Thursday, February 9, 2012

If Language Could Kill

     Recently released is The Flame Alphabet by Ben Marcus, about a world in which the language of children -- the simple act of their speaking -- begins to kill their parents.  The idea of language having a deadly physical affect on people is a great one, ripe with all sorts of possibility.  Mr. Marcus tells his own compelling story about it, but here are three other books with a similar concept at their hearts.

Pontypool Changes Everything by Tony Burgess - a virus transmitted through conversation turns the infected into rampaging killers.  There was also a movie based on this one.

Lullaby by Chuck Palahniuk - a children's lullaby, when recited, can channel a targeted psychic deathblow.  

The Man Who Collected Machen by Mark Samuels -  a book of weird tales featuring several stories of toxic language, including one called "THYXXOLQU," in which gibberish begins to take over all written words.

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