BOOK REVIEW - STEVE AYLETT – LINT. Snow books Press. 2005.
The biography of neglected surrealist Science Fiction legend Jeff Lint, from the early days of writing for the pulp magazines in the Golden Age, to the major concept stories of the 1990’s. That is what you might think this is, but the book is a work of fiction even though it has been sometimes mistaken for a genuine biography. There is even a web page at http://www.jefflint.com/ for the non-existent author. – Jeff Lint is a near hoax quality spoof of epic proportions.
He may however be modeled on the real life writer, Harlan Ellison, who, just like Lint, was surreal off the page as well as on it, Ellison was pugilistic, used similar chapter headings in his books and who also wrote what is generally regarded as the most exceptional Star Trek script. – City On The Edge Of Forever, but always claimed that it suffered from studio and Gene Rodenberry interference. Lint writes a Star Trek script in which the Universe suddenly gets interesting but the crew make it boring and mundane again before the episode ends.
Lint gets into fights with other well known authors and personalities, including Jack Kerouc. Ellison fell foul of Frank Sinatra. Ellison’s contributions to films like The Terminator had to be fought for in the courts. Lint writes the original script for Patton, but finds it largely revised leaving only his image of Patton (George C Scott) standing in his jeep as it moves up the road remaining. His explanation for this being Patton’s Haemorrhoids. The scene is however removed. Disney fired Ellison for planning on making pornographic cartoons there. Lint makes a cartoon show that is too scary for children and gets pulled off the air within a few episodes.
The fictional nature of the biography becomes very apparent from the Hellzapoppin barrage of quickfire jokes and tall stories told about him. Lint gets into print by pretending to be Isaac Asimov. He insists on wearing a dress (Ed Wood style) when he takes his scripts personally to his publishers. He never posts a script out. He is baffled when he meets transvestites because they wear a dress when they have no scripts to peddle around.
Lint’s agent dies early on in the book, but his body isn’t found for decades, as it rots in his office, and somehow still takes his percentage from Lint’s wages until after the author himself dies.
The hoax element of this cheerful nonsense is helped by the use of beautifully illustrated book covers for Lint’s stories, and a comprehensive index of references. Some of Lint’s books sound so cool you wish they were available. His aliens are not invaders of our world, but try to get away from us at any excuse because humanity is just so dull. Lint himself becomes increasingly reclusive and aggressive to his fans, just as Ellison has done if his reputation is to be believed.
It is clear that Lint is actually not regarded as a writer of literary merit. Publishers tend to punch him rather than just send him letters of rejection, but Aylett makes his ideas frighteningly attractive.
The book is fatal for reading on the bus or train, as your laughter will attract attention from other passengers. I discovered that the hard way. It’s hard not to laugh at a book with lines like “I am not the giraffe you’re looking for.” And “I am turning into a draped bundle of kelp – adore me.” And “Civilization is the agreement to have gaps between wars.”
Frankly, if anyone had written a book called ‘Chestdeep In My Own Jelly’, I’d be tempted to buy it.”
© Copyright. Arthur Chappell
LINK TO THIS PAGE http://arthurchappell.me.uk/book.review-steve.aylett-lint.htm
FACEBOOK - http://profile.to/arthurchappell/ FACEBOOK
PAGE - http://twitter.com/arthurchappell
WOOPHY PAGE - http://www.woophy.com/member/Arthur+Chappell
MY FLICKR PAGE http://www.flickr.com/photos/arthurchappell/
MY MODEL MAYHEM PAGE http://www.modelmayhem.com/arthurchappell
MY MODEL URL WEB PAGE http://modelurl.com/arthurchappellYougov Surveys pages - http://my.yougov.com/go.aspx?id=83d4324b-e38d-4022-af7d-44ee3ab4f4c9