The Hipster From Outer Space by Luke Kondor
You wake up … something’s wrong … you’re human.
An ancient space-being called Moomamu has awoken on Earth and wants nothing more than to get back to his home in the stars. Taking the advice of his cat, Gary, he makes his way up t’north to meet the Tall-One-With-Insight.
As he journeys across a land of underground trains, cappuccinos, and a man obsessed with killing him, he soon learns that being on Earth is a symptom of a bigger problem, and going home, just might destroy the planet.
If I’m entirely honest, hipsters are a bit of a mystery to me. Ironic really, if I was about a decade younger and was slightly better groomed, I rather suspect I might be one (I do enjoy a good beard). From my current perspective however, they are an entirely different species. So for an author to come to the conclusion that hipsters could conceivably be from another planet seems like a completely reasonable suggestion as far as I am concerned.
Moomamu finds humanity more than a little baffling (I can’t say I blame him). In his eyes we are a violent, contrary bunch who just don’t make much in the way of sense. I’d strongly suggest avoiding discussion with him on the purpose of toothbrushes for example. All he really wants to do is get home. The only reason for staying on Earth is our frothy coffee, but if that comes with added potential of a violent demise, he’d much rather just give it a miss and get back to his assorted galactic ponderings.
Now you might be forgiven for thinking “well, Moomamu is odd because he is an alien”. Therein lies the great irony. Moomamu fits into his new hipster life seamlessly. Nobody questions his peculiarities because everyone is more than a little strange themselves. Turns out the rest of the non-extra-terrestrial cast of characters are just as bizarre. There is a serial killer with delusions of grandeur and a penchant for self- improvement. A couple of enigmatic agents who appear to know far more about what is going on than everyone else and a poor lady who has a tendency to spontaneously combust. There is even one poor chap trapped in his own pocket universe on a tube train, destined to exist outside the normal laws of time and space in a parallel universe just out of synch with our own, in rush hour. Odd indeed.
My personal favourite however is Gary the cat. The largely haughty disdain that Gary has for just about everything, with the exception of where his next meal is coming from, seems to perfectly the capture the character of most cats I’ve ever met. This book only confirms what I have long thought; cats view our nonsense in the same way a blue whale would view a mote of dust. We are entirely inconsequential to their grand plan. I feel I can speak on this topic with a certain amount of authority. There are two cats that share my life and they only offer me the time of day when they require sustenance. Strangely, it doesn’t make me love the ignorant sods any less, this may be by some sort of evil design on their part.
Luke Kondor is obviously having a ball writing this series. He turns his critical eye on everything hipster related. The plot explores many different aspects of this faintly peculiar but extremely popular sub-culture. One-man experimental street theatre? Check. Ethnically diverse food wagons? Check. Outlandish facial topiary? Check. Liking things before they are considered cool? Naturally.
There is little denying, and you may have already guessed, that this book is properly strange. Some wonderfully surrealist science fiction with a nice bite of satire; that works for me. I think you just have to let a book like this wash over you. I suspect overthinking it or attempting to understand/explain the plot to others might potentially trigger some sort of localised universal collapse. I advise you just go with it and hope for the best. It’ll all be all right in the end.
The Hipster From Outer Space is published by Hawk & Cleaver and is available now. A sequel is already available, The Hipster Who Fell Through Time if memory serves, and there will be a final book to complete the trilogy. I can only imagine there will be even more mind-bending cosmically in-depth adventures held therein. I reckon it’ll be worthwhile finding out. I do hope that there are more talking cats.