Thursday, March 29, 2012

Three Stories - The Jedidiah Ayres Edition


Some writers who have a terrific backlist of novels you can dive in, whenever you discover them. Lawrence Block would be my best example in 2012. I have about twenty Matthew Scudder novels to read, then there are the Bernie Rhodenbarr ones, it's safe to assume I have for a few years of Block novels to satisfy my urges. For other writers, you know the novels, the success, the girls and the mansion is going to come, but there is very little material available. Jed Ayres is one of those guys. He has a novella up for release later this year, but in the meantime, you only have his short stories but they're about the dirtiest and darkest noir shorts you can find on the market. Here are some of his best work for you to read.

A FUCKLOAD OF SCOTCH TAPE

It makes Benji laugh any time he heard someone call them recreational drugs. He didn't know anything recreational about them. Maybe what he was doing, some would call killing himself, but he knew better. Killing himself is what he'd do if he wasn't doing what he was doing.

This twenty pages of mayhem chronicles the downfall of Benji, a youth that decided to substitute his soul for money. The consequences of this choice will send him spiraling down into Illinois underworld. And the guys over there and not going to let what's left of Benji go back home in one piece. A FUCKLOAD OF SCOTCH TAPE is written in a claustrophobic style that will beat you up and leave you hopeless for Benji and for your own innocence. This is coming out in a freakin' movie soon! If you don't want to order the magazine, you can catch the trailer and get the news about the adaptation here.

VISCOSITY

"Should have that on ESPN. Smokeball."

"Yeah, then the loser has to fuck the can."

Make a pulp magazine with a sexploitation theme and of course, someone will come up with a story about masturbation. Might seem gross to you, ladies but I assure you that it has been raised to the rank of science by generations and generations of lonely men. Put them together with beer and the craziest stories will surface. VISCOSITY is a celebration of those stories. Written completely in dialogue (that's a bold move right there), it has a nice confessional tone to it. Believe it or not, it has been made into a movie also, but I'm not going to post links for the trailer. I've had a talk with the director and I'm going to post the movie this Saturday.

DOWN, DOWN, DOWN, BURNS, BURNS, BURNS

"Just touched down?" she asked rhetorically. "Looking for a real meal?"


Obed glanced around, but didn't spot anyone escorting her. "Where's your pimp?"


"Not here," she said. "I'd like to talk to you. I'll buy you a meal."


Obed wondered, Do I even care what she wants to talk about?

This is an odd duck by Jed Ayres' standard because the form is rather conventional. What I like about this story is that is sounds like a tribute to Philip K. Dick, my favorite, pound for pound science-fiction of all-time. But don't worry about it, the form might be behaving but the content is one organic nightmare. It's quite the long read, but if you have about an hour to spare, this will bring you somewhere far in the mind of Jedidiah Ayres. A place where the weak are served for dinner.

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