Robert Rankin claims he's invented a whole new literary genre, "Far-Fetched Fiction", and his latest novel Web Site Story
certainly fits the description. Again science fiction, fantasy and low comedy collide in that most mythic region of the Rankin cosmology, Brentford.
The eternal city has many aspects, each dafter than the last. This time it's joy, joy, happy joy in utopian 2022 Brentford, transformed by the teachings of Hugo Rune (The Most Amazing Man Who Ever Lived) and advanced but nevertheless deeply silly holistic footgear. Every Eden has a serpent, though, and the sinister Mute Corp computers which have replaced PCs can give you the real Millennium Bug:
The Black Death was spread by rats.
But this plague will be spread by a mouse.
The computer mouse.
Symptoms include amnesia--bringing a Brentford Magical History bus tour to a most peculiar end--and then disappearance. Can this be the Rapture, with virtuous Brentfordians translated bodily to heaven in the world's last days? Or can it be (for Rankin is having fun with slippery realities like Philip K Dick's) that the world has already ended?
Incredibly sexy girl investigator Kelly, master of the deadly art of Dimac, brushes off various males panting after her body as she penetrates the suburb's unlikely cyber secrets. Suitably off-the-wall set pieces follow, the most farcical being a pub poetry night that turns into a colossal punch-up. Zippy one-liners abound, and terrible old jokes stagger zombie-like from their graves--not to mention the running gags. (All together now: "I told you not to mention the running gags!") Very indescribable, very Rankin. --David Langford
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
'One of the rare guys who can always make me laugh.' Terry Pratchett.; 'To call Rankin irreverent doesn't begin to describe just how good he is at playing with the rules' Mirror.; 'Rankin does for England what Spike Milligan does for Ireland. There can be no higher praise." Mail on Sunday.; 'Everybody should at least read one Rankin in their life' Daily Express.; 'He becomes funnier the more you read him' Independent.