September 22, 2008
A mind-blowing future history of humanity, beginning in the present day and ending in the year 200,000,000. You think cramming for a test on the War Of 1812 is hard? Try writing 200,000,000 years of cheat notes on your arm. This book is an unsung literary sci-fi gem, but not for long, because I wrote a song about it: Gimmie a bouncy C! Hello? Where’s that guy I hired to play the piano? What do you mean he doesn’t work on Sundays? Fuckin’ pianists union. Dense, long-winded, but recommended.
On a scale of Toronto mayors ranging from Rob Ford to David Miller, this book is: Mel Lastman.
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.
August 21, 2008
This timeless classic (kids today refer to it as ‘BNW’ in chat rooms) is set in an idyllic future London where breeding is carefully controlled and the population is kept placated with sex and drugs. Sex and drugs in swingin’ London? Sounds like a groovy scene, baby, yeah! This utopia is shattered, however, when a man known as ‘The Savage’ visits it and exposes the falsehood of its so-called perfection. Exposing your falsehood sounds shagadelic baby, yeah! This novel is rich in imagery and symbolism; as far as I can tell, The Savage represents either a harsh reminder of humankind’s self-imposed exile from the natural world, or ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage. Both are pretty scary. Oh, behave!
On a scale of Aldous Huxley’s nicknames ranging from ‘Huck’ to ‘A to the H’, this book is: ‘Dr. Heathcliff Hux-table’.
A planet from deep space is on a crash course with Earth (Crash Course With Earth is also the name of an awesome Sammy Hagar solo album), threatening the extinction of life as we know it. Meanwhile, a group of scientists plot to escape to safety in a huge rocket, because scientists are pussies who piss their panties at the premise of total annihilation. Go ahead, wimps. I’ll be here drinking king cans of Bud and singing along with the title track from Crash Course With Earth: ‘Oh, we’re on a (two three) craaaaash course with Earth, so get your rocks on! Yes, we’re on a (two three) craaaaash course with Earth, so keep on rockin’ on!’ Fuckin’ A.
On a scale of explosive disasters ranging from the Hindenburg to Nagasaki, this book is: my bum after tacos.
June 21, 2008
A ragtag group of Earthlings display a clear bias towards Earth as they battle a hoard of horribly horrific aliens known as the Medusae. I love ‘30s scifi’s description of facial expressions. Jaws are ‘set stonily’. Eyes ‘twinkle impishly’. And people don’t smile – they only display a ‘grim rictus’. Still, this novel is just plain ol’ scifi fun, with characters getting into more scrapes than a prostitute’s abortionist and a deux ex machina on hand to help them whenever the reality of their predicament seems to be closing in. And if that doesn’t put a grim rictus on your face, I don’t know what will.
On a scale of legion-y things ranging the Legion of Super Heroes to The French Foreign Legion, this book is: the daemon Legion (Mark 5:9).
May 21, 2008
What would’ve happened if, instead of standing against Germany and Italy in WWII, America had elected a brutal dictatorship of its own? Give up? Read this pile o’ pages and find out. This novel is a comic commentary on fascism (think Hitler, but with a Groucho Marx moustache) and the fragility of democracy, and is an oft-cited work of alternate history. That’s right – ‘oft’. So you know it’s good. Recommended.
On a scale of characters in Stephen King’s It ranging from Eddie Kaspbrak to Mike Hanlon, this book is: It.
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.