Bookshelf: Ripped

51PVUP3kfYL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_Angie Lofthouse is one of my favorite authors.

She’s one of my favorite local authors in that she tells science fiction stories that are both deeply Mormon and at the same time profoundly idiosyncratic (I am thinking in particular here of her Defenders of the Covenant, a war of the worlds tale in which straight up Mormons fight against alien invasion alongside native americans whose religion is fairly described as “animistic,” “shamanistic,” or at least “pagan.” She’s sort of Steven L. Peck with the Gormenghast squeezed out of him and the squirrels shaken off, plus lots of singing.

She’s one of my favorite authors, period, for the same reason. The current revolution in publishing technology has deeply subversive potential, because it allows a writer to reach, at low cost, an audience that may be very small and geographically spread out. A big publisher may not be able to afford to go out into the world and find everyone who wants to read about, say, a psychic Seventh Day Adventist private investigator, or a transvestite astrologist secret agent infiltrating the Fourth Reich (I have made both of these up), but if an author has the persistence and the chops to tell those stories, Amazon and similar platforms will let her create a community of people who want to read them.

So I regard Angie as avant-garde, a small-tribe storyteller for the particularity of some of the stories she tells. Ripped is a collection of Angie’s shorter works, many previously published, and one of the great things about it is that is shows that Angie isn’t small-tribe for lack of ability. She writes stories that do a wonderful job of making a straight-line connection from the twisted fabric of space-time to the rumpled discomfort of the ordinary human heart. And while these particular stories may not be for everyone, I’m glad that Angie continues to write, because one of these days she’s going to write the Big One.

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I'm a writer. This is my blog.
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