pack of harmonizing frost-free refrigerators that sing impromptu jingles, a spin dryer that just wants to have that warm, full feeling of a load of clothes, drongles (automated cabs) that spew lucky numbers and warnings about nut byproducts, and burned-out civil servants “just doing their jobs”, they embark upon a frenzied chase to stop…what? They’re not quite sure, but they know it’s bad—maybe “end of the world as we know it” bad.
Welcome Tim Scott, rising star of British surreal absurdist fiction. In Love in the Time of Fridges, he’s produced a work that has something of the feel of Douglas Adams (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy), meets Monty Python, with elements of playwright Tom Stoppard, and yet is highly original. Mr. Scott has been an award-winning writer and producer of comedy and children’s shows for both radio and television in the U.K. for some years, and is now expressing himself in novel form—and it’s very novel. In this convoluted rollercoaster ride of a story, he gives us a view of a dystopian near future with elements that seem disturbingly familiar—just a little more government encroachment into our lives, just a bit more technology applied to our bodies, and this could be not too far down our road. But he delivers direness with such energy, style, and wit I found myself laughing through the potential horror of it all.
Love in the Time of Fridges is not a romance, although it has a romantic relationship in it. It is also not an “easy” book—better brace yourself, and be prepared to think, if you pick up this one. But if you enjoy offbeat humor (“Frankly, walking down the street in a yellow coat with four refrigerators and a spin dryer for company is not the easiest way to keep a low profile.”), and if vivid descriptions and adept use of the language grabs you (“We were in a warehouse. It reverberated with a heavy, musty smell so full of the past it felt as though it might burst. Silence lay in piles.”), find this book. Its worth every brain cell spent on it—and you’ll find yourself mulling over bits and pieces for days, and smiling.
Tim Scott’s Outrageous Fortune marked the debut of one of the most wildly inventive writers to hit the sci-fi scene in years. Now he returns with a hilarious yet poignant novel of love, loss, and itinerant appliances.
“New Seattle Health and Safety. Do not die for no reason.” This is the motto of a city so obsessed with the danger of sharp corners that it has almost forgotten how to live. But Huckleberry Lindbergh is about to find his trip to the city most decidedly unsafe. For a chance encounter leads him into the heart of a dark conspiracy. And in order to stop it, this former cop is about to do something so unsafe—so monumentally stupid—that its reverberations will be felt all the way to the Pentagon.
Soon he is on the run from more authorities than he has had hot meals, his staunchest allies a bunch of feral fridges that give new meaning to the words “chill out.” But sometimes a dose of chaos is just what the doctor ordered, and Huck’s quest to remain among the living teaches not only him but those around him the true meaning of survival . . . in all its forms.