Thursday, March 16, 2017

Disco Biscuits

Edited by Sarah Champion
Hodder and Stoughton 1997

The sequel to Trainspotting is in the cinemas at the moment so let’s get nostalgic and visit some short fiction from the 90s. Disco Biscuits is a hefty nineteen stories published at the height of global rave fame in 1997. Perhaps nothing here is going to blow your mind but there’s also nothing here below par. I thought the best stories were little gems by obscure authors.

One I like is "Electrovoodoo" (Michael River). A bunch of kids eat their rave flyers and visit a scary post-human drain world where electrical appliances are set to rule over a dying planet. Another fun one is “Mile High Meltdown" (Dean Cavanagh). In this story a crack-addled pilot on a passenger flight forces a jungle crew to spin records over the cabin PA.

The use of recreational drugs is the common element in all of these stories. Mostly the descriptions feel very authentic. There's one or two stories that try too hard with extreme quantities, and in one story a boy dies slowly from bad drugs while remaining quite lucid and calm (implausible and melodramatic). The story which I felt said it best was "Heart of the Bass" (Kevin Williamson). A young protagonist takes a modest quantity of drugs that none-the-less are far stronger than expected. He then experiences a bizarre hallucinatory series of events which are quite different from the actual bizarre events of the night as experienced by his friends. Insert some sexual anxiety and party relationships and this story just felt right. It was probably my favourite and it even had a happy ending.

In summary - a nourishing slab of creative fiction about the rave scene.

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