A book called Motherfucking Wizards, written by the same guy who wrote Taken by the Tetris Blocks, that promises "an erotic mashup of explicit fuckingA book called Motherfucking Wizards, written by the same guy who wrote Taken by the Tetris Blocks, that promises "an erotic mashup of explicit fucking and badass god damn sorcerers?" I had to give this one a read, even if just for shits and giggles.
The thing is, as perversely inappropriate Harry Potter parodies (or homages go), this was actually pretty good. Leonard Delaney may boast of "massacring good taste", but he's got a solid imagination and a decent writing style. Yes, it's crude an sophomoric at times, filled with names lie Pervert Drive, Hardrod, Argus Felch, but it's all done with a sense of honest fun and deliberate perversity that you cannot deny.
It also has a ton of amusing little details, like the leather-clad house ALFs, who are described as "ugly little bear-like creatures with patchy hair and pig-like snouts, rumoured to be from another planet." At no point do they try and eat a cat, but you get the idea.
Suffice to say, a wizard's staff takes on a whole new meaning here, and a reason the castle's towers are topped by mushroom-like tips. And while sex with teachers (sorceresses) may be inappropriate, sex with your childhood teddy bear takes on a whole new level of weird. The erotic elements are kind of silly and over-the-top, but a cut above a lot of similar stories. There is an actual story as well, one that parallels its literary inspiration, and the final letter home to the Dunkleys brings things full-circle while explaining the title, Motherfucking Wizards.
Is there anything sweeter in this world than poetic justice? Anything more deeply fulfilling than watching some despicable human being get their justIs there anything sweeter in this world than poetic justice? Anything more deeply fulfilling than watching some despicable human being get their just deserts? Anything more satisfying than seeing some piece of garbage get what's coming to them? Well, the moral of Ordeal is more cautionary then celebratory, but it still makes for one hell of a guilty pleasure.
Wol-vriey tells us the story of a man named Jack and a woman named Gina, two lonely lovers who meet beneath the street corner lights. Jack is a monster who likes to watch women suffer, getting off on the terror in their eyes when he rapes and murders them. His plans for the hooker with the movie star looks are just about as dark as you'd expect . . . but child's play compared to what she has planned for him.
This is a dark and twisted real, full of despicable violence and pain. Jack is a simple man with simple tastes, a monster and a villain without a single redeeming quality. As such, it's hard to feel even an ounce of compassion or sympathy for what he is forced to endure. As for Gina, she may be a monster and a villain herself, but she is also a complex human being. Her obsessive-compulsiveness is both unnerving and humorous, but it's her desperate need for love that makes her truly fascinating.
I won't spoil the fun - it's free, so give it a read yourself - but this is a book of layers, one with a really interesting contrast between order and chaos, and some deeper significance beneath the violence. It's a fun, brutal read that will also make you think.
Falling somewhere between offbeat/quirky and silly/juvenile, Secondhand Souls was actually a much more enjoyable read than I anticipated. Clearly I'veFalling somewhere between offbeat/quirky and silly/juvenile, Secondhand Souls was actually a much more enjoyable read than I anticipated. Clearly I've missed something by diving into the second book of a series, butChristopher Moore recaps previous events well (and often . . . a tad too often), so I don't really feel like I've missed anything.
What you have here is a world where people are 'chosen' to become Grim Reapers - yes, plural Grim Reapers, because it really is too big a job for one person. Charlie was a recipient of theBig Book of the Dead last around, had the recommended kitty calendar, carried around a #2 pencil, and ultimately sacrificed himself to stop a Celtic banshee from destroying San Francisco. Or, at least that's what the world believes. In reality, his Buddist nun girlfriend saved him from that fate, cobbling together a new body out of lunch meat and animal parts - a 14 inch body, with a 10 inch penis. Yup, and we're just getting started. There's also a seven-year-old daughter, who used to be princess of the Underworld, but whose powers have deserted her along with the hellhounds who protected her.
Suffice to say, since his replacement couldn't be bothered to actually collect any of the souls that came so conveniently penciled in on his kitty calendar, it falls to Charlie to save the world. Fortunately, he's not alone - aiding him in this insanity are the aforementioned horny Buddist nun and profanity-charged daughter, along with a tiny crocodile wizard, a gang of Squirrel People, a retired cop, a bridge painter, the weirdly eccentric Emperor of San Francisco, and a Goth girl turned inappropriate suicide hotline counselor . . . whose best line for getting a guy not to jump is to offer him a blowjob.
The plot itself is pretty basic, with your requisite dark powers trying to take over the world, but it's really secondary to the characters and the comedy. To be honest, I think we were halfway through the story before the villain even stepped onto the stage. It's a book that bordered on tedious or repetitive at times, but the frantic swing between satire and slapsitck, not to mention irreverence and (political) incorrectness, keeps you on your toes. Secondhand Soulsis a book that certainly owes a debt to Pratchett and Gaiman, but which seems tailored more for a Hangover or Neighbors generation. Funny, funny stuff, with scenes that will stick with you long after you forget what it was really about.
So, how do you top a pair of kinky lesbians in a long distance-relationship, one of whom has a fetish for snakes, and one of whom likes to watch? WellSo, how do you top a pair of kinky lesbians in a long distance-relationship, one of whom has a fetish for snakes, and one of whom likes to watch? Well, if the story is Loch Ness Lay by Kevin Strange, then you give Margo something truly monstrous with which to feed her fetish.
Circus freak show girl turned cryptozoologist, Margo just landed the gig of a lifetime as an expert for the reality show "Finding Nessie." Having celebrated virtually with her girlfriend, she heads to Scotland and seduces her way aboard the crew's boat. You can probably guess where it goes from there, and you're largely right (whether you like it or not), but it's Margo's means and motivations that put a truly horrifying spin on the story.
This is a story laced by, infused with, and defined by violence. It's as incredible as it is impossible, with Margo's past compelling her to sacrifice all and everyone for the monstrous equivalent of revenge sex. Yes, boys and girls, the Loch Ness Monster is real . . . and it's hungry for more than one flavor of human flesh. As for the patented Strange twist at the end, this has to be one of my favorites, with twist piled upon twist upon twist as he tears through the final couple of pages.
Assuming I believed in Hell, I'm completely and utterly convinced that I would be headed there on a suicidal express train for having read, much lessAssuming I believed in Hell, I'm completely and utterly convinced that I would be headed there on a suicidal express train for having read, much less enjoyed, Holey Matrimony. This is the kind of story that WTF Friday was invented for. It's weird, perverse, blasphemous, and monstrous in equal measure, with an awkward clash of the arousing and the amusing.
The story starts out simply enough, with a henpecked husband careening off the Met Street bridge and into the waters below. Just when he figures he's about to take his final breath, he's not only saved, but saved by guy who puts the 'save' in 'savior' - yes, Jesus Christ himself! Together, they look down upon the paramedics trying to save John's life . . . while Jesus begins playing the weird seducer. As if that weren't awkward enough, it turns out John isn't just a closeted gay man, and not even just a closeted gay man with green scales below the neckline, but a closeted gay man with green scales below the neckline and three (count 'em, three!) penises.
Yeah, it gets even weirder from there, with some of the most blasphemous use of hands and holes you can imagine, but things are not what they seem (the tentacles area dead giveaway). I really have to hand it to Kevin Strange, he pulls no punches with his imagination. Lest you think this is just a blatant, empty attempt to offend and horrify, however, there is a story behind it all, and a few final twists that almost - I say almost - bring a semblance of normality to the story. At least, that is, until the final line.
Falling somewhere between King's The Dark Tower saga and Brooks' Shannara series, as seen through the achingly vibrant lens of Discovery's Life AfterFalling somewhere between King's The Dark Tower saga and Brooks' Shannara series, as seen through the achingly vibrant lens of Discovery's Life After People, The Emperor's Railroad is a remarkably unique approach to post-apocalyptic fantasy. While I felt the choice of a 12-year-old narrator put some unfortunate constraints on the tale, and held it back from realizing its true potential, I am genuinely excited to see where Guy Haley goes with his Dreaming Cities series.
Here we find some of the best post-apocalyptic world building I have come across in quite some time. Every step of the journey reminds us of what's been lost, and what remains of our 'modern' civilization. It's not just window dressing, either - in addition to the visual scenery we have a cultural shift in society, a very different sort of political era, and a whole new world of monsters and mythologies. There's so much depth to it that you almost feel the series could continue on indefinitely.
As much as I would have preferred to experience the tale through the eyes of Quinn, Knight of the Dreaming City of Atlantis, the narration itself is my own quibble with young Abney. He is, in fact, a very well developed young man, in a story that captures his fears just as well as his sense of wonder. His relationship with his mother rings true, and it's through her that we really get a sense of just how much the world has shifted in terms of culture and society. Yes, there is a sentimental aspect to the tale, but it's an honest one, and it helps ground the sense of the fantastic that surrounds Quinn. He's a quiet man, confident and self-assured, with a clear purpose in life, but not so focused on the epic quest that he cannot lend himself to a mother and her child.
The story starts out slowly, allowing us to become comfortable in the vast concept that is the Dreaming Cities, but quickly begins to pick up pace once we get moving along The Emperor's Railroad. It's a story that has a tarnished sort of faery tale feel to it, with architectural ruins, mechanical monstrosities, swords, guns, zombies, angels, knights, and dragons. Yes, dragons. Clearly, there's a much larger story being told her, but this chapter is a complete story in and of itself, entirely satisfying, with real closure for Abney and his mother. With The Ghoul King coming this summer, and introducing a little more sci-fi to the mix, the Dreaming Cities is a series to get hooked on now.