Fiction Reviews


(2001) Richard Calder, Earthlight, 6.99, pbk, 442pp, ISBN 0-7434-0895-0

Raul Riviera, in the course of a plane crash, is inhabited by hundreds of thousands of demons from an other-dimensional Hell which was settled by aliens. This is how he initially becomes impakto, though he is then further enhanced with metal plates and a steel claw weapon, courtesy of the demon heirodule and artificer Maximillia Morales. His mission is to destroy the king and queen of Hell, steal the aliens' spaceship and use it to storm the gates of Heaven (another dimension) and kill God. Of course, that's not as easy as it sounds...

I've been thoroughly enjoying Calder's work since he burst on the scene in 1992 with Dead Girls, and he just keeps getting better and better. Partly that's because the surreal quality of his creations appeal to me personally, but mostly it's just the enjoyment of seeing fairly standard myths and simple stories told in such a mind-bending way. Impakto owes more than a little to Oedipus and much more besides for the well-read, but it also stands on its own merits, which are legion. For what it's worth, I also think this would make one hell of a comic book series or graphic novel. Highly recommended.

Tony Chester

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