1991 Tor reprint, cover by Joe DeVito
Somtow is the pseudonym of Somtow Papinian Sucharitkul, a Thai-American author who is also a classical music and opera composer, aspects which feature prominently in the novel. These are the most convincing parts of the story, written with obvious first-hand personal knowledge and insight. The retrograde vision of the rock'n'roll industry is taken right from that scene in Rock 'n' Roll High School where the Ramones manager tells Riff Randell "This is the big-time, girly, this is rock 'n' roll." Except played straight and not for midnight movie madness.
1985 Future UK edition, cover by Val Lindahn
Structurally the novel is a mess, flitting back and forth in time not just in chapters but oh-so-preciously separated sections with portentous headings like *blood dream* and *night child* and *firebirth* and even *fire:dissolve:labyrinth* (god is there a more pretentious word than labyrinth?). I admire the ambition, somewhat, the desire to elevate pop fiction nightmares, but this back-and-forth within even paragraphs leaves the reader bewildered.
1990s UK reprint