Tuesday, June 23, 2020

#32: The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion by Margaret Killjoy

A pair of drifters lose track of each other, and when one finds out the other committed suicide, she heads to a remote commune to figure out what happened in Margaret Killjoy's The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion.

In very short order she learns this commune, set up in an abandoned town in Iowa, has summed a three-horned, blood-red deer who for better or worse manifests a hazy form of justice over the community.  Quickly we have squatters versus cops versus the Unknown, with no answers in black and white.

Killjoy writes a sharp-edged novel with equal parts horror, post-apocalyptic fantasy, and punk manifesto, both genre-busting and gender-busting.  To me, this novel owes a significant nod to Samuel R. Delany's masterwork Dahlgren, also about an eerie, otherworldly city populated by free-thinking and free-loving inhabitants.  It is good company to be in.

I was brought up a little short by a rather conventional ending, with the survivors setting themselves up for a sequel by pledging to band together and fight against the supernatural in other towns, which seemed to betray the outsider coolness throughout.

But I would still read that novel, and enjoyed this one.  

I got this for my beloved Kindle and read it quickly.

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