March 8, 2009
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’.
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 28, 2008
Before H.G. Wells became morbidly obese and started doing wine commercials, he wrote this book, in which two 19th century Londoners journey to our nearest celestial neighbor. A celestial neighbor, by the way, is good to have when you leave Earth on vacation and need someone to water your plants. Anywho, they discover a highly complex society living beneath the barren lunar surface, like we all kinda knew they would. With its blend of spirited adventure and heady social commentary, The First Men In The Moon is a story everyone can enjoy. Well, almost everyone; conspiracy theorists believe this entire book was a hoax staged by the Nixon administration to draw attention away from the war in Vietnam. Recommended.
On a scale of people mentioned in the Neil Diamond song ‘Done Too Soon’ ranging from Genghis Khan to Ho Chi Minh, this book is: H.G. Wells.
September 23, 2008
A group of people discover a dimensional portal which leads them to a dimension peopled by people from another dimension. And that previous sentence is better written and more interesting than this entire novel. Damon Knight once said The Blind Spot has ‘no recognizable vestige of merit’, so I too denounce it. Not that I do everything Damon Knight tells me to, I just happen to agree. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to pick up Damon Knight’s dry cleaning and vacuum his car, which is weird, because he’s dead.
On a scale of how traffic accidents happen ranging from talking on your cell phone while you’re driving to icy roads, this book is: not checking your blind spot.
September 21, 2008
A brawny space hunk and coquettish space gal become stranded on Jupiter. Despite their close quarters, mutual attraction and torn, revealing clothing, they manage to hold their instincts in check until they’re rescued and can be married by a space captain. Although corny, this book is a quaint throwback to the days when grown men and women apparently lacked genitalia of any kind. Today, of course, teens stranded on Jupiter are involved in rainbow parties, borealis bangs and other meteorological sex acts at no older than fourteen. And that’s just hot wrong.
On a scale of space operas ranging from Space Tosca to The Magic Space Flute, this book is: The Barber Of Seville, And Also Of Space.
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.