A Review of Sean McMullen’s “The Life and Soul of the Party” in Lazarus Risen (Bundoran Press, 2016)
By Derek Newman-Stille
Sean McMullen’s steampunk tale “The Life and Soul of the Party” imagines a world where the dead can be brought back to life through the use of atomata, letting their spirits inhabit the bodies of machines. McMullen plays with that classic philosophical question – who deserves immortality.
“The Life and Soul of the Party” focusses on two spirits brought back from the grave – Oscar Wilde and the Lady Avondale, two people whose lives were shaped by social censoring and gossip. These are two people whose lives have been challenged and changed by their peers ultimately are given the experience of separation from the human experience of death.
McMullen explores why Wilde and Avondale would be chosen for immortality, examining questions of science and what it means to be human while also reflecting on the potential losses to humanity that occur with extreme age in a non-human body.
To discover more about Lazarus Risen, visit Bundoran Press’ website at http://www.bundoranpress.com/product/1/Lazarus-Risen