Today’s Guardian has a rare interview with cult author George Cockcroft, looking like Patrick Stewart, possibly lifting the curtain on his alter ego Luke Rhinehart whose pseudo-biography The Dice Man rolled many a life-changing disaster.
It is one of those books which, if I had read it in my teens, would have made my mind go pop. Luckily, I read it years later. In The Dice Man, Rhinehart casts himself as a bored and stagnant psychiatrist who decides to use dice as a decision making tool. He sets options to be followed on the roll of the dice, some pleasant, others downright despicable.
He also encourages patients to adopt this strategy as a way of coping with life. The book is frequently hilarious and horrifying as it lurches from one extreme situation to another. It is also a few chapters too long, but hey!
Reading K-Pax some years later came with a sense of deja vu because author Gene Brewer adopts the same device of positioning himself as a psychiatrist albeit treating a patient who has supposedly come from the stars. The K-Pax books have a familiar mix of humour and horror. And yes, they go on a bit too long as well.
Aliens, however, play a role in Rhinehart/Cockcroft’s latest book, just published by Titan it is called Invasion and follows an incursion by creatures who look like beachballs. Apparently Bernie Sanders is an inspiration.
I might check it out.