Future England: London has broken up into city states that are at constant war, and eventually there’s a great bloody melee and everyone dies (melee weapons only give you +4 strength, after all, and leave you vulnerable to ice magic).   This book is full of the kind of humor that can only be described as ‘dry’. Actually, ‘dry’ isn’t the word; more like ‘desiccated’. Desiccated, not-very-funny humour. Regardless, it’s described as a ‘comic novel’ and was met with great enthusiasm when it debuted at Comic Novel-icon 1904 in San Diego. To this day a huge contingent of cosplay fans dress up as G.K. Chesterton, and are savagely and contemptuously beaten by other nerds, thus proving that even the lowest and most pitiful tiers of society are carefully structured.

On a scale of Hugh Grant films ranging from Notting Hill to Notting Hill II: Bigger And Notting-er, this book is: Notting Hill III: The Search For Curly’s Gold (by far the best of the trilogy).

The funky Notting Hill shit.

This book follows the seamy exploits of a private detective in a futuristic Frisco where drugs are legal, animals can talk and criminals are cryogenically frozen and turned into sex slaves. ‘Great,’ you’re thinking, ‘ another one of those novels.’ Still, it’s pretty good. Letham effortlessly blends Philip K. Dick and Chandler (Phoebe, Ross and Rachel, however, fail to make an appearance) for a one-of-a-kind work of cyber-noir. BTW, ‘noir’ is just fancy talk for ‘black’. And, BTW, ‘BTW’ is just fancy talk for ‘by the way’. Recommended.

On a scale of ways to prepare eggs ranging from scrambled to poached, this book is: hard boiled.

Book, with frequent words.


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.

They're attacking us? I newt!