The Masochistic Playpen is a comedic work of serious fiction, albeit one with a lot of sarcastic violence and philosophy in it, set in a science fiction milieu, replete with clone networks, information conglomerates, wandering assassins, disintegration travel and so on. It has been described as a Schwarzenegger vehicle as written by Flaubert, in collaboration with Lewis Carroll, Johann Gottlieb Fichte and an irritable tenth-century Chinese monk, with some histrionic last-minute suggestions phoned in by Sabbatai Zevi and the Marquis de Sade. The story traces a young unfrozen assassin on a fools errand across the galaxy, slaughtering clones according to an obscure slightly Kafkaesque assignment, forced to assume a variety of undercover roles in different worlds and societies, adapting to their customs and ingratiating himself--as ambassador, as priest, as god, as gangster, as talk-show guest--to get close to his victims. His adventure takes him from earth to the Disneyesque world of Pleasure Land, where he finally meets his ultimate quarry and the thread on which he has been dangling is finally unraveled. On the way, the absurdly intersubsumptive omniverse which is his to navigate gets its kicks, reveling on both sides of his subjectivity in the maliciously jubilant mirrorings which, some may say, seem to dog the steps of every moment of sentient experience.
About Brook Ziporyn
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Published May 30, 2001
Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction, Humor & Entertainment.