Book: The Cat Wore Electric Goggles by Ian Hutsoncategories: Book, England, SciFi, Humor, Humour, Victorian, Edwardian, Aliens, Steam, Industrial, Revolution, Science Fiction
Ian Hutsonabout this book: The Cat Wore Electric Goggles is a book of mildly amusing, deliciously old-fashioned fictions from the heart of England - an England that never really was. These stories are the equivalent of the preternaturally comfortable tapestry cushions in the library of some dusty gentlemen's club - mere frippery, yet invaluable in the cause of absolute relaxation. The history in them is wildly inaccurate, the science is wonderfully implausible and the plots are refreshingly farcical.
The spacecraft are rocket-ships, the chaps involved are awfully polite and there is an almost total absence of violence, of romantic naughtiness and of rude language – these are stories one might read to one's grandmother, if only she hadn't been accidentally and somewhat prematurely buried at sea. Ladies and gentlemen of an Edwardian and Victorian flavour abound, as do the core members of the royal family. Any robots involved, and there are a few, may be dog-shaped and may speak fluent Latin and Klingon, or they may be human-shaped and display every neurosis and weakness known to man. It is difficult to know whether the author's proudest moment was getting England to the Moon first on a budget of just two-hundred and fifty quid, or in re-writing the Industrial Revolution to put groovy orang-utans in space.
This book, as with all of the author's books, is written in slightly old-fashioned English with English, not international, spellings and grammar. Read it for giggles and read it to train your eyebrows to move around enough to successfully hang on to a monocle, for they will surely twitch (assuming that you don't suffer from a unibrow). The preceding collection labours under the title of NGLND XPX (England Expects, written in "text speak") and the subsequent collection will be available in early 2015, pinned down by the title The Dog With The Bakelite Nose. Literary England remains aloof of course, but who knows, readers of humour and science fiction elsewhere on the globe may be amused by the presumption of these collections and the sheer ruddy-minded effrontery of the author. Chin-chin, cheers and - in a doff of the hat to the Continent - ciao.
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