Resurrection Radio

1. The car

There’s one thing, real­ly, only one major thing wrong with Kayla’s car. Every time we’re on the road—which is most of the time, really—there’s the smell of gas in it from some­where. I’m no mechanic—I don’t even know, most of the time, where my driver’s license is—but I’m cer­tain that there’s some­thing deeply wrong with gaso­line vapour find­ing its way into the cab of the car.

It wouldn’t even be so bad if it wasn’t for the fact that Kay­la smokes when she dri­ves. Con­stant­ly. Inces­sant­ly.

In my mind’s eye I see it perfectly—a black and orange parox­ysm of flame, a vague­ly car-shaped shad­ow in the mid­dle, the two of us doomed at the explosion’s heart. Some­times I dream about it. The whole scene reminds me per­pet­u­al­ly of my own mor­tal­i­ty, and the fact that there prob­a­bly isn’t a lot in the car that isn’t flammable—and tox­ic at that—makes me, if pos­si­ble, yet more ner­vous.

I men­tioned it to her once. You know what she said? “Relax, Dan-o,” she said, and laughed. “Noth­in’ to wor­ry about.”

Fire,” I said. “Ball.”

You wor­ry too much, man,” she said, and laughed again. “Real­ly. No fear.”


The car would be a clas­sic if she were to restore it. Glossy wax on a cus­tom paint job, the heavy, irreg­u­lar rum­ble of the engine mod­u­lat­ed and tem­pered by a com­plete muf­fler sys­tem (along with God knows how many repairs under the hood), bril­liant chrome on all the chromable sur­faces and a bunch of gilt plas­tic tro­phies on Kayla’s shelves. The way it is right now, though, the body’s in bad shape, pocked with rust-ringed holes, the windshield’s a spi­der­web of cracks and chips—when the sun’s in her eyes, I don’t know how she can see to dri­ve —the engine puts prob­a­bly half its pow­er into its bas­so pro­fun­do voice, and the most expen­sive part of it, morn­ings, is the full tank of gas. By after­noon it’s even­ly split between the gas and the sound sys­tem.

It’s a good sys­tem. When she bought the car she yanked out the push-but­ton AM-only non-func­tion­ing piece of crap radio and had some­body install her a good sys­tem, a CD play­er, sub­woofer (usu­al­ly lost in the sound from under the hood), good speak­ers in good loca­tions. When she cranks the tunes, they prob­a­bly hear us com­ing an extra mile down the road.

2. René

On the road beside a lush hill­side dot­ted with damp-dark head­stones, the hitch­er sat, his olive-drab army-issue duf­fel bag a makeshift seat. Felt-tip cap­i­tals on cor­ru­gat­ed card­board, run­ny in the rain, said JERSEY PLEASE. Kay­la laughed, and I did too, at the curi­ous politesse of the sign.

We pulled over. We always do. The tires crunched on the wet grav­el, and the hitch­er picked up his duf­fel and hur­ried to the car. He was old, espe­cial­ly for a hitch­hik­er, prob­a­bly six­ty-five or more. A bald dome of a head, fringed with thin white hair gone slight­ly yel­low. His grin was toothy, though, and his gait was crisp and swift, if slight­ly stoop-shoul­dered.

Kay­la turned down the stereo while I got out, wres­tled with the trunk lid— for a door with a bro­ken lock, it’s hard to get it to open—and he tossed the bag into the dark maw with the ease of long prac­tice. Rain plas­tered my hair to my head; rivulets of water ran down my face. He clam­bered into the back as I got back into the front. I turned, extend­ed a hand. “Daniel,” I said. “This is Kay­la.”

He shook my hand, once, a sol­id, firm-gripped pump. “René,” he said. “Like Descartes.”

Kay­la shook her head, smil­ing, and laid the ham­mer down.


Where in Jer­sey are you head­ed?” she asked, the high­way hum­ming away below us, just bare­ly vis­i­ble through the cracks in the floor­boards.

Amalthea,” he said.

Is that north or south?”

North,” he said. “By Cavor, in that area.”

All right,” Kay­la said. To me: “You wan­na see if we’ve got a Jer­sey map?”

Sure.” I opened the glove box—literally held shut with a dry­ing glob of pink gum which was still fresh enough to give off the faintest whiff of cinnamon—and pulled out the thick wad of papers inside. “Repair man­u­al,” I recit­ed, toss­ing them back in as I named them, “reg­is­tra­tions for the last four years, map of Less­er Juniper Coun­ty, one of Lid­dle­ton, place­mat from Sticky’s, anoth­er map of Lid­dle­ton, dry-clean­ing bill, pock­et Ger­man phrase­book, map of—aha, Jer­sey, here we go.” I kept the map out, crammed the remain­ing unan­a­lyzed papers back in and flipped the door up again. Start­ed unfold­ing the map. Good thing it’s a big car, I thought, not for the first time. “What’re we on?” The rain was com­bin­ing with the half-rot­ten state of the wipers to make it hard for me to see, but Kay­la kept the accel­er­a­tor hard down. A huge roost­er tail hung per­pet­u­al­ly behind us, in rain.

Forty-one,” Kay­la said. “Just com­ing up on Bill­abong.”

Who names these places, any­way?”

René spoke up from the back seat. “I worked once for the Geo­graph­i­cal Sur­vey,” he said. “Quite some time ago. Seems like anoth­er life­time now.” He laughed soft­ly, wist­ful­ly. “Those days are long over now.”

Ever name any­thing?” said Kay­la.

Every­thing worth nam­ing is named already,” he said. “Though I once ran across a book of charts that was labelled An Alter­nate Nation. A GS leg­end, it was. An apoc­rypha, a book of maps with rivers, moun­tains, cities, all named for GS patri­archs. Lake Under­hill. Gare-le-loup Riv­er. Mount Stur­ban. Ah, Stur­ban. He was my men­tor at the GS for a time.” I looked back at him. His gaze was out the misty win­dow, look­ing at some­thing far more dis­tant than the rolling mead­ows beyond the black­top. “Such a crass pun­ster, for such a bril­liant man, was Stur­ban. ‘Mount Stur­ban’, indeed.” He chuck­led soft­ly, the sound almost lost in the roar of road and engine. “And I—I took up my pen­cil, and I found an unnamed brook, and I named it for myself. Van­mire Creek. My hand­writ­ing was neater, much neater then; my hands didn’t shake.” He sighed, and by slow degrees his gaze returned from what­ev­er infin­i­ty he’d been con­tem­plat­ing.

After a while, Kay­la said, “Bill­abong. There a gas sta­tion there?”


The sky was clear­ing, but at the pumps the smell of gas over­rode the odour of fresh rain just stopped. Kay­la was pump­ing reg­u­lar with a cig­a­rette, mer­ci­ful­ly unlit, dan­gling from her lips. René was walk­ing around, “stretch­ing my legs”. He seemed to be walk­ing taller now, the stoop gone from his shoul­ders. Maybe he’d just been sit­ting on his duf­fel bag too long. Or maybe the rain brought on aches that were now fresh­ly absent. What­ev­er, didn’t mat­ter.

I bought a bag of mints and paid with a hand­ful of coins. The clerk gave me a fun­ny look, half dreamy, and swept the sil­ver with one hand into the oth­er. She dumped it into the till with­out count­ing it. Trust­ing, I thought. Or stoned.

When I came back out, Kay­la was on her way in to pay for the gas. René was sit­ting on the hood of the car, his face turned to the Sun, eyes closed. His hands were rolling tiny curls of tobac­co in a cig­a­rette paper with the ease of decades of prac­tice.

He smiled at me with­out open­ing his eyes. “Been a long time,” he said, “since I felt Sun­light this bright on me.” He licked the length of the paper, closed it off, pinched it tight. “Got a light?”

Yeah.” I swung out my gold lighter. I don’t smoke, much, but Kay­la does, near­ly con­tin­u­al­ly. With friends like her, it’s damn near a neces­si­ty to own a lighter.

Thanks.” He puffed a cou­ple times in silence. “Been a long hard road,” he said, “get­tin’ this far. Thanks for the ride.”

No prob­lem,” I said. “It’s what we do.”

Yeah,” he said. “I s’pose it is.”

Kay­la came out of the lit­tle con­ve­nience store, light­ing her own cig­a­rette with a paper match. She shook the match but it didn’t go out; then she dropped it. I watched with an almost sur­re­al detach­ment as it fell toward the gas-soaked grav­el of the pump area, won­der­ing if this would be it, the time that my luck final­ly ran out and I became noth­ing but a rapid­ly-diverg­ing cloud of messy chunks, thrust out­wards and upwards by a greasy black-orange fire­ball —

The match van­ished before it hit the ground. Or seemed to; I’m pret­ty sure my eyes were play­ing tricks on me. Maybe, I thought, I was so caught up in the flame that when it snuffed out in the air, I lost track of the falling piece of paper. Maybe. But it sure as hell seemed to just—van­ish.

Weird.


The match­book was stuck upright in a crack in the uphol­stery between me and Kay­la. The red cov­er was a stan­dard ad, “Red’s Gas, Hwy 41, Billabong’s Best Soft Serve Ice Cream”. A mono­chrome image of the station’s high­way sign stood beside the white text.

We turned onto 208 and Kay­la opened up the throt­tle. We were bar­relling for Jer­sey. I closed my eyes.


I was stand­ing atop a wood­en daïs sup­port­ed on the shoul­ders of a hun­dred peo­ple.

The plat­form was rough under my bare feet. I was nude. It was warm and get­ting hot­ter. Get a lot hot­ter, I thought, before all this is done. It was a famil­iar thought, one I had thought before, over and over.

The peo­ple under my plat­form trudged ever onwards, ever down­wards. Warmer and warmer still. Hot breezes caressed me, lick­ing away sweat, leav­ing me no cool­er. At least I get to return, I thought. At least I get a tick­et back out.

The stink of the place was amaz­ing. The cor­ri­dor was a wide tun­nel bored through rugged rock, the floor uneven with tail­ings and slick with a film of filthy water. Always this place dis­gust­ed me.

At least I get to leave again. Even if it is only to return to this cave.


Jerk­ing awake, the sky gone from twi­light to bruise-pur­ple, all but the bright­est stars washed away by the orange glow of a city, about ten miles dis­tant.

Amalthea?” I asked.

Ah,” said Kay­la, “you’re back. No, that’s Turin. Amalthea’s about anoth­er twen­ty miles after that.” She looked at me. “Bad dream?”

I don’t know,” I said. “I don’t remem­ber it.” I must have fall­en asleep again, because I woke up next when the back door slammed shut.

I was alone in the car, parked in front of a high­way-side restau­rant, some name­less truck stop whose biggest sign pro­claimed OPEN 24 HRS! BREAKF ST ANY IME! Kay­la was behind the car, help­ing René with his duf­fle bag. She slammed the trunk and they shook hands; Kay­la shook her head at some­thing René said. Then René shoul­dered his duf­fle and head­ed into the restau­rant.

What the hell, I thought, is going on?

René didn’t look a day over sev­en­teen.


Seri­ous­ly,” I said to Kay­la, over cof­fee and well-aged donuts, “he looked like some kid, shaved head, swag­ger, every­thing. I don’t get it. I just don’t get it.”

Kay­la looked ready to say some­thing, then she pursed her lips and sipped her cof­fee. Then: “You just woke up. Dream­time can do weird stuff to your head.”

Yeah,” I said. “Guess so.”

3. Ulf

The Dev­il saw the hun­dred peo­ple below me and he smiled. Always and ever, that smile chilled me to the bone. Even in the rot­ting sweaty fur­nace heat of Hell, the smile of the Dev­il him­self made my blood run cold. Every time, every sin­gle time.

He held out a taloned hand, offer­ing me some­thing. My chit, my patch­work note of com­ple­tion. I snatched it away. I tried not to look at it; it nev­er bore look­ing at. There were, as ever, hairs still stuck in it. Odd sym­bols writhed across it, tat­tooed in. Writ­ten in blood and signed with the Devil’s name, it was my tick­et back to the Real World, the only way to get past the demons that guard­ed the bor­der.

My pound of flesh.


When I woke up there were exact­ly two sources of light in the car: the pale green glow of the instru­ment clus­ter, and the orange tip of Kayla’s cig­a­rette. We were scream­ing down N-198, across the open plains, noth­ing around us but miles and miles of wheat and corn and kine. The occa­sion­al farm­yard light burned blue or yel­low or orange, nev­er white.

Kay­la gen­tled the engine in the mid­dle of UNDERHILL POP 800. She seemed to be look­ing for some­thing. We drove slow­ly down the main drag, white-paint­ed stores with black win­dows like gaps in teeth, their paint­ed wood signs weath­ered into illeg­i­bil­i­ty. The stereo pound­ed out White Zom­bie at fill­ing-shak­ing deci­bels.

He was stand­ing across the road from a white clap­board church, the cross-topped steeple almost as tall as the build­ing was long. Behind him, the ceme­tery gates stood open, appar­ent­ly around the clock. Small towns.

His thumb was out. We pulled over. Just before we stopped, I said to Kay­la, “Who hitch-hikes at four AM?”

Who dri­ves at four AM?” she answered. “Guess it’s just a part of some big mas­ter plan.”

Yeah.” Some­times Kayla’s a bit odd. Philo­soph­i­cal. “Must be.”

He got in, young guy, maybe twen­ty, twen­ty-five. Black fatigue pants, black boots, a sleeve­less black T-shirt that read “KMFDM”. Even in the dark of night he wore a pair of black sun­glass­es that bulged like a bug’s eyes. His dark hair was short and spiked and he had a dark goa­tee. “Hey man,” he said, “thanks.”

I look like a man?” said Kay­la.

Nah, sor­ry, fig­ure of speech. Appre­ci­ate it. Not much traf­fic, this time of night.”

Not usu­al­ly,” said Kay­la.

Guess tonight’s an unusu­al night,” I said. “Daniel,” point­ing to myself, “and Kay­la.”

Name’s Ulf,” he said. “Good tunes, by the way.”

Thanks,” said Kay­la, and hit the gas. I said, “Where to, pard­ner?”

Gel­lufson.”

Don’t know that.”

Upstate Groen­feld, near, ah, Groen­stadt.”

Okay,” said Kay­la. “We’re head­ed for Kumis­ton, in New­bridge Coun­ty. If I remem­ber cor­rect­ly, that’s just the oth­er side of the state line from Groen­stadt. Prob­a­bly you can hop the rest of it with a truck­er or some­thing.”

Sure,” he said, “anything’s better’n walkin’.”


I hand­ed the stitched-togeth­er piece of hide to the gate­keep­er demon. He squint­ed at it, then ate it and opened the black iron gate­way. I fold­ed up my lit­ter and tucked it away in a non-lin­ear dimen­sion, then stepped through, bound for the bone­yards, the grave­sides, ready to col­lect my next batch of the damned.


With a stran­gled sound I snapped back awake, the dream—the nightmare—fading down a light­less tun­nel into noth­ing­ness.

Bad dream?” Kayla’s face was a grim thing, her lips drawn into a tight straight line, her eyes nar­row slits, focused hard on the nar­row black rib­bon of the high­way.

Guess so,” I said. “Don’t remem­ber.”

I turned around. The kid was gone. “We drop him off already?”

Kay­la sound­ed dis­tract­ed. “Huh? Oh, him, yeah. He’s back where he belongs.” Behind us, the first hints of dawn light were tick­ling the black­ness at the rim of the world.

A fly was buzzing on the win­dow beside me, a big one. I slapped at it, missed. “Crap,” said Kay­la, “just open the win­dow, you know? Don’t get a big mess all over it.”

I just looked at her. Her car was a wreck, lit­er­al­ly a ruin on wheels, held togeth­er by bub­ble gum and duct tape in fla­grant defi­ance of the laws of ther­mo­dy­nam­ics, and she was lec­tur­ing me on the clean­li­ness of her win­dows?

I rolled the win­dow down a crack. If the fly was smart enough to get out, I decid­ed, it would live to fight anoth­er day. But if it was still inside when I rolled the win­dow back up, splat, it was dead.

It buzzed out the win­dow as soon as the gap was wide enough for it to fit. The wind caught it and it was gone.

4. Firelight

Pey­ote,” she said, a small paper bag in her hand. “Go on, take it. Some­thing I have to tell you, and this’ll break down the bar­ri­ers, you know?” The fire flick­ered across her face, deep black­ness­es chas­ing orange light. Around us, the desert lay flat and chill, the dis­tant stars bril­liant.

I took the bag, looked inside: two irreg­u­lar but­tons of some kind of dried plant mat­ter. “Pey­ote,” she said again.

Where’s yours?”

Already ate ‘m,” she said. “Hur­ry up.”


By slow degrees the night grew brighter. It looked like auro­ra, sort of, bril­liant sheets of shim­mer­ing colours, blue and green and red, but it wasn’t just in the sky, it was every­where; the car was iri­des­cent with it, the desert stones and sand shim­mered like oil­slicks in mid­day sun­light.

Mid­night, she said, and her voice was a hol­low drum, a great bas­so wave rolling over and around me, “mid­night and” all’s well. She gig­gled. It was musi­cal.

I was —


My arms were —


I don’t” get “it”, I said.

It’s “almost time”, she said. “Wait.” Wait “a lit­tle” while longer.


The fire was the cen­tre of the auro­ral glow, the crux and the source of it all. As such it danced and sang, became dif­fer­ent things: a horned dev­il, a dog’s head, a naked woman on her knees. A horse. A house­fly, grotesque­ly enlarged.

It’s time, she said. Are you see­ing it?


It’s hap­pen­ing, isn’t it, Dan-o? Her mouth was form­ing the words, but only gib­ber­ish sounds were com­ing out, waves of air pres­sure that fad­ed and spiked in dull roars and shriek­ing pitch­es.

We’re break­ing through, she said.

But my brain, my brain, my brain was some­how get­ting the words back, retrans­lat­ing the non­sense into Eng­lish, I don’t know how. Maybe it was the drug, the mush­room, the cac­tus, I don’t know what the hell she fed me.


The fire jumped and stead­ied.

Wake up, she said. There is no Union of North Amer­i­ca. That’s just a fic­tion, some­thing your mind cre­at­ed to make sense of what’s hap­pen­ing. The state names you come up with, I don’t know where they come from. It’s all bizarre, but that’s to be expect­ed.

What are—What are you talk­ing about? I said.

Groen­feld. Jer­sey. New­bridge Coun­ty. There are no such places. Juniper. Bill­abong. None of them exist.

How do we get there, then?

We don’t. Not exact­ly.


They were effi­cient, she said, but they were none too pre­cise. They cleaned your mind up, walled away your Hell trips from your con­scious mind. But you still dream about them, Dan. I know you do. The dream­time breaks down the bar­ri­ers, lets it all leak back in. I hear you mur­mur­ing, I hear you scream­ing. And they did oth­er dam­age too.

Nobody lasts very long on the Hell cir­cuit, she said.

What the hell are you talk­ing about? I demand­ed.

Do you remem­ber the boy, Dan-o? Ulf? Kid in some small town, Eye­blink or some­thing?

Under­hill, I said. I don’t know how I knew that.

Under­hill, yeah, what­ev­er. Do you know why he died?

Died?

Yeah. He was fond of twelve-year-old girls. Used to seduce them, or rape them if nec­es­sary, in the corn­fields out­side of town. One day a father caught him in the act. Broke his legs with a base­ball bat, then loaded him into the trunk of his car. Took him to the deep woods west of town and unloaded a ten-shot pump-action twelve-gauge into him. Worked in a spi­ral, start­ed with the feet and hands and end­ed with the heart. Kid was dead of shock and blood loss by the time he got to the abdomen, but the father just kept on going. By then it was almost rit­u­al.

Died? I said again.

Yeah, she said. And came back as a fly.


But that can’t be right, I said, half to myself.

Kay­la said, Oh yes it is.


Dan-o, do you know what you are?

She didn’t wait for me to answer.

You’re a con­duit. You and I, we fer­ry the souls back from death to their new birth­places. You, you used to work the Hell cir­cuit, the Chris­t­ian Hell, car­ry­ing the damned down the wide way. It takes a toll, even on a transnat­ur­al human. They can sup­press your empa­thy, but only up to a point. They knew it was time to trans­fer you when you just wigged out. So they moved you slant­wise to the Bud­dhist run, and so now we pick up the dead and we trans­port them to their places of rebirth. Before they gave you to me they fixed up your mind so you wouldn’t remem­ber the Hell trips.

Now memory’s a fun­ny thing. Once a mem­o­ry is cre­at­ed there’s no real way to destroy it. So what they do is they wall it all up, they build pro­tec­tive bar­ri­ers around the mem­o­ries. The prob­lem is, in your case, they dam­aged some oth­er equip­ment in there, and so your abil­i­ty to cre­ate mem­o­ries is impaired.

But your mind can’t han­dle real­i­ty, our real­i­ty. So you try as hard as you can to make sense of it all. We’re always see­ing peo­ple, fer­ry­ing them from point Z to point A? They must be hitch­hik­ers, then, and we’re full-time road-trip­pers. You project this fan­ta­sy world onto your real­i­ty, almost a per­fect over­lap. You imag­ine a big ugly pig of a car. You pic­ture our charges as hitch­hik­ers on the side of the road. You imag­ine your­self as a young male and me as a young chain-smok­ing female. You invent cities, states, a vast nation that has nev­er, ever exist­ed. None of that is real.

You and I are about as old as the plan­et is, and we real­ly don’t spend that much time near or on its sur­face. We occu­py many planes of real­i­ty, but none of them inter­sect with the Union of North Amer­i­ca.

But after the Hell trip, man, what­ev­er gets you through the days.


If the boy, that kid Ulf, if he was so evil, I said, then why did we see him? Shouldn’t he have gone to Hell?

You’d think so, she said, but it doesn’t work like that. There is no one right reli­gion. They’re all right. What­ev­er you believe, for your­self per­son­al­ly, you get. Bud­dhists get rein­car­na­tion and the chance to con­tin­u­al­ly improve. Chris­tians get Heav­en or Hell; so do the Hebrews. Athe­ists go into the ground. We got Ulf because some­where, some­where deep in that fuck­ing twist­ed lit­tle mind, there was a seed of Bud­dhist belief. So he gets the chance to prove him­self. Start­ing as a fly on a dungheap some­where in Eng­land.


Every so “often”, she said, as the drug seemed to be wear­ing off, I get you “stoned and while the drug’s” got your men­tal bar­ri­ers down, I try to explain “things to you and every time, every damned” time, it all slips “away when the drug wears off” again. Some­times “I won­der why” I try.

Why do you” try? I asked.

I’ve nev­er come up with an answer that ful­ly sat­is­fies” me yet, she said. Maybe I “crave the chal­lenge. Maybe I love you. Maybe I’m stu­pid, or crazy. My cur­rent work­ing” the­o­ry is that it’s a com­bi­na­tion of all “those, and prob­a­bly oth­er, as-yet-unde­ter­mined fac­tors.”


Do you believe me?”

I don’t know. I real­ly don’t know. It all makes sense, and yet —”

Doesn’t mat­ter,” she said, “if you believe me or not. It’s the truth, it’s the gods’ truth, and one of these days maybe you’ll remem­ber in the morn­ing.”

5. Mitsu

The fire was dead and the morn­ing was com­ing up bright and chill. Soon the day’s dry heat would wash across the desert, but for now I was shiv­er­ing.

How you feel­ing?” Kay­la said.

Had the weird­est dream,” I said.

Yeah? What about?”

But it was gone. “Don’t remem­ber,” I said. “Just know it was weird.”

She shook her head, exas­per­at­ed at some­thing. “Get in the car.” She rose, shrugged off her tat­ty pink blan­ket, stretched. “Long day on the road.”


And day­light, now. On the side of the road, her thumb out­stretched, a young girl with bright red sun­glass­es and hair cut in a dark bob, just brush­ing her cheek­bones. Behind her, a wrought-iron arch with CIMETIÈRE GARE-LE-LOUP CEMETERY in rust­ing iron cap­i­tals. All the oth­er cars ignor­ing her, stream­ing past, an arte­r­i­al flow of met­al and glass, plas­tic and volatiles. We pull over to the side, grav­el crunch­ing, decel­er­at­ing gen­tly, com­ing to a stop with our bumper inch­es from her skirt-clad knees. She doesn’t flinch.

She clam­bers into the back, sets her small plas­tic back­pack on the seat beside her.

Where to, hon?” says Kay­la.

Gar­nton,” says the young woman. Her eyes, behind the crim­son lens­es, are nar­row, Japan­ese.

Sure,” says Kay­la. “This here’s Dan, I’m Kay­la.”

Mit­su,” says the girl. “I’m lucky you were going my way.”

We always are,” says Kay­la. She lays the ham­mer down, and we spray grav­el as we launch back into the traf­fic.

Gar­nton,” I say. “That’s up near Van­mire Creek, right?”

Yes,” says the girl. “Just south of Mount Stur­ban.”


The open road. For­ev­er.

 

Orig­i­nal­ly pub­lished in On Spec Spring 2004.


Reviews

‘Res­ur­rec­tion Radio’ from Patrick Johan­neson is anoth­er qual­i­ty piece. Thought-pro­vok­ing and orig­i­nal, it’s a fresh look at spir­i­tu­al­i­ty from a very down to earth posi­tion, writ­ten with real empa­thy. Its end­ing is par­tic­u­lar­ly intel­li­gent, the sort of thing to send you back to the begin­ning hunt­ing for clues. Sud­den­ly, it’s star­ing you in the face, but you’d nev­er sus­pect. Fore­shad­ow­ing at its best.”

—Mar­tin Jen­ner, in SF Crowsnest

Patrick Johanneson’s Res­ur­rec­tion Radio is a chiller blend­ed with the nar­ra­tive trick­ery of some­one like Bret Eas­t­on Ellis or Chuck Palah­nuik, less med­i­ta­tive than some of the oth­er sto­ries in the issue but bril­liant for all that, stir­ring a road-trip and psy­chopomps, hitch­hik­ers and pey­ote into a deft, mes­meris­ing whole.”

—Nel­son Stan­ley, in the British Fan­ta­sy Society’s web­site