The Missing Link by Brandon Meyers and Bryan Pedas, available now for your order online or at your favorite local new bookseller, may be seen as a postmodern reimagining of the Alice in Wonderland myth. What would happen to society’s apparent order if the internet collapsed? The authors ask. Almost everything runs through that hub anymore. As you might expect, the aftermath is an endless joke. Early on, we’re introduced to the Downriver Boys, a group of homeless people living below the norm both literally and figuratively, uncontaminated by too great a dependence on technology like the above worlders. Society‘s decomposition is immediate and continual once the link connecting everything is broken. As an added bonus, circuit-eating gremlins and moronic playing card figures “tweedling” back and forth to one another (a la Twitter) have bled into apparent reality from some cyber-Wonderland. This device near the novel’s beginning, along with the title’s understated overbearing pun, are early hallmarks of the book’s sustained suspension of disbelief.throughout its duration as a fantasy for people who like jokes about the modern world.
This reporter first became of aware of the writing duo Meyers and Pedas, coadministrators of a site called A Beer for the Shower, via a chance encountering of a previous literary collaboration of theirs, The Sensationally Absurd Life and Times of Slim Dyson, at Mutiny Info. Café one afternoon. This led to my discovery of Pedas’ outstanding solo effort, Demetri and the Banana Flavored Rocketshi, and Meyers’ equally impressive short story collection, Chasing the Sandman. Both together and as individuals, Pedas and Meyers show a variety of styles and tones at their command as writers. Their works are usually set in Denver or its outskirts, making their active presence in the self made writing scene originating locally a positive development in recent literary character studies of these parts.
The Missing Link is the second of their collaborative efforts your reporter has seen so far. Lead character cybergeek Brent Porter joins forces with the grouchy, rumpled security guard Mickey hoping to track down and rescue Brent’s girlfriend, Molly from the burgeoning chaos, which is only sure to worsen. Unbeknownst to either of them, Molly has been sucked into the very cooing world of nonsense from which the Tweedlers and circuit-phagic demons first came. Here begins the reimagining of Wonderland. While Brent and Mickey comb the topsy-turvy shambles of apparent reality for Brent’s lost girlfriend, she herself is fending off human oglers, groping trolls, and further twiddlers, both above and below ground. Just at the point of most likely defeat, the “Downriver Boys” referenced earlier, led by a war-toughened vet and the crazy wisdom of a woman called “Wingnut Sally “ reenter The Missing Link’s narrative with a gesture of penultimate significance. Read about it.