Pardon the intrusion from someone who just stumbled into this room, but I think Professor Sterling was on to something in that other thread about the difference between Infernokrusher and slipstream.
Slipstream is untenable in a world of imminent apocalypse. Slipstream meanders around Dan Clowes’ *Ghost World* -- suburban surrealism that explores the secrets lurking in run-down strip malls, the fabulous interstices discovered at branch libraries and bus stops on forgotten green 1930s boulevards. Slipstream is the fiction Borges would have written if he grew up in Omaha reading *Fantastic Four* and watching *Gilligan’s Island* reruns.
Slipstream dies when they blow up the branch library, when they restock the shelves with intelligent design, when *Fahrenheit 451’s* motorcycle helmet and jackboot secret police materialize to round up the irony-drunk twentysomethings, when geopolitical realism spliced with neo-utopian dreams decides to remake global consensus reality with Shock and Awe.
Slipstream is the narrative Weimar that occupied the interstice between the Cold War and the GWOT.**
(**Global War on Terror, not to be confused with GWAR, the suburban guys that play death metal in monster masks, which is both kind of slipstream and kind of Infernokrusher, if you think about it.)
Infernokrusher embraces pulp fiction with an ironic postmodern twist, recognizing that reinvented pulp is a potent dissenting WMD in a world where the “reality-based-community” of the post-Enlightenment west is under dual assault from neo-necromancers employing Jet Age action narratives to extinguish the meme of liberal individualism -- be they the Jihadi pilots of *George Kennedy’s 9/11* or the Hestonian “where’d those nice passengers go” pilots of *Left Behind*, each with a flight plan to a rapture that would extinguish imagination (except for the kind of imagination required to chase visions of Moroni).
This ain’t no Philip Jose Farmer, Doc Savage in Sun City retro-pulp, amusing a roomful of reclusive old friends with inside jokes. Infernokrusher leaves the con and sneaks into the Super Bowl with exploding fabulist dirigibles. Infernokrusher arms narrative rebellion. Infernokrusher outmaneuvers The Da Vinci Code, tunneling straight to the heart of the popular culture with the antidote to narrative anthrax.
Infernokrusher is the appropriate speculative fiction response when the evening news reads like a Robert E. Howard *El Borak* story.
Slipstream is Joy Division, rainy and mopy. Infernokrusher is Einstuerzende Neubauten, live onstage grinding cinderblocks with power tools, spewing flaming chunks of concrete at the audience.
Slipstream is a Satie meditation, dreamy, beautiful, ethereal. Infernokrusher is Stockhausen’s Helikopter Streichquartette, four dissonant strings in four separate Dutch Air Force helicopters, screaming in German.
Slipstream is a koan. Infernokrusher is a quote from a Mickey Spillane character on acid.
Slipstream is ephemeral film, decrypting the secret codes in 1970s Emergency Broadcast System messages and health class filmstrips. A stark contrast with that seminal work of proto-Infernokrusher cinema: Rowdy Herrington’s *Road House* (1989). Baptized in the slipstream-crushing Colorado concentration camps of *Red Dawn*, Patrick Swayze plays Dalton, an NYU deconstructionist who abandons blackboard philosophy to become the paramount gladiator of the mullet-ridden storefronts of America’s frontage roads -- a mercenary bouncer-monk. In the heart of red-state architectural interstitia, he confronts the inferno that has been created by a crypto-capitalist bent on the subjugation of the community and its indigenous pop cultural traditions with fire, extortion, bad taxidermy, and, yes, **monster trucks driven through buildings**. Against all odds, he learns that his mastery of naked barnyard Kung Fu at the confluence of American pulp narrative and Continental critspeak enables him to wield new powers and reclaim the Zeitgeist.
Plans are underway for an Infernokrusher-centric DVD commentary track, to be podcast soon at a theater near you.