October 14, 2008
A medieval village is transported to a technologically-advanced planet, where 12th century weaponry and terrestrial cunning miraculously defeat hoards of laser-toting aliens. This book proves that Earth is the USA of the galaxy – EARTH! EARTH! EARTH! – because we kick ass and take names. And that ain’t easy, because alien names are hard to spell, and our limited knowledge of xenobiology often makes finding their asses difficult. Recommended.
On a scale of medieval weapons ranging from the misericorde to the scramaseax, this book is: the zweihander.
October 2, 2008
A super-intelligent alien race summons species from throughout the galaxy to a meeting. The topic of discussion is how to prevent the imminent collision of our universe with another, and hence the destruction of life and reality as we know it. Now, you’re probably wondering the same thing I was: will breakfast be served at this meeting? If not, we should stop and get something on the way. Also, where’s the bathroom for Earthlings? We can’t all recycle our urine like the floating zqxkj plants from Anteres Perseii 8, you know. Also, is this book any good? No. It is not.
On a scale of things cosmic engineering students do to freshmen during frosh week ranging from writing on them when they pass out to making them wear a dress to class, this book is: forcing them do the crabwalk with a marshmallow up their ass, and if they drop it, they have to eat it.
September 19, 2008
Through the use of magic, alchemy, corpse theft and the Konami code, Charles Dexter Ward resurrects a long-dead ancestor. This ancestor then proceeds to bore him with stories about how necromancy used to be done in good ol’ days. I’ve always thought necromancy is a ‘gateway’ magic, not because it leads to eviler magic, but because it literally opens a gateway through which Yog-Sothoth can enter our world. And once he’s here, he crashes on your couch for, like, three months, drinks all your beer and won’t leave. While T.C.O.C.D.W. is great for hardcore Lovecraft lovers, H.P. noobs might want to stick to his shorter works. This one employs too much obfuscating language.
On a scale of famous cases ranging from The Case Of The Distressed Lady to The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button, this book is: a case of Pabst Blue Ribbon.
September 14, 2008
A sentient ocean on a distant planet invades the minds of visiting space-o-nauts and brings their innermost thoughts and memories to life. Which begs the question: where’s a sentient ocean when I’m thinking of a tuna sandwich on rye, or remembering that one keg party in university? You know – the one where that chick flashed us from her dorm window and we drew on Skeeter’s ass when he passed out? Can you believe Skeeter’s a lawyer with two kids now? Crazy!
On a scale of scary bodies of water ranging from Dead Moose River, MN, to Murder Bay, DC, this book is: Skeleton Lake, Alberta.
May 14, 2008
In the far distant future the drug of choice isn’t cocaine or marijuana. It isn’t smack or crank, either. Or acid. Or hash, meth, uppers, downers, reds, blues, scream juice, zqxkj or Ugandan whiz-bang. It’s the Spice, and it’s the central subject of this classic, mind-bending tale of family and political intrigue set on the planet of Arrakis. If you enjoyed Dallas but thought it could use more sandworms, Dune will blow your mind like a double scream juice on the rocks. Recommended.
On a scale of Spice Girls that were kicked out of the group ranging from Ugly Spice to Crusty Spice, this book is: Weepy Lesion Spice.
April 21, 2008
When intelligent newts (I know it sounds like an oxymoron, but this is scifi) are discovered on the ocean floor, humankind enlists them to mine pearls. The newts then use the very pearl-mining tools we gave them to wage war. Sound familiar? It’s the same thing that happened when Reagan armed Afghani newts to fight the Russians in the 1980’s. This book is a brilliant satire that proves that, if war is hell, war with newts is a different, newt-ier kind of hell. Recommended.
On a scale of dark, moist things ranging from peat moss to the inside of a wrestling shoe, this book is: black forest cake.
April 5, 2008
In the year 2060, a distant planet is visited by a group of Jesuit missionaries (NOTE: absolutely no ‘missionary position’ jokes will be made about this book.) Once there, they experience the greater glory of God in the form of death, torture, modest inconvenience, and sexual brutality at the hands of the native population. I guess the missionary position isn’t as fun as it sounds (NOTE: I couldn’t resist. Sorry.) Highly recommended.
On a scale of martyrs ranging from Miguel Pro to Roque González de Santa Cruz, this book is: the guy who gave that baseball back to Mark McGwire.
February 17, 2008
VOR has come to Earth to tell of an imminent invasion by his own planet. VOR’s destruction will warn his people that we have the galactic chops not to be messed with. But should we kill VOR just to save ourselves? This classic 1950’s tale of life, love and sacrifice is perhaps best remembered by the final chapter, in which young Joey (played by Brandon DeWilde) cries “VOR! VOR! Come back!” as the titular character rides off across the plain.
On a scale of three-letter words beginning with V ranging from VEG to VUG, this book is VIG.
February 14, 2008
In high school I took acid and watched this movie, but I don’t recommend doing the same thing with the book. The sound of the pages turning is like your enemies whispering (‘Fear….’ they seem to say, ‘Feeeeeaaar….’) and you think the chair across the room will move unless you stare at it without blinking. Also, can you even get acid anymore? Kids today are too busy ‘dropping’ the ‘X’ and inhaling computer dusting spray to care about a few tabs of Green Lantern, and they’ll beat you with the metal casing from a tampon dispenser for even wandering into their turf to ask. Highly recommended.
On a scale of intelligent computers ranging from Speak N’ Spell to Deep Blue, this book is: that Japanese stair-climbing robot.
February 11, 2008
Crompton Divided: A novel written by Robert Sheckley. About a man with different personalities. He takes a big trip. On a space ship. And starts a story that’s exceptionally well-knit. This guy’s certifiably a schitzo. But he’s gonna try to cure himself of it, though. The authour goes off on a tangent like that. With a style that’s in its very own class. The writing is the best. Ain’t no tellin’ when he’s down for a plot twist. There’s a dénouement to keep y’all reading. Cuz you don’t know where the story is leading. The novel is exciting but it doesn’t end well. Cuz the protagonist is crazy as hell. The voices in his head revile and haunt him, but by the final chapter, they’re driven straight out of Crompton.
On a scale of things you can use to keep cool during the summer ranging from air conditioning to an oscillating fan, this book is: ice cubes.
January 19, 2008
This book is about two shape-shifting blobs that visit Earth to invade the bodies and minds of humans. Can you guess where said blobs come from? Give up? You’re gonna kick yourself when you hear the answer, because it’s right in the title of the book. They come from outer space. And ‘boom’ goes your mind.
On a scale of things from outer space ranging from outer space monsters to outer space invaders, this book is: Plan 8 ½ From Outer Space.
January 14, 2008
A potter is summoned to a distant planet to help an ancient alien being raise a sunken cathedral. There, he battles the alien’s entropic double, which takes the form of a giant, shadowy bird. This book is like you took acid, hallucinated, and your hallucination took acid, and is of a style scifi aficionados have come to call ‘Dickian’. This is, of course, much different than ‘Dickensian’, which is important to know if you’ve ever found yourself reading A Tale Of Two Cities and wondering when the androids are going to show up. Highly recommended.
On a scale of things androids dream of ranging from electric sheep to sonic hedgehogs, this book is: a clockwork orangutan.