|Genre||Satirical science fiction, fantasy, and slipstream|
Steve Aylett (born 1967 in Bromley, United Kingdom) is an author of satirical science fiction, fantasy, and slipstream. According to the critic Bill Ectric, "much of Aylett’s work combines the bawdy, action-oriented style of Voltaire with the sedentary, faux cultivated style of Peacock." Stylistically, Aylett is often seen as a difficult writer. As the critic Robert Kiely suggests, his books tend to be "baroque in their density, speed, and finely crafted detail; they are overcrowded, they dazzle and distort and wait for us to catch up with their narrative world."
Although Aylett is best known for his novels, and for his transmedial metafiction Lint, he has also created comics, stand-up, performance, music, movies, and art, often working in appropriative and other avant-garde modes. Aylett is also one of the few UK authors associated with the largely US-based Bizarro literary movement.
Aylett's Beerlight series includes the novels The Crime Studio (1994), Slaughtermatic (1997), Atom (2000) and Novahead (2011), as well as shorter fiction such as 'The Siri Gun' (1998) and 'Shifa' (1999). The setting of these works has been described as a "cyber-noir vision of a near-future metropolis with a comic-book aesthetic" and as "a crime-ridden urban-noir hell inhabited by a menagerie of grotesque, amoral characters and surreal, mind-bending technology."
Stylistically, the Beerlight series "marries the cyberpunk vision of William Gibson’s Sprawl trilogy or Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash, William S. Burroughs’ talent for utterly weird but comprehensible description, and the hardboiled stylings of Raymond Chandler or Elmore Leonard."
Only an Alligator (2001), The Velocity Gospel (2002), Dummyland (2002), and Karloff's Circus (2004) are set in Accomplice, a suburb on a tropical peninsula in a perhaps nuclear-blasted future, underneath which live demons; Aylett says he is in the tradition of "real satirists" such as Voltaire, Jonathan Swift and Mark Twain. The four books are collected in The Complete Accomplice (2010).
Lint (2005) is a satirical, Zelig-like biography of an imaginary author. The book traces Jeff Lint's career through thinly disguised satires on a number of well-known writers from the late 20th century, including Philip K. Dick, Hunter S. Thompson and Ken Kesey. As Paul Di Filippo remarks, Jeff Lint's work is sometimes not dissimilar to Aylett's. Jeff Lint is also a transmedial creation, incorporating a comic, The Caterer #3 (2008), purportedly written by Jeff Lint; a spoof Wikipedia page; a spoof collection of academic essays on Lint's work, And Your Point Is? (2014); and a mockumentary Lint: The Movie (2011), which features reminisces by "[Alan] Moore, Stewart Lee, Robin Ince, Mikey Georgeson, Josie Long, D. Harlan Wilson, Bill [Ectric], and many others on Lint’s outrageous and irritating career."
Aylett has also written for comics, most notably the Jeff Lint title The Caterer (2008). Other projects include #27 of Tom Strong (2004), The Promissory for Arthur magazine’s "mimeo" line (2007), Get That Thing Away From Me (2014), and Johnny Viable, which appeared in Alan Moore's print magazine Dodgem Logic and was collected and expanded as the standalone Johnny Viable & His Terse Friends (2014).
Aylett left school at the age of seventeen and worked in a book warehouse, and later in law publishing. A synesthete, Aylett claims to have books appear in his brain in one visual "glob" which looks like a piece of gum.
- The Crime Studio. Serif. 1994. ISBN 1897959125.
- Bigot Hall. Serif. 1995. ISBN 1897959206.
- Slaughtermatic. Four Walls Eight Windows. 1997. ISBN 1568581033.
- The Inflateable Volunteer. Serif. 1999. ISBN 1861591233.
- Atom. Four Walls Eight Windows. 2000. ISBN 1568581750.
- Shamanspace. Codex. 2001. ISBN 1899598200.
- Only an Alligator. Gollancz. 2001. ISBN 0575069066.
- The Velocity Gospel. Gollancz. 2002. ISBN 0575070889.
- Dummyland. Gollancz. 2002. ISBN 0575070870.
- Karloff's Circus. Gollancz. 2004. ISBN 0575070897.
- The Complete Accomplice. Scar Garden. 2010. ISBN 0-9565677-0-3.
- Novahead. Serif. 2011. ISBN 978-0956567727.
- Rebel at the End of Time. PS Publishing. 2011. ISBN 978-0956567741.
- Fain the Sorcerer. Scar Garden. 2012. ISBN 1904619630.
- Toxicology. Four Walls Eight Windows. 1999. ISBN 1568581319.
- Toxicology (expanded edition). Gollancz. 2001. ISBN 0575071095.
- Smithereens. Scar Garden. 2010. ISBN 978-0956567710.
- Lint. Thunder's Mouth Press. 2005. ISBN 1560256842.
- The Caterer. Spoof Pearl Comics reprint. 2008.
- And Your Point Is?. Raw Dog Screaming Press. 2014. ISBN 978-1933293-28-8.
- Johnny Viable and His Terse Friends. Floating World Comics. 2014.
- Heart of the Original. Unbound. 2015. ISBN 1783520914.
- Ectric, Bill (2016). "Uncanny Recognition". In Ectric, Bill; Wilson, D. Harlan (eds.). Steve Aylett: A Critical Anthology. Sein und Werden. ISBN 0692717277.
- Brooke, Keith (30 October 2010). "The Complete Accomplice, by Steve Aylett – review". The Guardian.
- Carter, Stuart (October 2002). "Review of Velocity Gospel". Infinity Plus.
- Kiely, Robert (2016). "Speed, Originality and Déjà Vu in Bigot Hall". In Ectric, Bill; Wilson, D. Harlan (eds.). Steve Aylett: A Critical Anthology. Sein und Werden. ISBN 0692717277.
- Brown, Tanya (January 2001). "Review of Atom". Vector 2015. BSFA.
- Brownlow, Nick (August 2002). "Killing God: Alchemical Adventure and Pulp Metaphysics in Steve Aylett's Shamanspace/". Strange Horizons.
- White, Corey (December 2008). "No Sleep 'til Beerlight: The Brilliant and Bizarre Science Fiction of Steve Aylett". Tor.com. Retrieved March 7, 2018l.
- Kincaid, Paul; Harrison, Niall (2010). "British Science Fiction and Fantasy: Twenty Years, Two Surveys". BSFA.
- "Hoax Wikipedia page archived at Snow Books".
- "Quietus review of Lint the Movie". 20 January 2013.
- "Lint the Movie".
- "Worlds Without End: Philip K. Dick Award".
- "2011 guest blog at Warren Ellis's official site".
- Rick Klaw, "A Glob of Multicolored Chiming Vibrational Bubble Gum: An Interview with Steve Aylett" Archived 2005-03-25 at the Wayback Machine, Fantastic Metropolis (19 February 2005)
- 2002 interview with 3:AM Magazine
- 2004 interview with Roy Christopher
- 2005 interview with Goaste
- 2005 interview with FIEND
- 2006 interview with FractalMatter
- 2006 interview with BookSlut
- 2008 interview[permanent dead link] with IncorporatingWriting
- 2013 interview with Mookychick
- 2016 interview with TriggerWarning