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.

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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.

In your face, Armstrong!

After a ‘plague cloud’ 86’s humanity, the last (and most boring) man on Earth traverses the globe waxing philosophical about life, art, architecture, love, and the best brand of wax for waxing philosophical (I prefer Lemon-Scented Heideggerian Pledge, myself). The cover of this book claims it’s a ‘towering masterpiece’, but they must’ve been thinking of the World Trade Centre, because it’s a smouldering disaster of story.

On a scale of clouds ranging from Cumulus to Cirrus, this book is: Cumulonimbus. 

This book was an inside job.

An astronomer discovers that dead Earthlings are reincarnated on Mars as beings of pure, luminous energy (which explains why Mars’ monthly pure, luminous energy bill is so high) and sets about contacting his deceased father to learn more about life on the red planet. His posthumous pa tells him how much he loves the punishing heat, lifeless landscape and open-carry ray gun laws. Mars: The Arizona Of Space.

On a scale of things you can be certain about ranging from death to taxes, this book is: toast landing butter-side down.

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‘Get your ass to Mars….get your ass to Mars (so I self-plagiarized the caption from the 1905 entry. So fucking what?)

 

 

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.

A U.S. Marine travels to the red planet (Support Our Troops On Mars!) where he engages in a series of swashbuckling adventures amongst the locals. Personally, I find swashbuckling somewhat clumsy, and prefer to secure my swashes with something more convenient than a buckle. Although ‘a swash-Velcroing adventure’ doesn’t sound nearly as exciting.

On a scale of planets ranging from Ork to Melmac, this book is: Omicrom Persii 8.

Get your ass to Mars…get your ass to Mars…get your ass to Mars….

Two British children meet a Shakespearean imp who lays bare for them the gloried, storied, lorry-ed history of England by recalling the British Isles’ most famous personages to life. Here, resurrected, is a famous knight who regales them with tales of famous knightery! Here, alive once again, is a Scotch pirate who earns funds by running guns! And here, all the way from the Appian Way, is Roman legionnaire who recalls pitched battles against the Picts before he succumbed to legionnaire’s disease! NOTE: To a Roman legionnaire, ‘legionnaire’s disease’ was simply when the enemy stabbed you in the lung with a spear.

On a scale of famous Hills ranging from Faith to Drew, this book is: Hank.

Puck, yeah!