A macabre classic that influenced H. P. Lovecraft's "The Dunwich Horror", Peter Straub's "Ghost Story", Stephen King's "N." and Bentley Little's "The...moreA macabre classic that influenced H. P. Lovecraft's "The Dunwich Horror", Peter Straub's "Ghost Story", Stephen King's "N." and Bentley Little's "The Ignored". Though Machen's novella isn't quite as good as those tales, it deserves credit for its impact.(less)
They say great things come in threes. Well, maybe they don't say that, but I'll say it for now. This is the third of three great books/series that I'v...moreThey say great things come in threes. Well, maybe they don't say that, but I'll say it for now. This is the third of three great books/series that I've come across that remind me why I love to read sci-fi. (And also raise my expectations on future readings, which eventually get dashed, alas.)
The three books are Pines, Ghost Country (from the Travis Chase series), and Wool. It's an interesting bit of serendipity, having read all of these books so closely together, because they all involve a very similar set-up regarding humanity's future. (And if you like any one of these three books, you should read the others as well. There's an interesting similarity between them, not unlike the dystopian triumvirate 1984, Brave New World, and We.)
The story involves a society that lives underground in a large "silo," with different classes (like the Farmers, Mechanics, and IT people) living at different levels. Food, power, and communication are heavily rationed. And the one great rule is: don't talk of the outside. If you dare to talk about wanting to go outside, then your wish just might be granted by sentencing you to cleaning. Every few months, someone gets sentenced to cleaning: donning a suit and wool pads, going to the outside of the Silo, cleaning off the one window to the outside world, and then walking off into the distance. Herein is Howey's great imagination trap: everyone sentenced to cleaning goes up to the window and cleans it; they then go towards the surrounding hill, and inevitably die before reaching the top. Why doesn't anyone refuse to clean as soon as they get outside? Why can't anyone make it over the hill?
There's a great story in this book, but I won't write anymore, so as not to spoil anything. (less)
TV Snorted My Brain is the latest literary offering from Bradley Sands. For those not familiar with the scene, Sands is the Randolph Mantooth of Bizar...moreTV Snorted My Brain is the latest literary offering from Bradley Sands. For those not familiar with the scene, Sands is the Randolph Mantooth of Bizarro Lit. And what could be more Randolph Mantoothy than a retelling of the King Arthur legend, set in the world of TV Land? (Actually, a good bizarro tale involving firemen would probably be pretty Mantoothy too.)
“My mortal enemies are the rules that govern society.”
Our protagonist is Artie Pendragon, a teen wanna-be anarchist--like a slightly mature Tucker Max. He has to put up with a widowed mom, an ex-wrestler uncle, and an annoying younger sister.
“Extra hot mustard is not very anarchist. Extra hot mustard is the tool the overlords use to keep down the proletarians. It is what they threaten us with whenever we speak our mind.”
But upon finding that he (and he alone) can work the Excalibur 3000 to change TV channels, his life begins to change.
“He who worketh this remote control is the true king of all TV Land.”
He and his family end up in TV Land. And he’s king. Isn’t it good to be king?
“Homeless people smell really bad. I believe smelling really bad is the most anarchist scent in the universe. The second most anarchist scent in the universe is Obsession for Men.”
Not with his family, it isn’t. But once in TV Land, he meets up with magical Merlin, pretty Gwen, stylish Lance, and Gawain, one of those observation-based comedians.
“Why do zombies always want to eat people’s brains.? Brains must taste awful. If I were a zombie, I’d yell ‘General Tso’s Chiiicken!’ while I attacked people. That stuff is delicious.”
And what happens? Things get weird. Because that’s what happens in Bizarro. And it’s what happens in a Bradley Sands book. Go on, read it. Because reading Bizarro is totally anarchist! (less)
F. Paul Wilson recommended this book on Facebook, and since I'm a big Wilson fan, I decided to give it a try. And Wilson was right. This is an awesome...moreF. Paul Wilson recommended this book on Facebook, and since I'm a big Wilson fan, I decided to give it a try. And Wilson was right. This is an awesome story. It's a combination of scifi and mystery, a story with a definite Twilight Zone/Outer Limits feel. As the plot description says, a secret service agent arrives in Wayward Pines to investigate the disappearance of two other agents. But he's involved in an accident, and when he comes to, things seem a little off. As the story progresses, each little mystery that gets solved only leads to more confusing turns. Borrowing themes from the Matrix trilogy and H. G. Wells' Time Machine, the final reveal manages to put all of the pieces together into a (maybe not quite happy) ending. (less)
"Write what you know." Ancient writers' wisdom "I can do that." Steve Lowe
According to best-selling not-as-funny-as-Steve-Lowe author Suzanne Collins,...more"Write what you know." Ancient writers' wisdom "I can do that." Steve Lowe
According to best-selling not-as-funny-as-Steve-Lowe author Suzanne Collins, the idea for The Hunger Games came from watching war images and reality tv. Lowe had the same experience and came up with almost the same idea: King of the Perverts. The story of Dennis Porter, a man down on his luck, who joins an internet reality show sexcathalon. (Maybe instead of seeing war images, he was watching The Aristocrats.) Does Dennis have what it takes to perform the necessary deeds? The Abraham Lincoln? The Angry Pirate? (By the way, there's a variation of Angry Birds, called Angry Pirates: http://www.physicsgames.net/game/Angr... . You're never too old to learn something new.) The Dirty Sanchez? The Pulsating Pineapple? The Twisted Pipecleaner? (Okay, I may have made some of these up. Or did I?) Needless to say, this is not a book for the youngins. But if you like your humor like your coffee (dirty and bizarro funny), then join the competition. (less)