In the future, everything looks bright — it's only the present that's dim. Such is the premise offered up as novelist Rick Moody reads and signs his novel The Four Fingers of Death ($25.99, Little, Brown and Company). In 2024, scribbler Montese Crandall attempts to shatter his writer's block by adapting the 1963 sci-fi horror film The Crawling Hand into a new novelization, even as his wife lies in a coma and he fritters away his time with space-age baseball cards. Moody, the author of The Ice Storm , revels in the faux future of the '60s, compared with the mo-faux future of a world 80 years later. It's a world in which banal routine represents the true horror — and the prospect of a murderous, alien-possessed crawling arm livens up the doldrums of a brave new world better than practically anything else.

Wed., Sept. 1, 7:30-9:30 p.m., 2010

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