Wednesday, October 22, 2014

REVIEW: Billy and the Cloneasaurus / Stephen Kozeniewski

Halloween is just around the corner, and in anticipation, I'm dedicating this week to horror writer Stephen Kozeniewski, writer of creepy chills and gruesome thrills. Part 3 is my review of Billy and the Cloneasaurus, a dark, dystopian satire about capitalism.

TITLE: Billy and the Cloneasaurus
AUTHOR: Stephen Kozeniewski
PUBLISHER: Severed Press

Science Fiction - Dystopia/Satire


Billy and the Cloneasaurus takes science fiction back to its satirical roots. Much in the vein of 1984 or Fahrenheit 451, the story uses a richly imagined futuristic world to hold a mirror up to today's world. The parallels are not hard to see - William clones are created for the sole purpose of becoming contented consumers controlled by The Corporation. The titular character, officially known as William-790, is an office drone whose sole purpose in life is to be a good little worker ... Just as Corporate America would want its employees to be.

That is, until one day, an accident leads him to form independent thoughts.

And that's where the story really starts moving. Billy finally leaves the confines of his captalist dystopia and discovers a whole new world. Or should we say, a Brave New World? This book reminded me a lot of Huxley's classic sci-fi novel, but with more black humor (and a more straightforward storyline!). The narrative is told in a tongue-in-cheek third person with Kozeniewski's signature wit. The juxtaposition of this society's horrors and a glib attitude give the story a darkly comedic ring.

A satirical criticism of capitalist greed set against a disturbing dystopian future, Billy and the Cloneasaurus is a witty and intelligently written novel with echoes of the sci-fi Grand Masters.

Stephen Kozeniewski (pronounced "causin' ooze key") lives with his wife and two cats in Pennsylvania, the birthplace of the modern zombie. During his time as a Field Artillery officer, he served for three years in Oklahoma and one in Iraq, where due to what he assumes was a clerical error, he was awarded the Bronze Star. He is also a classically trained linguist, which sounds much more impressive than saying his bachelor's degree is in German.

He is also the author of Braineater Jones and The Ghoul Archipelago

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