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.
October 2, 2008
Few founders of religions were as skilled and prolific authours as L. Ron Hubbard. Jesus wrote one book, and He’s been milkin’ it for two thousand years. Bhudda scribed some semi-pithy stuff, but nothing I’d buy in hardcover. And while Te Kooti Arikirangi Te Turuki’s series of novels about teenage babysitters who also run a detective agency is passable, it’s mostly ghostwritten by Muhammad Subuh Sumohadiwidjojo. Hubbard’s the way to go. And if you’re going with Hubbard, give Final Blackout a try.
On a scale of famous Scientologists ranging from Edgar Winter to Tom Cruise, this book is: Beck.
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 25, 2008
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!’)
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 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.