Atomik Aztex

Atomik Aztex

by Sesshu Foster
Genres: Fiction, General
Published on July 1st 2005
Pages: 203
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In the alternate universe of Atomik Aztex, the Aztecs rule, having conquered the European invaders long ago. Aztek warriors with totemic powers are busy colonizing Europe, and human sacrifice is basic to economic growth.
Zenzontli, Keeper of the House of Darkness, is plagued by nightmares of a parallel reality where American consumerism reigns supreme. Ghosts of banished Aztek warriors emerge to haunt contemporary Los Angeles, and Zenzontli’s visions of Hell become real as he’s trapped in a job in an East L.A. meatpacking plant.

People who write reviews of this book fall into one of two categories.

  1. This is the most amazing book ever and this writer is BRILLIANT!!!
  2. What The F$#@ did I just read?????


I’m firmly in the second category.  I’ve never wanted Cliffs Notes for a book before this one.  The note at the beginning of the book includes:

“Persons attempting to find a plot in this book should read Huck Finn.”

Basically, when the Spanish crossed the ocean ready to take over Mexico, the Aztecs were ready.  They killed the invaders and then went and took over Europe.  Now they wage war to get captives to sacrifice to drive their economy.  The Aztecs also believe in a complex version of time and reality and multiple dimensions.

“The Wurlitzer of the Universe is packed with 78 rpm realities side by side. Get ready to drop your dime.”

Zenzontli, Keeper of the House of Darkness of the Aztex, a warrior on his way to help liberate Saint Petersburg during World War II, is existing in another reality as a worker in a Los Angeles slaughterhouse with a sadistic boss.  This is a strange version of reality where the Aztec were conquered by the Spanish, like that could ever happen.  This Zenzon spends his nights slaughtering pigs and is being recruited to help unionize his company.

Because of the Aztec idea of everything that ever happened is happening at the same time you get stream of consciousness discussions that reference the Beatles during World War II, for example.  There are times when some of the asides can be funny:

“the exact number of those rainforest leaves it turned out was the ever-changing combination to the doorway to several alternate realities but you know it’s so hard to guess I did get it right one time {23,901,7782,880,633 x K to the 435th power; believe me you don’t even want to know how I got it}”

That’s an exact quote – lack of punctuation and all – which is another reason why this book can be hard to read.  Besides proudly making no sense, it has it’s own spelling and punctuation.  Paragraphs can go on for pages.

I put this book aside for a while but determined to finish it for Weirdathon.  I’m arguing for this book today on Outlandish Lit as part of the Weirdathon debates.

I’ll leave you with the ending of the book.  Don’t worry about it being a spoiler.  It doesn’t have anything to do with anything else.

“I mean, sometimes I sense a monkey spirit. I could be mistaken. That’s the trouble with one’s inner life. Monkeys could be playing around with it. They’ll fuck around with your stuff if you let them. You’ll be looking for something in your inner life, some truth about your situation, in this world or some other level of existence somehow, then you’ll have to take care of some other Business, and when you turn around, when you go back and check your inner life again, just watch, the monkeys will have fucked off with something. Some part of your interior life will be fucking lost cuz of the monkeys. I don’t know what you can do about that.”

From now on whenever I go a little crazy, I’m placing the blame firmly on the monkeys.  Maybe this book was useful after all.