The fourth installment in Farmer’s Riverworld series, wherein the source of the alien power that has resurrected all of humanity (we’re like the stock market – one minute we’re down, then we’re up!) on a distant planet is finally discovered. SPOILER ALERT: it was aliens with a resurrection machine. They wanted to test Earthlings’ morality, and we failed said test, scoring just above an immoral species of flatworm from Antares IV which befriends you only so it can bang your sister. Also, the clocks go ahead this weekend, so remember to change the batteries in your spoiler-alerter.

On a scale of famous labyrinths ranging from the Pac Man board to Minotaur’s hideout, this book is: the hedge maze from ‘The Shining’.

RIP, PJF.


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An Earthman travels to a distant star where he meets strange beings and engages in lengthy discussions about reality, morality and the veracity of various philosophical systems. And I’m all like, “Enough jib jabberin’! Break out the lasers!” Sadly, the lasers remained sealed in their blister packs throughout the novel. Literary critic Harold Bloom loved this book so much he wrote a sequel to it, which is indicative of how boring it is. If you don’t know who literary critic Harold Bloom is, Google him. Look at his sour, pompous, fish-like puss and ask yourself if you’d ever want to read anything he recommended, ever.

On a scale of doomed voyages ranging from the Challenger to the Titanic, this book is: a car ride where you get stuck in traffic.

Stay home.

Having gotten over humans crucifying Jesus, God decides to send another messiah to Earth. But this time, it’s a woman. Not only that, but Morrow infers that God Herself is a She. A female God? Sounds crazy but he might be right; God is demanding, prone to frightening emotional outbursts and no man can make Her happy! Rim shot. I guess the Eleventh Commandment would be ‘Thou shalt not leave the toilet seat up’! Double rim shot.  Vagina! Goodnight everybody. Highly recommended.

On a scale of miracles Jesus performed ranging from turning water into wine to driving demons from a pig, this book is: that time He made the Statue Of Liberty disappear.

‘God’ is ‘cat’ spelled with different letters.

So enamoured are we with the film adaptation of this book that we forget how utterly fucked up the original story is. Within its pages are a beheading, a heroin-induced coma, a sociopathic android, a poisoned dildo and the megalomaniacal, self-crowned ruler of an enchanted city who keeps order through fear, deception and sorcery.  Okay, not the dildo, but still. Of course, when you think about what the children of 1900 were doing – working in factories, eating laudanum, losing their sight in smelting accidents – this book makes sense. Kids back then were tough, and needed stories to match, When’s the last time Dora The Explorer fought her way out of a heroin-induced coma? Never. Because, in addition to having a pussy, she also is one.

On a scale of people from Oz ranging from Beecher to Schillinger, this book is: Adebisi.

I read it while I was high, now I have the Munchkins.

Synopsis: an ancient subterranean worm and its human familiar terrorize the English countryside. For the authour of Dracula, this book isn’t very good. Besides being ploddingly slow, it teems with that ol’ fashioned racism early 20th century writers were so free with. Stoker refers to the novel’s lone black character Oolonga (that’s right; the black guy’s name is ‘Oolonga’) as a ‘nigger’ who is ‘a clever fellow – for a nigger’. This kind of rabid intolerance is hard to stomach in any forum, fictional or otherwise. Of course Stoker, being Irish, was too drunk and stupid to know better.

On a scale of stereotypes ranging from Sony to RCA, this book is Poopsounders (‘Poopsounders: When It Has To Sound Like Shit!’)

Don’t hate the lair, hate the worm.


Every human who ever lived is resurrected along the banks of a mysterious river where they are fed, clothed and made impervious to death by an outside force beyond comprehension. That’s on page three. From there, the authour pits a reanimated Sir Richard Burton against a revived Hermann Goring as the two of them compete for supremacy and understanding of a paradise that may be anything but. If scifi is a what if? genre, then Farmer is a why not? writer, bound by no convention whatsoever. Recommended, if only for the sheer bravado of subject matter and storytelling.

On a scale of things that come back to life ranging from the African lungfish to Jesus, this book is: zombie John Dillinger.

There was a Farmer wrote a book, and Philip was his name-o.

The book is a doozy; 450 pages of arcane high-fantasy prose denser than Oprah’s pubic hair and just as daunting. But if you’ve got the time and patience to push through, it’s worth it. Eddison describes everything from the story’s characters to what they wear to how they fight to what they eat in highly intricate but engrossing detail, and the plot is intricate as hell. By the end it’s like you’re really drunk at an awesome party: you don’t remember where you are, who anyone is or what’s going on, but you don’t care, because you’re having such a great time and no one suspects it was you who pooped in the upstairs bathtub. Recommended for hardcore fantasy buffs.

On a scale of breakdance moves ranging from the Coffee Grinder to the Worm, this book is: the One Arm Elbow Air Flare.

Are you Stedman (or Gail) enough to handle it?