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3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  79 ratings  ·  26 reviews

David Holbrook is a scrawny kid, the victim of bullies, and the neglected son of insane parents.

David Holbrook is the Kallis Episkopos, a vicious murderer turned imprisoned leader of a death cult dedicated to Eris, the Hellenic goddess of discord.

David Holbrook never killed anyone, and lives a lonely and luckless existence with h...more
ebook, 225 pages
Published August 15th 2012 by ChiZine
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Sliding into him is like living in an alcoholic who can taste the Jack Daniels on her tongue in every glass of juice or soda, right before she finally says, “Fuck it,” and marches out to get laid, get drunk, and get royally fucked by the world she’s determined to toss herself out in front of. Kallis Episkipos is Dave Holbrook, with free will reclaimed.

And me? I’m Dave Holbrook too—where Kallis Episipos has free will, I have no will at all, no way to affect the world or my own life. But I get to
Nicholas Kaufmann
Early on, a character in BULLETTIME describes Wong Kar-wai's film 2046 this way: "[T]here are different timelines and stuff. There's a sci-fi story wrapped up in the other stuff. And it's non-chronological." The same could be said of this complex and compelling novel of fractured timelines, diverse fates, and the awfulness of high school. But for all its talk of different choices leading to different outcomes, of a multitude of possible futures, the novel really seems to be about inevitability....more
If you were the bully in your school you won't understand this book at all. In fact you probably won't even get past the first few pages. If you've ever seen news about a school shooting and didn't get all emotional and crying and instead thought to yourself deep down inside, in that part of you you don't expose to "normal" society..."Good for you man, don't take that shit from anyone," then you will understand this book. But even if you think that, this book won't make you go out and try and bu...more
Bullettime is a nice unconventional read. I blew right through it, and that doesn't happen very much.

The story goes, Dave is trapped in the ylem, that primordial state of matter before the big bang. Dave has been exiled by the goddess of Discord, Eris, who also plays an important part in his infinity of existence. In the ylem, Dave can observe each moment of each existence he's experienced. There are no surprises, and as he observes these stories, their tale is told to the reader. The thing is,...more
4 ½ stars

See my full review on The Crow's Caw http://thecrowscaw.com/2012/08/17/rev...
Jesse Bullington
Review forthcoming, somewhere or other...
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
"And I can do whatever I like." Nick Mamatas takes us headlong into the world and mind of David Holbrook. David is a bullied teen, finding shelter in cough syrup and the Goth Chick of the Week era Internet. David is an employee of the government, installing lotto machines. David is the Kallis Episkipos, imprisoned death cult leader and worshiper of the goddess Eris. And he is the I, the narrator watching life branch out before and after an encounter with a girl named Erin, and the thought of a m...more
David Agranoff
This is an excellent short but powerful novel, from young raising star in genre fiction Nick Mamatas. This author first got on my radar from being on panels throughout last year's HP Lovecraft fest. I enjoyed his take on things and had a few short conversations with him. I knew I wanted to check out his work. While more interested in his forthcoming book and Stoker award winning novel Move Underground, it was Bullettime that came across my desk first. I very glad I dug into this interesting book...more
Harrison Fowler
Bullettime is a very twisted novel. It's sequences are scattered in different places, making it a gratifying non-linear experience. David Holbrook is quite honestly a pathetic loser. But that's the way he's supposed to be. He's twisted in his many alternate ways. He's violent, kind, psychopathic, scared, curious, skiddish. He contradicts himself with every fabric that is pulled away.

The book itself is quite brilliantly told. I'm convinced I myself didn't get it, or not all of it. It pays attenti...more
“Don’t be evil.”

Those words, associated with Google since 2004, are so obvious to most of us that they don’t fit on a list of life goals. But for large corporations, and some young men – habituated to violence and discord – they’re hard to live up to. That’s what I kept thinking, while reading Nick Mamatas’s searing multi-threaded narrative about Dave Holbrook, who may or may not have become a school shooter.

You see, Dave has been cursed with the gift of being separated from the time/space conti...more
One of the most inventive, artful works of modern fantasy / horror I've ever read. You almost have to believe Mamatas wrote this on a dare: how to tell a suspenseful story when you already know the ending; how to keep the reader invested in the most unlikable, unreliable narrator you could imagine. Dark without being purple. Recommended.
Keri B.
I'm not going to finish this book. While I'm sure there are merits hidden deep within the pages, this is not going to be one I complete. Everything is really disjointed and I kinda like more of a linear narrative. Unfortunately, whatever pearls have been hidden within these pages will remain hidden. I really wanted this to be good. I just....it's just not for me.
I think I liked this book. I am going to give it the benefit of the doubt and give it 3 stars. I finished it and went loudly "what the fuck?!". I felt that way the whole book. WTF sums it ALL up.
This book confused me, but i can't tell you if it was in a good way or a bad way.
My boyfriend bought it, but hasn't read it yet. I'm curious what he will think.
It jumps around a lot, but the characters and plot(?) stay the same throughout.
I can see why the author had a hard time getting it published. Sc...more
Robert Krone
I found this to be a good, if flawed story. I think it would have been better for me if the different possible fates were split up a little more, possibly as separate parts for each fate, and a final part tying up what the ultimate fate is. At least tying up as to which fate is the one he chooses, but not having to provide all the answers. I like stories/movies that don't have a clear ending. Ones that allow the reader to use their imagination as to what happens next. In that sense I really like...more
Jason Andrew
I very much enjoyed Bullettime. I could see David Holbrook in the faces of some of my friends in high school. The character feels real even when he is jumping through alternate realities. I was a little skeptical about the basic premise of the novel since everyone from Star Trek to Stargate that I doubted if anything new or interesting could be said on the topic. David Holbrook represents such a sublime failure that I felt truly bad for this poor bastard, even when I detested him. Mamatas deserv...more
I might be judging it more harshly than I otherwise would, because Nick is a friend and I'm aware of his extensive social media presence. Occasional phrases crop up that I can tell he's fallen in love with, and those leave an impression of laziness ("tacky mural of the Acropolis", "I mock your values system"). Those moments aside, though, this is a remarkable book, which picks apart the epiphenomena of free will and moral choice with intellectual rigor and entertaining prose. Recommended reading...more
Jack Skillingstead
Impressive. Mamatas probably should have shown up on some awards lists for this effort. However, he didn't.
Initially this book was difficult for me to get into. (I've heard the author say it is intended to be read in one sitting, and unfortunately that wasn't possible for me, so perhaps that would have changed things for me.) That said, it didn't take long for me to feel compelled by Bullettime. This complex, multi-state novel with a fluid reality has a lot to say about free will, action, and the things we do for ourselves and the things that we do for others. It has a lot to say about self-perceptio...more
Graham Vingoe
This is one of the shortest books I've read for sometime and yet it took ages to finish. Even so, I get the feeling I overlooked something which left the ending slightly flat for me. Well written but bleak as hell. Maybe this requires multiple reads to fully get the full gist of Bullettime? Worth the 3 stars at the very least, and I'm at least palnning to look at Nick Mamata's Sensation and the forthcoming less fantastic crime direction that he has promised since his "retirement" from fantastic...more
Matt Moore
Did you read Catcher in the Rye and hate it? Not understand what the fuss was about? Read Bullettime. A supernatural overlay to a bullied kid in high school, this story goes in literally multiple directions as one character, spread across multiple realities, tries to avoid the horrible outcomes that await him.

Tight, fast-paced and well characterized.
Simon Logan
Organically poetic prose.
Eddie Retelj
Bullettime is a wild ride of a story that will put you in the head of someone who is pushed over the edge. The narrative voice is depressingly great to read and the idea of exploring multiple lives or fates is brilliant.
Partially a review of ChiZine itself, but I talk a LOT about Bullettime.

Al Billings
I found this a bit underwhelming. The ending was just flat and I felt really didn't address much, just suddenly appearing and leaving the main plot points unaddressed.
Kate Kligman
Bullettime was just as good, if not better, when read in reverse order of chapters.
Anne Fenwick
Anne Fenwick marked it as to-read
Jul 10, 2014
Elizabeth Brenner
Elizabeth Brenner marked it as to-read
Jul 06, 2014
Andrey Dolganov
Andrey Dolganov marked it as to-read
Jul 02, 2014
Mesfin marked it as to-read
Jul 01, 2014
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Nick Mamatas is the author of the Lovecraftian Beat road novel Move Under Ground, which was nominated for both the Bram Stoker and International Horror Guild awards, the Civil War ghost story Northern Gothic, also a Stoker nominee, the suburban nighmare novel Under My Roof, and over thirty short stories and hundreds of articles (some of which were collected in 3000 Miles Per Hour in Every Directio...more
More about Nick Mamatas...
Move Under Ground The Future is Japanese: Science Fiction Futures and Brand New Fantasies from and about Japan. Starve Better: Surviving the Endless Horror of the Writing Life Love Is the Law Under My Roof

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