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.

Cheech and Chong's favourite book. Because, you see, they like marijuana.

1961: Solaris by Stanislaw Lem

September 14, 2008

A sentient ocean on a distant planet invades the minds of visiting space-o-nauts and brings their innermost thoughts and memories to life. Which begs the question: where’s a sentient ocean when I’m thinking of a tuna sandwich on rye, or remembering that one keg party in university? You know – the one where that chick flashed us from her dorm window and we drew on Skeeter’s ass when he passed out? Can you believe Skeeter’s a lawyer with two kids now? Crazy!

On a scale of scary bodies of water ranging from Dead Moose River, MN, to Murder Bay, DC, this book is: Skeleton Lake, Alberta.

"You make me wet."

Bradbury pulls the ol’ good cop/bad cop routine with this book. First, he scares you. Then he makes you feel like everything’s going to be okay. Then he scares you again. Then he offers you a cigarette. Then he slaps it out of your hand and talks about the horrible things that happen to readers like you in the joint. But the only thing I’ll confess to is loving this classic tale of small-town horror as seen through the eyes of children. Recommended.

On a scale of coming wickedness ranging from summer gas gouging to Ragnarok, this book is: New Memories Of TuscanyTM Soylent Green (With 33% More Italians!)

Whose writing is amazing? I'm thinking R.B.'s.

Mrs. Sudak’s previous 23 books, A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O (co-authoured with Amy Tan and nominated for the 1997 Chilean National Prize for Literature), P, Q, R, S, T, U, V and W failed to garner her any real commercial success. But X is a winner. It’s about a man with X-Ray eyes who can see through anything. If I had powers like that I’d stare through my sexy neighbor’s bedroom wall, because she’s got a 52-inch plasma TV in there. Yeah, that’s it. Watch that Seinfeld rerun. You like it when Kenny Banya does that, don’t you?

On a scale of rays ranging from X-Rays to gamma rays, this book is: Ray Liota.

"Got any gum? And don't you dare lie to me!"

For some reason, this anthology’s index abbreviates the sources it culled its stories from, and the magazine Analog Science Fact & Fiction is abbreviated as Anal. I’m not joking. Now, a lot of guys are embarrassed to purchase Anal at the store, or worried their wives will find their copies of Anal at home. Personally, I buy Anal for the articles and have been a dedicated Anal subscriber for years, and this book pounded my imagination raw with blistering, white-hot stories by some of the most hardcore writers in the biz. Perfect for consenting adults looking to spice up their reading routine.

On a scale of puerile innuendo ranging from April Wine’s ‘If You See Kay’ to ZZ Top’s ‘Tube Snake Boogie’, this book is: David Wilcox’s ‘Layin’ Pipe’.

Gaping SF action!

In the far distant future the drug of choice isn’t cocaine or marijuana. It isn’t smack or crank, either. Or acid. Or hash, meth, uppers, downers, reds, blues, scream juice, zqxkj or Ugandan whiz-bang. It’s the Spice, and it’s the central subject of this classic, mind-bending tale of family and political intrigue set on the planet of Arrakis. If you enjoyed Dallas but thought it could use more sandworms, Dune will blow your mind like a double scream juice on the rocks. Recommended.

On a scale of Spice Girls that were kicked out of the group ranging from Ugly Spice to Crusty Spice, this book is: Weepy Lesion Spice.

Dune-de-Frank-Herbert

This is an outdated cover. Nowadays, most sandworms are circumcised.

From the authour of Planet Of The Apes, Bridge Over The River Kwai and Bridge Over The Planet Of The Apes comes a short story collection that, to be frank, was disappointing. For one thing, Boulle was French, so strike one. And none of these stories had talking apes in them, so strike two. And the translation was somewhat inept, which isn’t really his fault, but I’m looking for a reason to discount this book entirely, so strike thr – oh shit! I beaned Pierre Boulle! Right in the temple! Is he hurt? Is he bleeding? Yeah, he’s bleeding. Well, fuck him. He shouldn’t have crowded the plate.

On a scale of business ranging from funny to risky, this book is: monkey.

I wouldn't mind discussing this book further, but we're out of time.

I wouldn't mind discussing this book further, but we're out of time.


Of all of SF’s sub-genres, time travel is one of my favourites. Hawksbill Station (both the book and the station) delivers a steaming helping of chilling time travel in a world where political dissidents are sent to a penal colony a billion years in the past. But with good behavior, they could get out in 500,000,000. Silverberg tempers well-crafted characters with friggin’ cool descriptions of what the Earth looked like long before anything set foot, paw or claw on it. Highly recommended.

On a scale of predatory birds ranging from osprey to raptors, this book is: a wedge-tailed eagle.

"I'm up for parole in the Cretaceous."

In high school I took acid and watched this movie, but I don’t recommend doing the same thing with the book. The sound of the pages turning is like your enemies whispering (‘Fear….’ they seem to say, ‘Feeeeeaaar….’) and you think the chair across the room will move unless you stare at it without blinking. Also, can you even get acid anymore? Kids today are too busy ‘dropping’ the ‘X’ and inhaling computer dusting spray to care about a few tabs of Green Lantern, and they’ll beat you with the metal casing from a tampon dispenser for even wandering into their turf to ask. Highly recommended.

On a scale of intelligent computers ranging from Speak N’ Spell to Deep Blue, this book is: that Japanese stair-climbing robot.

One HAL of a good book.

A potter is summoned to a distant planet to help an ancient alien being raise a sunken cathedral. There, he battles the alien’s entropic double, which takes the form of a giant, shadowy bird. This book is like you took acid, hallucinated, and your hallucination took acid, and is of a style scifi aficionados have come to call ‘Dickian’. This is, of course, much different than ‘Dickensian’, which is important to know if you’ve ever found yourself reading A Tale Of Two Cities and wondering when the androids are going to show up. Highly recommended.

On a scale of things androids dream of ranging from electric sheep to sonic hedgehogs, this book is: a clockwork orangutan.

Damn! Dropped a contact!