Dawn of the Algorithm by Yann Rousselot. Book review

Dawn of the Algorithm by Yann Rousselot, Ink Shares $13.99

Reviewed by Ian Hunter

Beware of naked female cyborgs from the future bearing a toothbrush in one hand and a chainsaw in place of their other hand in this cracking poetry collection from Paris-based poet, Yann Roussdelot. It is split into four sections – The Art of Destruction, Robot Monster Movie War, Revenge of the Rainbow Fish, and Love in the Time of Ebola – and followed by an epilogue that collection the haiku-like last distress signals of the vessel Comsat Icarus Nine.

Within the four sections there are some 32 poems and many of them are illustrated by a variety of artists who provide either one of two illustrations throughout the book. Particular favourites of mine were those for “The Human Billboard” (a demented Santa Claus lookalike), “Immune Response” (“Planets of the Apes” like), “Headmoves” (that female cyborgs again), “Film” (a skeleton inside a spacesuit), “T-Rex is Sad” (a sad T-Rex),  and “Made-Up Statistics (possibly a cosmic being spewing a never ending flow of statistics),

As for the poems themselves, Roussdelot, riffs off various aspects of modern culture, particularly from the movies and references to disaster movies, Japanese films, Anime, Godzilla movies, zombie films, and others appear throughout the collection, but perhaps the overall tone is one of impending doom as evidenced in the very first poem – “The Human Billboard” – and a warning that the end is coming, but in what form? Roussdelot offers up several poetic possibilities ranging from the rise of artificial intelligence to a pandemic, and any collection with a poem called “The Giant Dung Monster verses the Moss Monster” that has a killer laugh out loud last line deserves a wider audience.

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