If you are looking for an adult humoured, dark yet funny, dangerous but nerdy new book to read, then look no further. Richard Kadrey brings you Devil Said Bang.
This is the fourth installment of his Sandman Slim series.
Kadrey is a San Francisco-based freelance writer who claims that his entry into the science fiction world of literature was “inevitable.”
“When I was a kid I never read The Hardy Boys,” said Kadrey. “I read Doc Savage and H.G. Wells.”
Doc Savage is a bronzed American hero in the comic world of the ‘30s and ‘40s. He was often featured with a torn khaki shirt and described as a man who “rights wrongs and punishes evildoers.”
H.G. Wells is another science fiction hero, but in this case he is the man who wrote the stories, but not star in them.
For many years Kadrey has contributed to the science fiction world that he grew up loving. In 2000 he created and wrote a miniseries called Accelerate for Vertigo comics.
Since then he has released eight novels, which include his Sandman Slim series, and 13 stories.
“Richard has no qualifications for anything he does,” is written on Kadrey’s website.
Kadrey said he owes his success as a writer to “being a stubborn son of a bitch.”
“Every professional writer grew up with knowing a better writer but that better writer didn’t make it. Why? Because when things got tough and the rejections started rolling in he or she gave up,” Kadrey said. “It’s not all geniuses filling up the bookstores, it’s the writers too dumb or too arrogant to give up.”
The self-proclaimed stubborn writer’s latest work, Devil Said Bang, will be released Aug. 28.
It keeps up with the struggles that James Stark (also known as Sandman Slim, also known as the monster who kills monsters, also known as the new Lucifer) is facing in hell. Stark is literally trying to run hell.
Stark is a normal guy from Los Angeles that did magic and became friends with the devil. He was sent to hell by jealous friends (the kind most parents wouldn’t approve of) but managed to escape with some new tricks and a new name.
He came out of hell able to use shadows as travel portals and with the name Sandman Slim–the monster who kills monsters.
He’s a hero who is dirty-minded, rude, politically incorrect and shocking, yet who is also funny and is trying to right other people’s wrongs. Just like Doc Savage.
Although escaping originally meant revenge, he quickly had to take on much more and change his agenda.
Sandman Slim becomes the hero who will make you laugh with each new person or thing he kills.
“I figured out that the way to make it work was to cheat and make it funny,” says Kadrey. “You can have any number of decapitations in a book as long as they make people laugh.”
Sandman Slim does just that. He is a leading man that gives readers a lot to laugh, gasp and think about.
The author wants readers (between laughing about decapitations) to take away one thing from his series: ask questions.
“It all comes down to one simple idea: question everything. Stark keeps finding his assumptions are founded on inadequate information or his emotions,” Kadrey said. “He loathes God at the beginning of the series but ends up having some sympathy for him as things go on.”
One question that has an easier answer is whether there is hope of a Sandman Slim movie in the future. Kadrey doesn’t expect anything to happen too quickly, but there is a script floating around Hollywood, although no information on a possible director or cast.
Devil Said Bang is sure to keep up with the crude and dark world of Sandman Slim as he tries to reign in all the chaos of hell. As he faces the next chapter of violence, decapitations, and dark twisted humor, we can expect him to be doing at least one thing.
“Question everything, especially yourself,” Kadrey said.