Sometimes it’s a gift and a curse being a book reviewer. On one hand you get a shitload of free books, but then you realize this tower of gold actually has to be read and it becomes a burden of sorts. However, The Night’s Neon Fangs is a gift that’s meant to be cherished.
The Night’s Neon Fangs by David W. Barbee is a collection of four novellas: Night’s Neon Fangs, Noah’s Arkopolis, That Ultimo Sumbitch, and Batcop Outta Hell.
The title piece “Night’s Neon Fangs” is about an electrifying werewolf named Buster Wade who’s forced to wear a rubber suit to keep the monster inside him restrained. Barbee paints a bizarre world where deities run governments and thanks to a slick joker, the US is forever cursed with a mummy cloud—a cloud that literally rains down mummies. It’s funny and absurd, but a number of corporations have learned how to make a pretty penny off the natural disaster. Buster works for one of these companies as security and dreams of the day his contract ends.
This novella is weird and funny and a nice appetizer for the next three pieces in the book.
“Noah Arkopolis” takes the story of Noah’s Ark and extends it way out into the future. The ark has become an entire city in the middle of oceanic Earth and Noah has disappeared, but he comes back in the form of a ghost to guide the protagonist. There’s highly advanced dolphins, humans with animals parts thanks to breeding between humans and animals over the years,
It’s endlessly funny, inventive, and has a nice sense of pacing. It pokes fun at the absurdness of religion, God, and the Bible. Also, makes you think about greed and the perils of abusing our natural resources such as oil.
“Ultimo Sumbitch” is a steampunkesque spaghetti western novella and my favorite out of the four in the book. Savage hippies, cyborgs, mutant goons rogue gunmen, etc.
My dad used to make me watch western movies when I was little and they bored me to death. If I saw something like this growing up, I would have completely different thoughts about the genre. Seriously, if Barbee made ten more books set in this universe, I’d buy every single one.
Imagine Batman meets Spawn and you might have an idea of “Batcop Outta Hell.” Thanks to fuckup in paperwork, officer McNulty wakes up in hell while his wife and daughter are stuck in limbo. He makes a deal with the devil to get revenge and to make sure his wife and daughter makes it to heaven.
He goes back to work in world full of people who are literally bats. Barbee riffs on all of the police tropes and cliches and makes them hilarious.
It’s a shame it took me this long to finally read Barbee’s work. I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking for some quality bizarro, great world-building, and sharp humor.
Buy it here: http://www.amazon.com/Nights-Neon-Fangs-David-Barbee/dp/1621051757/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1428527403&sr=8-1&keywords=the+night%27s+neon+fangs