ID SAYS: HOOOOLLLLLLYYYYYY EMERGENCY BROADCASTING SYSTEM!!!! Everyone knows TV addicts are out there, but fucking television cultists praying in a housID SAYS: HOOOOLLLLLLYYYYYY EMERGENCY BROADCASTING SYSTEM!!!! Everyone knows TV addicts are out there, but fucking television cultists praying in a house of screens? And now their zealous boobtube leader thinks he’s found their savior. Oh, great are the cable channel deity motherfuckers!
This cathode-ray of sunshine doesn’t know why his head is turning into a TV, he just knows it runs in the family. Working the night shift as security at his local cemetery probably helps keep the looky-loos to a minimum. His graveyard is pretty progressive, even has a plot specifically for appliances. Sometimes he wonders which section he’ll be buried in.
His stray dog roommate could give a shit, so long as the bologna keeps flowing and he doesn’t hear the dreaded “O” word coming from the dude’s mouth, that racist prick! It’s only a matter of time before this bastard primetime preacher tracks this TV messiah down and forces him to help bring about the second coming of the Great TV in the Sky. Static be praised!
EGO SAYS: Jeremy is not a willing participant in this Second Coming, I would say. Though on some level he probably sees a rational side to the Church’s prophecy, I mean he is inexplicably turning into an bonafide, wood paneled, knob turning, old school styled television set, he still rejects the actions taken by the Church and their leader to make the prophecy a reality.
I will say, as well, that as far as Cult leaders go, the man in white is on the saner side of things. He claims direct contact and communication from the Great TV, and Jeremy’s existence appears to corroborate this, enough for his congregation to believe him without question.
I would think the only possible exception to being totally committed to the Great TV’s will could be Randall, though this is due to his dim-wittedness rather than any doubt, self or otherwise. He is the older brother of the man in white and someone I thought was underused in this story. I say this because there were moments when his role could have been better characterized, but he was left more or less one dimensional in his part.
A much more fully developed character, and my favorite one in this book, was that of Benjamin, the stray dog nearly run over by Jeremy who becomes his friend and new roommate. Benjamin is a talking dog, and his profanity spewing mouth is put to great use throughout the story, bringing humorous elements to even the most disturbing of scenes.
SUPER-EGO SAYS: To my mind, the title of Mr. Vlasaty’s debut book is one of the more intriguing phrases I have heard in some time. A simple premise, God is Television, and this is the Church of that ideal. And you can be assured there is no lack of televisions in this story. The church itself is made of TVs, the walls made up in stacks of light boxes, the altar a giant flatscreen, and the chairs each church member sits upon glow bright with a multitude of moving images.
And while the imagery is as expected, the result of such an idea is probably the strongest point of the book. Religion can be an addiction, and faith can be placed on most anything. When you think of the masses huddled around their screens every Sunday for the big game, is it really that hard to imagine a religious faith building up around it?
In fact, no matter how bizarre the actions of the congregation become in trying to bring about the physical realization of their God, it never becomes discreditably ludicrous. One may even grow a rational fear in pondering this, and the author may start to look more like a prophet than a fiction storyteller....more
As fantasy stories go, this has got to be one of the darkest, most bizarre ones I've ever read. The story of Tetsuo is riddled with tragedy from pageAs fantasy stories go, this has got to be one of the darkest, most bizarre ones I've ever read. The story of Tetsuo is riddled with tragedy from page one. Born with his heart on the outside and having his foot turn into a whale are only the tip of the iceberg.
His father doesn't return from the mines one day, and during a round of playing he accidentally shoots his brother. As his family falls apart, so too does the world around him. When violent bodily changes occur in the townsfolk, but seem to pass Tetsuo by, he is driven out to go live in the meadows where he falls in love. But love can only take you so far, and betrayal and secrets are around every corner.
The writing was brilliant. Each page describes eloquently and simply the story as it unfolds. And the accompanying illustrations are crisp and haunting. Seeing the world unfold as I read it was a real treat, and I couldn't turn the pages fast enough to see the next visual.
The only thing keeping me from giving this book a full 5 stars is there were certain plot elements I wanted to see more of or others that felt incomplete, such as the introduction of a character in one sentence who is never spoken of again.
The 21st century hasn't seen a fable like this before. It harkens back to the old fairy tale storytellers, the Grimms and Anderson, and the dark stories they used to weave. Make no mistake, though, this is no children's book. Rather, it is a book for us adults who still have a little, pumpkin-skinned kid wandering around inside them....more
This book is amazing and deserves a read from anyone who struggles to understand economics. Before reading, I only had a cursory understanding of theThis book is amazing and deserves a read from anyone who struggles to understand economics. Before reading, I only had a cursory understanding of the way the American economy works. Not only was I better informed about the policies, regulations, and reforms happening in the last decade, but I was also made aware of the evolution of our system going all the way back to the infancy of capitalism. Besides the U.S., the author also touches base on other world economies past and present, showing how they worked and didn't work as well.
While this is a great primer for anyone interested in knowing where the money is flowing, it isn't a complete text in the sense of a full and deep understanding. Obviously, being comic panels, it can only relate so much information, but what knowledge it does impart is rather eye opening....more
Id Says: EHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHhhhhhhhhhhh…! What’s that, sonny? Martha’s like most any other old fuck. She likes church, shopping malls, and drives out intId Says: EHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHhhhhhhhhhhh…! What’s that, sonny? Martha’s like most any other old fuck. She likes church, shopping malls, and drives out into the country with her grandchildren. She’s kind and generous and all that other shit that make old grannies your favorite kind of cheek-pinching person. One can always find her at her grandson’s basketball games, rooting for the home team fuzzy shapes on the court her eyes sometimes have trouble seeing.
Martha doesn’t realize her grandson’s school is run by the most nefarious bastards to ever grade a term paper. The teachers are nothing but gangbangers with diplomas, and the principle is an outright pedophile, sticking his dick into anything that cheers with pom-poms.
When the grandson fucks up during a big game and loses it for the school, the faculty take matters into their own hands. Martha gets a call from the grandson and hightails it over to the family home just in time to watch them murdered and set on fire. The dickheads beat the shit out of granny, too, and leave her for dead.
But granny didn’t die. The old crank is still as rascally as ever and she wants revenge!
Ego Says: Populating Martha’s Pacific Northwest surroundings is a supporting cast I placed into two categories, either opposing or aiding her. There are no middle ground characters here, everyone has a stake in grandma’s quest for vengeance.
On the opposing team, I really like the all-encompassing evil that is the school principle, Mr. Mayonnaise. There is not a single thread of decency in the man. He is the uber-douche I just wanted to die a thousand deaths. His henchpeople, the teachers under him, are a motley crew to say the least. Mr. Fust is frustrated and angry, but essentially all bark and no bite. Ms. Webber has more brains about her, and seems more chilling with her ability to torture innocents indifferently.
Rooting for Martha are the mascots. Yes, those mascots. The ones dancing around in ill-fitted suits making total asses of themselves while supposedly boosting team pride, except these mascots aren’t made, rather they are born. I think they’re my favorite characters in the book, because they’re such a fun take on a common role. They aren’t people in suits, they’re actually living creatures. When Musty pulls his horse head off to reveal a balding man head underneath, the skin tears off from his bleeding neck, because the horse is the real him and the human head is to his body what our skulls are to ours. Don’t worry, his head will grow back.
Super-Ego Says: If it were not for all the gratuitous violence and sex, this could almost be a children’s story. Not only is there something wholesome and childlike about our grandmother’s journey, but the way Mr. Reade approaches the story is rather innocent like.
Not to say there are not touches of the absurd that would go over a child’s head, such as a chapter calling to mind a certain greaser play or one that reads like your favorite action movie montage scene (which this part of the reviewer’s brain recommends reading to some classic power metal). The comedy bits really helps break up the action bits, and when the two combine at times throughout the book you will find yourself excited and laughing simultaneously. A most enjoyable experience.
By keeping the middle section clear and steadfast, the author is able to really flesh out the meatiest parts of the book, that of the first act’s truly horrific scenes of Martha’s world brought to the edge of oblivion and the third act’s extremely satisfying battle finale. All of this is pulled off in a read that is less time than watching the original Rambo trilogy. Good show.
The delicate handling of the carnage, the absurdness, and the sweetness is no easy task. This book maintains all three without ever going overboard in any one direction. A difficult feat, and one so well pulled off that I am eager to see what comes next from this author’s pen....more
Id Says: …And they lived happily ever afterrrrrrrr!!! Or not. Let’s just say that these two lovebirds have a lot of shit to put of with to get to any eId Says: …And they lived happily ever afterrrrrrrr!!! Or not. Let’s just say that these two lovebirds have a lot of shit to put of with to get to any ending at all. It’s not exactly the kind of world you think about a future with husbands, wives, kids, white picket fences…etc. in it.
There’s his megabitch mother for starters. A certified Rich Old Fuck and totally against her son getting jiggy with some low-classer he met god knows where. She’ll not see her rearing efforts sullied by a whore-slut the boy’s just met, heaven’s no! She’ll have to take more precautions is all, just like she’s always done for her family.
But perhaps the cranky ROF won’t have much longer to worry about her son’s raging commoner boner. You see it appears the world is sick. It was an old fuck long before we got here, and now our diseases are its diseases. Nothing but rot and ash, rust and bone, tremors and slow, slow death.
If it’s all fucked, done, and over, and you’re truly going out for good, forever, what would you do to die with the one you love?
Ego Says: I admired Isobel’s seeking to balance her life amid a chaotically crumbling world. She wants Dresden’s love above all else, but is willing to work for total equilibrium in regards to Dresden’s mother, Elise. Though he believes their efforts are futile, she still hopes for some conciliation.
In the inverse, I see Dresden wanting more disorder in his rebellion against his familial norm. Mirroring the outside world, the one he’s been carefully sequestered from all his life, he wants his old life to fall apart. From the moment he chose to move against the grain, he worked to destroy the path behind him.
Both characters are sure of one thing, and one thing only: each other. Their strength lie in the desire to be together. To overcome even the end of the world for those few precious moments when they feel complete and totally satisfied.
Elise only wants what she believes is best for Dresden, which is to survive. Due to her high class status, she has been able to afford the best medical care this apocalyptic future can provide. It’s kept her alive and relatively healthy for over a century. But why would Elise be so opposed to her son’s happiness? There is something more than class division going on here, and methinks the answer is lurking under those bleeding gloves.
Super-Ego Says: Bittersweet love stories always get you every time. Something about being swept up in waves of emotion ultimately dashed against the rocks and receding into sad memory resonates with the human struggle. Sometimes, the end result is so clearly visible it pains us to open our eyes. Thank the fates that love is blind.
Our protagonist’s struggle is more on the bitter side of things. It feels like a downward spiral. Yet for all her faltering, she stays singularly focused on her choice. It is the need for one last connection with love that keeps Isobel limping forward. Where others would have simply given up and lied down among the mountains of gangrenous corpses, she does everything in her power to stay alive, believing he is doing the same.
At first, I believed Dresden’s mother, Elise, to be the antagonist, but as I delved deeper into the text, I realized it seemed the entire world itself was trying to keep the lovers apart. Every move against Isobel is like a reiteration of the title. It is a warning, a prophecy, and a fate all tied into one.
Ms. Scandal has woven a tightly knit book here, one devoid of extraneous background characters or background story. The sentences are clear and concise, the exposition comes in only when necessary, and the action and emotion carry the plot to a beautiful finale....more
(NOTE: I was given an advance reading copy of this book by the publisher to review.)
What spreads among us can be viewed as all that we are. Always see(NOTE: I was given an advance reading copy of this book by the publisher to review.)
What spreads among us can be viewed as all that we are. Always seeking a better vantage point in an attempt to see more.
The writing is dense. Each paragraph layers poetic wordplay beautifully and naturally, sometimes referencing and re-referencing other parts of the book, so that a reveal here or there is not necessarily a total surprise but very satisfactory. An interesting construct of the text is how the dialogue was formatted. Rather than using quotation marks a dash begin each characters speech, and sometimes continuing speech has no indicator at all, adding to the tone of confusion the protagonist deals with but which was received happily by this reader.
Norma is a program. A construct designed by a Brainworld (i.e. A sentient planet) to find the perfect host. Untold ages ago, The Brainworld was crashed upon by a ship carrying beings, one of which the planet fell in love with. If love is obsession then this Brainworld became fully obsessed with the great horned creature. As timelines would have it, the star this perfectly whole planet orbits supernovas and destroys both planet and beings, but the sentience continues on. When the Brainworld experiences loss of that which it loved, there is only loneliness left behind. Loneliness and obsession.
Enter Norma, sent to Earth, to a radiated near-future California no longer united with its brother and sister states, to find the embodiment of the great horned one for Mommy, a.k.a. Kali I8, a.k.a. the Brainworld. Norma finds a home in Spill City, the so named area of Southern California with an ocean that splashes inky waves and dead fish onto its shoreline. She's on the hunt, she's a hunter. She's programmed for one mission, one plan, nothing else.
But what good is a virus without a little mutation? When Norma interacts with the ultimate virus, Humanity, how will it change her program and, more importantly, those around her she has grown to love, or obsess over, the most?
I really loved this book. I believe it achieved what it set out to do, that of combining the Literary genre with those of Science Fiction and Horror, seamlessly and fluidly. It is so well constructed it makes one excited to read. Don't miss out on this one....more
ID SAYS: GEEEEEEEEEZZZZZZZZUUUUUSSSSSSS CHRIST!!!! Kid Phoenix has been shot! The bastard’s gone to the big strip club in the sky… Or has he? Because oID SAYS: GEEEEEEEEEZZZZZZZZUUUUUSSSSSSS CHRIST!!!! Kid Phoenix has been shot! The bastard’s gone to the big strip club in the sky… Or has he? Because of some lightning-induced magic, the exact moment Kid vamoosed, little baby Jaydon arrived. Cute little fucker with his slicked back hair, his 5 o’clock shadow, and his… his birthmark of a buxom woman that says I “heart” Snatch? Holy greasy shit on a Dead Cow Burger!
Babies first words aren’t usually so profane, or so articulate. His parents, and Jaydon himself, are more than a little confused. A chance encounter with one of Phoenix’s old henchman helps inject some of his past life back into him like a hit of pure China White. With the memories come pain, and baby wants vengeance.
Marrowburg is a cockroach infestation of criminals. Political assassination is a day at the park for its denizens, and if you aren’t committing crime you’re probably a cop or senior citizen. Jaydon’s gonna have to baby step his way through this, but no tit milk in the world is gonna stop him from finding the cocksucker who pulled the trigger.
EGO SAYS: Jaydon/Kid Phoenix as a protagonist is an interesting choice for this story, and even felt a little like his own antagonist. At times, I felt Ram was more a compelling character. But this isn’t a story about change, it’s a story about revenge.
I guess I just liked Ram more. He had a heart, his brain was just a little slow keeping up with it. He was the only one who bothered to show up at the hospital the night Kid was murdered. He could have sought revenge on his own, but instead he quietly packed up and moved out to the suburbs, getting a fast food job and trying his best to forget about his former life.
On the other side of the fence, another interesting character I feel was quite compelling despite only showing up midway through the book was Officer Bertrand Kropp. Celebrating his 100th birthday and 80th+ year on the force, Bertrand is set to finally retire at the end of the day. His career, though long, feels incomplete. When a phone call comes in about a murder, it sets off his “gift” of second sight and he vows to find the killer or die trying.
If I found one common thread among the characters of the book, it was this idea of completion, of setting things “right”, whatever “right” they might personally believe in.
SUPER-EGO SAYS: The fact that crime exists does not bother me, nor do I seek its eradication. Rather, it is something about a baby enacting criminal behavior that is slightly unnerving.
That is the point, though. You get so used to Kid Phoenix’s gangster dialogue you forget he is in the body of a toy rattle shaking, 9 month old. It isn’t until the toy rattle is jammed halfway down some guy’s throat, and the only sound besides his death gurgle is a baby’s gleeful cooing, that you end up unsure whether to laugh or vomit.
That is the sign of a good Bizarro book and speaks volumes to Mr. Skahill’s abilities. Generally, comedy is a more relaxing form of entertainment. The treatment given to this story’s situational humor, and to the character of Jaydon himself, is agitating enough to leave a question mark at the end of each laugh. It gives one the sense that the author just might be messing with you.
I imagine Skahill gives a sly grin every time he hears someone say they are going to read his book....more
ID SAYS: 000110110111010011011!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The code is all around us!! For Margy and Victor, video game addicted best friends, life is a daily doseID SAYS: 000110110111010011011!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The code is all around us!! For Margy and Victor, video game addicted best friends, life is a daily dose of Up-Up-Down-Down-Left-Right-Left-Right-B-A-Starts. But shit gets wicked cool when they come across an extremely rare, retro gaming system at a thrift store with a sandbox-style game inside neither of them have played before. They take it home, plug it in, and start playing.
Oh fuck, then shit turns totally heinous when they realize everything they do in the game world is happening in the real world! They try to contain the mayhem, but when Victor’s parents accidentally get a hold of it they raise the fuckness by a factor of 10 (Luckily margy’s parents are in comas at the hospital so they can’t raise fuckness anywhere), and the noise they make in Sprinklesburgh, IL is loud enough to perk up the ears of the higher ups.
Margy finds herself in the middle of a conspiracy involving an Original Player and its original controller. From the city to the Infranet, to the dreaded desert wastelands of the Internet, she hunts for the equation that can save her world, her parents, and her Victor… Oh yeah, and her Victor’s chicken familiar, Mort, whatever the fuck that ugly thing is.
EGO SAYS: I was delighted to discover a major theme of this book the characters were forced to deal with was that of identity. Not satisfied with merely skirting the edges of this difficult idea, Cheat Code follows in the footsteps of films likes The Matrix and books like Archelon Ranch in forcing the protagonist to question who they are and why they are.
Margy at first felt to me like a hapless heroine. She is haunted by recurring blackouts and the pain of dealing with not one but both her parents locked up in a asylum. Deep down, though, she feels that something is askew. A good portion of the book develops her intuition as she slowly comes to realize the truth to her.
Victor is her irritable boweled, best friend and, though he doesn’t arc as roundly as Margy, as I see it he is the deuteragonist of the story and nearly as important. His familiar Mort, a digitally constructed chicken, acts as a sort non-speaking counterpart to easily identify Victor’s thoughts/feelings in a particular moment.
I concluded that supporting roles include, Tyson, a seeker of the equation and the first gamer to use the Original Player capable of godlike creating/destructing in their world. He was caught and banished to the Internet wastelands by a group known only as The Panel. The Panel’s made up of various people invested in keeping the status quo, some being well known characters from actual video games. I would’ve liked to see more about this group, but as it stands in this short novel their presence is minimal.
SUPER-EGO SAYS: Seeking the answer. It is what we all want. A simple, short, and clear expression of who/what/when/where/why that includes everything. Even life seems to be pondering, using evolution and mutation in its own code, DNA, to discover the secret of itself.
For the denizens of Sprinklesburgh and the world they inhabit, many do not question their lives. Victor seems totally content eating flying turtle bacon burgers and designing new pet familiars for people. Margy could live with her planetarium job and collection of video game systems, catridges, discs, and spare parts.
Ms. Fonseca uses a mixture of gaming terminology and subtle hints to pull the plot together as it races towards a big reveal. Surprisingly it is not the reveal, but the reaction of Margy afterwards that completes this story and impressed this reader greatly.
As the line between real/unreal begin to merge, a sense of necessity and righteousness emerge. It’s like the very games Margy and Victor play, and the fate of the entire universe rests in their portable Opus system controlling hands....more
(NOTE: I received this limited edition book [#20 of 25] as a gift from Dynatox Ministries, it was not received with the stipulation that I review it.(NOTE: I received this limited edition book [#20 of 25] as a gift from Dynatox Ministries, it was not received with the stipulation that I review it. I am reviewing this book because I enjoyed the hell out of it.)
I recently rode the bus for several hours around the island of Oahu in Hawaii. Up the coast to the North Shore, down the center of the island into Honolulu, over the Pali mountain highway and back over to the east side town of Kaneohe and its volcanically produced ocean bay, where I currently reside. I rode the bus all day specifically to get some reading time in. It's about a 2-2.5 hour ride up to North Shore, and during that time I read Mr. Allen's sobering neo-beat tale of youth anguish set in the southern United States.
What first struck me as interesting is the well-honed focus of the story. A lot of beat literature tends to stray from their stories with many side anecdotes that do nothing to further the plot. RCB never loses sight of its core, however: This is a story of young love.
Jack and Ruby (A nod to a certain Oswald-killing man, perhaps?) are the young lovers in question. Jack moved to Garr County, Georgia from Atlanta while Ruby's lived there her whole life. Despite their differences they both abhor the stale culture of their surroundings, and the two cling to each other for support, drugs or otherwise.
Overstimulated but undersexed, Jack's angst is like a trick candle, easy to blow out momentarily but impossible to keep from resparking. Get ready for a shitstorm if you run into Jack on a day when he's broke and out of cigarettes. He finds solace from his problems hanging out with Ruby, their minds escaping together into beer cans and clouds of marihuana smoke.
Mr. Allen has painted a stone cold portrait of growing up in the middle of nowhere. No sympathy, no leniency, and no excuses. Grey lines keep the characters ambivalent. There is no clear right or wrong when life is getting by day-to-day looking for cheap forms of entertainment and waiting for something, anything to happen. So it goes in Small Town, USA....more
This is a beautifully written book. I can't quite put my finger on it, but there is something sublime going on here. It manages to remains subtle despThis is a beautifully written book. I can't quite put my finger on it, but there is something sublime going on here. It manages to remains subtle despite being truly disturbing. And while it is disturbing and even disgusting at times, this isn't a horror book. Yes, horrific things happen, but not in a way that sensationalizes the violence.
Phillip and Elizabeth are siblings who live in a giant Victorian manor where Phillip continues the work of his father, a plague doctor who is out traveling when the book begins. Their mother has been dead for years. Phillip and Elizabeth have a love-hate enabling relationship. She craves abuse from Phillip, who hates that she loves the abuse at all, and Phillip abides because he loves her and wants to protect her.
The work Phillip performs requires human subjects. Elizabeth seduces men and brings them home to drug for her brother. Phillip than experiments on the bodies using various archaic contraptions in the hope of extracting some absolute form of wisdom from the victims.
What follows is a story about the search for truth while a family tries to cope with each other and their mad sexual proclivities. The children sacrificing everything to appease a father who's egotism knows no bounds. But what happens when good children snap? How long can a son hold inside all the anger and resentment toward a father who only shows him disappointment and disapproval?
Follow the black giraffes on their bicycles into a world of arcane texts, sexual frustration, and the plague called Family we are all infected with. ...more
Amusing and sometimes hilarious poetry. I like his style but his topics feel repetitive. He's at his best when writing about kissing. His selfies areAmusing and sometimes hilarious poetry. I like his style but his topics feel repetitive. He's at his best when writing about kissing. His selfies are cute. Boost....more
I am sloth. Steve Lowe wrote a book about me. It's a book about me because who else would the "You" in the title be referring to? Steve Lowe did a fanI am sloth. Steve Lowe wrote a book about me. It's a book about me because who else would the "You" in the title be referring to? Steve Lowe did a fantastic job chronicling my transformation and subsequent revenge against The Spammer who did this to me. Before I became sloth, I was just another unhappy-go-lucky freelance editor trudging through terribly written self-help books and getting by rent payment to rent payment. Then came the day I did the unthinkable... I opened a spam e-mail and clicked on the website link! Next thing I knew, I was all three toes and furrifically fuzzed. Luckily I had a couple pals, Cross and Randy, living in my apartment building. Cross just wants to use me to get laid, and Randy's hiding something. nonetheless, together we formed the Sloth Squad to take down that Spammer and stop his nefarious scheme of turning people into animals through e-mail. Now we just got to figure out how to get him. I wish that phone would stop ringing, probably another misdialed number for that Craigslist ad from some guy looking to have man-on-man relations while exotic animals watch... Damn! I could really go for a beer or a whiskey right now. Who cares if it does terrible things to my insides?