Some books seduce their readers; others ravish them. Yarn… falls into the latter category… as beautifully and audaciously tailored as the clothing created by its main character. — by Paul Witcover
Half the fun of Armstrong’s books is the lush, ornate, rococco language, worthy of a Russell Hoban or Anthony Burgess. The neologisms are captivating, the dialogue is both sophisticated and rude, and the descriptive passages are boldly visual. In toto, these books do something brilliant which I had always half-believed was possible, but which I never dreamed of actually seeing. They replicate in prose the logically insane and hyperbolic graphic novels of Jodorowsky and Moebius and their collaborators: The Incal/The Metabarons/The Technopriests. It’s proof that in the right hands, style is substance. –By Paul Di Filippo
“But for me the biggest surprise was the news that Jon Armstrong was (finally) releasing another novel. Back in 2007, Armstrong released his debut novel Grey – which I described as “nothing short of a science fiction masterwork. A Clockwork Orange for the 21st century…” – a gloriously stylish and visionary work about fashion and fame and superficiality that promptly went unnoticed by most science fiction readers. I was excited to see what Armstrong had up his (well-tailored) sleeve in his second novel Yarn – and, again, was blown away by his insightful vision of the future. Yarn, a prequel of sorts to Grey, is set in a world where the affluent elite live their lives for deviant sexual gratification and keeping up with the latest bizarro fashion trends – and all the rest are virtual slaves to keep the machine running…” — Paul Goat Allen
Publisher’s Weekly gave YARN a starred review:
“Armstrong’s stand-alone prequel to his 2007 debut, Grey, is set in the same superficial, dystopic near-future ruled by fashion and consumerism. Cities like Seattlehama are towering bastions of “sex and shopping” where “saleswarriors” and “salessoldiers” battle for customers. Most people live in the sprawling agricultural areas called slubs. Tane Cedar, one of the world’s top fashion designers, is confounded when his former lover Vada, a fugitive revolutionary, inexplicably appears near death in his showroom and asks him to complete the impossible task of finding illegal yarn and making a coat of it in just one day. Tane’s quest confronts him with the tyranny and hopelessness of the world outside of the cities while answering his questions about his nightmarish childhood and enigmatic father. Armstrong’s stylized tale is a profoundly moving fusion of visionary images and compelling social commentary.”
“Yarn” is propelled by waves of language more exotic than the clothes. It’s a runway show of a world where everything has an appearance of extravagant luxury. It’s also a lot of fun that deftly mixes humor and adventure. — Fred Cleaver
Ranging from the underworld of Seattlehama to the ruins of Antarctica, Armstrong’s vision of a dystopic future should appeal to fans of cyberpunk and sf technothrillers.