The Charles Fort quote at the start of Black Helicopters possibly provides a clue to the novella’s intentions. According to Wikipedia, Fort was a researcher in anomalous phenomena. Black Helicopters is over toppling with anomalous phenomena. We’ve got secret organisations, CIA skulduggery involving psychics and drugs, a Lovecraft inspired apocalypse and sections set in the medium and far future.
None of it really comes together, which makes the novella feel more like an outline for a novel than its own story. In fact there’s this constant feeling that’s there a bigger story bubbling and seeping through the cracks. But for me it never emerged.
I just never felt that I was on the same wavelength as the novella.
And yet there’s something about its intangible, non-linear, madcap nature that’s lingered with me. It’s a story that I want to discuss, partly because I’m curious to know what others thought of it, partly because I feel that through discussion the novella will start clicking into place and partly because Black Helicopters is the sort of challenging, ‘maddening’ (as Gary Wolfe puts it) story that should spark debate and conversation between genre folk. It’s a shame that the novella isn’t more wildly available.
Whether I fully understand Black Helicopters, whether I’m on its wavelength, the novella has left an impression. Ephemeral. Frustrating. Tantalising. Let the discussion begin!
Mirrored from The Hysterical Hamster.