Review of Codename Prague in The Pedestal Magazine

JoSelle Vanderhooft has written a shrewd and insightful review of my new novel, Codename Prague, for The Pedestal Magazine. Here's a taste:

"The dazzling absurdity, wide-eyed imagery, and wicked humor with which Wilson sends up these and other clich├ęs of science fiction and kung fu movies are more than enough reason to read Codename Prague. However, I think the book’s real brilliance can be found in its playful yet earnest examination of art and the concept of ekphrasis, or the way in which one art form tries to describe another. At the novel’s outset, Wilson playfully defines this term as “a graphic, ultraviolent depiction of a visual work of reality,” thus drawing, as he did in Peckinpah, a connection between art, violence, and life as lived, which suggests that the lines between all three may be quite fuzzy, indeed. By writing a novel that attempts to describe a movie, Wilson has committed ekphrasis. He also commits it by having his mad scientist splice Hitler and Keats to create a being that can surpass what he sees as the individual strengths of each man. And by giving Prague a fool’s quest that ends with his realization that he holds the code that could take postreal humanity to its next step, Wilson attempts a third form of ekphrasis—that is, to create a version of science fiction, wuxia, and scholarship that illuminates how all three are, more or less, a single art form.

"While that description may make
Codename Prague sound eggheaded and dull, the novel’s nonstop action and refreshing lack of pretensions make the book a mind-bending and rewarding read not only for science fiction and kung fu film aficionados, but also for literary critics, Bizarro fans, and readers who are interested in outlandish, experimental science fiction. This is Wilson writing at the top of his game."

Read the entire review here.