A Mouthful Of Tongues

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Overview

In his new novel, A Mouthful of Tongues, Paul Di Filippo, cult author of Ciphers, The Steampunk Trilogy, and Ribofunk, makes his boldest fictional statement yet. Writing in the tradition of Kathy Acker and Samuel R. Delany, but with a subversive brio all his own, Di Filippo here imagines a true erotic revolution, a crusade of the libido that will topple a corrupt and jaded future world order, and possibly much besides . . .

Kerry Hackett is just another corporate pawn in the ...

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Overview

In his new novel, A Mouthful of Tongues, Paul Di Filippo, cult author of Ciphers, The Steampunk Trilogy, and Ribofunk, makes his boldest fictional statement yet. Writing in the tradition of Kathy Acker and Samuel R. Delany, but with a subversive brio all his own, Di Filippo here imagines a true erotic revolution, a crusade of the libido that will topple a corrupt and jaded future world order, and possibly much besides . . .

Kerry Hackett is just another corporate pawn in the urban cauldron of 2015, besieged on all sides by those who would possess and exploit her. Driven to desperation, she undergoes a mysterious transformation into an alchemical goddess, wanderer of the timelines. In a magnificently evoked parallel Brazil, a place of seedy splendor and charismatic lusts, Kerry, or that which she has become, tests her carnal arsenal on targets deserving and undeserving; but the attention of a more powerful agency has been attracted, and a yet stranger metamorphosis awaits.

A tale of heartbreak, revenge, and liberation, written in Paul Di Filippo's most fantastically effervescent prose, A Mouthful of Tongues is a work of science fiction which crosses boundaries and breaks taboos with brilliant savage abandon. It can only add to its author's rapidly growing following, and will shake the world of speculative fiction to its very foundations.

"Out of a rich impasto of language, a story that is sensual, sexual, and hot takes shape around one of the most engaging heroines since Southern and Hoffenberg's Candy."
--Samuel R. Delany

"Sacred sin, that's Di Filippo's force here. We have participated in a transpersonal act that lifts our consciousness above the situational polarities of morality and into the psyche's unknown, where objective energetic processes fuse dream and matter--and make us us. A ruthless fantasy of aggressive sexuality and archaic intentions."
--A. A. Attanasio

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
It's 2015 and armed National Guard patrols stalk the urban jungles of a North America dominated by a security-obsessed, corporate-governmental complex in this apparently sincere effort to prove that the phrase "erotic SF" is not an oxymoron. Life, for most, is a plague of shortages and disease. After meeting with devastating sexual brutality, secretary Kerry Hackett intentionally merges with a parabiologically engineered entity composed entirely of totipotent cells the benthic. Super-human, super-sexualized and super-morphic, this amalgam of woman and benthic, who looks like a normal woman, is immediately off to the tropics of Brazil. There the "She Beast" comes fully into her powers through a series of fantastic (and graphic) sexual encounters. She can generate autonomous tongues (and other organs) as well as modify her gender, shape and appearance and do the same for others. For all her godlike powers and kinky empowerment, however, this new monster verges on the pulp-era SF female, a sexually voracious man-eater to whom men ecstatically succumb with lots of slime involved. Di Filippo (Ciphers; Ribofunk) transgresses and subverts enough to push SF to its brink, but outside of genre he is nowhere near the erotic edge. His truly wondrous wordcraft a lush and sometimes playful use of language is reason enough to admire this short, possibly satiric novel. (Oct.) FYI: Di Filippo is also the author of Strange Trades (Forecasts, Aug. 20, 2001), a story collection. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781587155062
  • Publisher: Wildside Press
  • Publication date: 3/4/2002
  • Pages: 184
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.56 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2003

    Sexual nightmare

    Well, in the March '03 issue of _Asimov's_Science_Fiction_Magazine_, Norman Spinrad hails Paul De Filippo's _Mouthful_Of_Tongues_ as 'the ultimate Essex House novel. Believable scientific speculation. Sexual magic and Latin American Magic Realism. Real and sympathetic characterization. Lavish attention to descriptive detail.' I bought all $29.99 of the book out of curiosity and I was very disappointed. Yes, Di Filippo is imaginative and explicit, but there was no believalbe scientific speculation, no real and sympathetic characterization, and most especially, no lavish attention to descriptive detail. Instead of believable scientific speculation, there is straight up fantasy thinly desguised with technobabble. Instead of symptethic characterization there is a heroine, who is taken advantage of in a modern civilization by her boss, and then her fatally-infected and contagious boyfriend. At this point I sympathized. Then, inexplicably she goes to a top secret area of her employer's company and punctures a hole in the manipulator gloves of a sealed container containing a 'benthic' -- an artificlal life form capable of changing its shape. The benthic enters her body and she obains superhuman powers, such as the ability to change her shape, replace a lost arm on a person who lost their arm, and change the sexes of a father who sexually abused his daughter, as well as the daughter. She then goes on to obscene cruelty, apparently relying on sexual intercourse of any kind torture and maime individuals. She goes mad and is not at all sympathetic through most of the work. Instead of 'lavish attention to descriptive detail' Di Fillipo's style, while effective, appeard to me to be an exercise in figuring out how many obscure and obsolete words he could fit into a single paragraph. Where guys like C. S. Lewis can pull off such a pretentious writing style, Di Fillipo falls flat. Have your dictionary handy when you read this one, folks. While I enjoyed many of the escapades presented in the book, and I especially enjoyed the fables told by one character or another (stories within a story) the book fails for lack of a reasonable plot. There is no motivation for many actions of the main characters. Its as if you're in this sexual nightmare where nothing makes any sense and you just want to wake up (before you have a wet dream). I'll grant the book was entertaining, and Di Fillipo is an imaginative and entertaining author, but I feel very let down by Norman Spinrad's review on this one.

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