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Bimbos of the Death Sun

(Jay Omega #1)

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3.71  ·  Rating details ·  2,348 ratings  ·  287 reviews
For one fateful weekend, the annual science fiction and fantasy convention, Rubicon, has all but taken over a usually ordinary hotel. Now the halls are alive with Trekkies, tech nerds, and fantasy gamers in their Viking finery *all of them eager to hail their hero, bestselling fantasy author Appin Dungannon: a diminutive despot whose towering ego more than compensates for ...more
Paperback, 228 pages
Published 1988 by TSR (first published 1987)
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Average rating 3.71  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,348 ratings  ·  287 reviews


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Mike (the Paladin)
Originally posted 2009 updated 2016

"These" (Jay Omega 1 &2) are presented as satire or spoof. I do realize that, I didn't miss it...really. Even though I enjoy fantasy and science fiction I do possess at least a modicum of intelligence, you know just enough for basic reasoning. So as mentioned I did get that the books are meant to be a burlesque. I am however disappointed in this/them. If you like them happily it's a free country. The writer is however (at least in my humble opin
...more
Shane
Jun 11, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I had heard that this was pretty funny and I think I have the actual book laying around here somewhere. It's set at a Con and I've been to many sci-fi/fantasy conventions, (though it's been a while since I had the entire experience of staying overnight) So I thought I would enjoy it a lot. Unfortunately it was terrible and the only reason I finished it was because it was short (5 cds) and it let me vicariously live at a Con for a week or so.

The story was REALLY dated and every time t
...more
Trin
Jul 18, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, american-lit
{I'm going to discuss both this book, and its sequel, Zombies of the Gene Pool, in one review. Fair warning. *g*}

Two fandom-set mysteries. The first takes place at a con, and with its wacky con shenanigans is generally more fun than the second, which involves a small fan reunion in Tennessee. Neither one of the mysteries is particularly mysterious (which is odd because McCrumb is nominally a mystery writer), but the books are generally amusing, quick reads. Enjoyable—if you don't think a
...more
Travis
Mar 12, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Great idea, awful book.
A murder mystery set at a science fiction convention. Brilliant!
Unfortunately, McCrumb spends so much time letting us know what sad, pathetic geeks sci-fi fans are, and how her ( or her stand in, a woman who spends the whole book in a Mrs. Peel catsuit) is so much cooler than that and has her life together etc, etc that she doesn't have any energy to make sure the mystery is actually good or makes sense.
It feels tacked on and almost an after thought to he
...more
Tanya Spackman
Jun 30, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lynn
Apr 21, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
Read in spare moments on my phone, this was a fun little book. A murder at a SF/F convention populated with role-playing characters, you'd expect this to be entertaining, but I think it was a bit mean really. I did get something out of it....I think I understand how D&D works now.
Jeffrey
Feb 05, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Pseudo science fiction mystery set at a science fiction convention that looks and sounds like Lunacon set in New York. Very funny if you are a convention goer as she skewers effectively many of the persons who do attends the convention. Very inventive, really capture some of the flavor of the conventions. Not sure if you are not a fan whether you will connect as well, and its notmuch of a mystery
David Monroe
This book is a lot of fun. A Facebook friend just reminded me about it and I'm really glad she did. This has a special place in my heart. On our second date, the woman who would become my wife (also, eventually, my ex) gave me her copy of BotDS to read. After I read it, I knew our sensibilities and interests were in synch. It was a lot harder in the pre-high speed internet days, to ferret out fellow Geeks.

BotDS is a really fun, charming and witty "Whodunit" by Sharyn McCrumb. It comb
...more
Libby
May 28, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nerds, geeks, and those who love them
A painfully funny indictment of fandom via murder mystery at a fantasy/sci-fi convention. Though the computer technology in the book is 20 years old, its incisive satire remains spot-on, if not more so, since fandom hasn't really changed, it's just gotten bigger.

Still, for all that this is an Edgar winner, it's not particularly interesting as a mystery. The killer and motive are painfully obvious, the conceit by which the killer is caught makes little sense, especially given the prot
...more
Terri
Mar 01, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, reread, 2012
I have read this novel a few times, and I just reread it this week. It's interesting to me how my perspective on this book has changed over time. When I first read it, I was well entrenched in science fiction culture, and mostly amused by the idea of some outsider stumbling onto a murder mystery at a SF con. Now, as someone who has moved past the con scene, I find myself more sympathetic to the heroine, Marion and her position.

McCrumb got a lot of fannish outrage when she wrote these books and
...more
Bill
Feb 05, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-suspense
This was a lot of fun. Sharyn McCrumb is best known for her Appalachian novels, but this little departure won her the Edgar award for best original paperpack mystery.

It also pissed off a lot of stuffy Science Fiction fans and the Trekkie ilk. It's a pretty funny murder mystery set at a weekend fantasy convention, complete with jabs towards fanzines, role-playing, geeks,
and a Harlan Ellison-esque star author. A good afternoon waster.
M.Q. Barber
May 21, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Gamers, cosplayers, filkers, con geeks born before 1980; folks who can laugh at themselves
This well-crafted comedy is both hilarious and forgettable. It's not the sort of story that gives you a soul-deep connection with the characters, and the references are incredibly dated for younger readers (if you don't know what a floppy disk is, or why a computer would need one, or that they come in different sizes, you're probably too young to appreciate the humor), but I zipped through this book in a single afternoon and laughed my ass off.

Our hero, an engineering professor, has
...more
Sarah Sammis
Jun 07, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: released
Parody is hard to write and yet lots of people try their hands at it. Bimbos of the Death Sun purports to be a murder-mystery parody of a sci-fi/fantasy convention. All the stereotypes are there: the obese and desperate women, the pimply geeky fan-boys who forget to eat, the gamers who can't face reality and of course the obnoxious author who is appalling and yet loved by all. In a word: boring!

At the heart of the story is the newly published engineering professor who is too embarrassed
...more
K. O'Bibliophile
Jul 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, humorous
80's sci-fi/fantasy con murder mystery.

Yes, you read that right. But the awesomeness of this book isn't from the murder--that doesn't even occur until halfway through. Instead, it's the look at the state of fandom in the 1980s.

The story follows engineering professor and sci-fi author Jay Omega, author of the well-written but unfortunately-titled "Bimbos of the Death Sun." If you're in any sort of "fandom" now, you'll recognize with glee a lot of the things that Omega is s
...more
Violinknitter
Mar 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okay, this deserves an explanation. The Incomparable podcast did an episode on Harlan Ellison. So, of course, I don’t go & read Harlan Ellison stories. Instead, I pick up this other book they mentioned... a novel where a Harlan-Ellison-stand-in gets murdered at a con for being such an obnoxious bleepity-bleep. Apparently inspired by a specific con where Ellison was a bleepity-bleep.

The book was pretty much exactly what I expected: cotton-candy portrayal of con culture from several decades a
...more
Kristin
May 13, 2012 rated it liked it
A light, fun, and entertaining murder mystery set at a fantasy convention that melded both genres quite nicely. Definitely not a "serious" read. Having been to scifi conventions, I could totally picture the setting and the cast of characters. If you haven't had the experience of a scifi or fantasy convention, it's pretty much like the book. The tongue in cheek references, character portrayals, activities, hucksters room were pretty spot on. Now this was written when computers were just starting ...more
David
Apr 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who's ever attended a fan convention
This is a murder mystery that takes place at a sci-fi con, but it's really a skewering of fan culture, as sharp and hilarious and spot-on as William Shatner's famous "Get a life!" SNL skit. If you've never been to a con and haven't met the sort of characters who populate this novel, you'll probably find it silly and possibly unbelievable, but if you have been to cons, then you'll recognize these people. This is a rather old book, but things haven't really changed much in the past twenty-odd years.
Lindig
May 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
Thoroughly enjoyed it but only because I got most of the in-jokes. The mystery is only so-so but the pro/fan/con descriptions were very funny (1980s so you have to have a little age on you). The totally obnoxious GOH is recognizable immediately (and she confirmed his identity to me at a reading where I introduced her). The sequel, Zombies of the Gene Pool, is forgettable.

This book merits a place in my Permanent Library only because McCrumb did a nice inscription to me.
Aaron
Sep 27, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels, library
Whew. This is kind of a hard one to write about. The title is a deliberately cheesy/terrible one, reminiscent of so many really terrible sci-fi and fantasy novels released through the last century and more. Which doesn't make it less awkward to try to explain to people why you're reading it.

And it's still kind of a cheesy book. The main character is named Jay Omega and as names go "Omega" is kind of hard to take for a movie grounded in reality. Beyond that though, the book is a weird kind of un
...more
Pamela
This certainly wins for "funniest title" of any book I've read this year. Actually, I can't even say the title inside my head without giggling out loud, which makes me seem rather mad (but, as you all know, we are all mad here). We have a shelf-talker program at my library where staff members pick out favorites and place a special bookmark in them and voila! Instant display!

My friend Shannon is a geek/nerd like me. However, she also has vastly more con experience and life experience
...more
Mkittysamom
This was funny that a Guy writes a book about Science Fiction and his “press” is that they put a nearly naked woman on the cover although it’s got a lot of feminist in it. Plus the the bumbling yet smart engineer professor is at his very first con, plays D & D to out the murderer and is quite content in a relationship with a English professor who loves science fiction but can’t stand how it represents women. It was cool but ok.
Tori
Jul 13, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-books
This was better than I thought it would be and not as bad as I had hoped.
Angelia Sparrow
Oct 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
It doesn't hold up 30 years later. It's a slice of time, neatly preserved, but fan activity has changed. Although I personally know two examples (if not more) of every character in the book.
Sara
Aug 25, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sara by: Heather
Shelves: adult-fiction, 2013
Jay Omega is an engineering professor turned author whose heavy-on-the-science novel, Bimbos of the Death Sun, gets him a guest author position at a sci-fi convention. No one seems to know who Omega is, and no one's read his book, but everyone is there to see Appin Dungannon, legendary author of a science fiction series who hates his die-hard fans, which only makes them love him more. Partway through the convention, Dungannon ends up murdered and an investigation ensues while trying to keep the conv ...more
Carly
Mar 09, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, humor, scifi
**edited 01/27/14

I picked this up because I fell in love with the title--"Bimbos of the Death Sun" is just so very, very perfect. I've read one of McCrumb's Appalachian books, and thought that she would treat her subject, the world of science fiction and fantasy conventions, with respect and humanity.
I was so very, very wrong. The book is somewhat cute and definitely funny, but it is also very cruel.

I've never been to a "con"(convention), so I can't actually attest to the accu
...more
Angela
For one fateful weekend, the annual science fiction and fantasy convention, Rubicon, has all but taken over a usually ordinary hotel. Now the halls are alive with Trekkies, tech nerds, and fantasy gamers in their Viking finery -- all of them eager to hail their hero, bestselling fantasy author Appin Dungannon: a diminutive despot whose towering ego more than compensates for his 5' 1" height . . . and whose gleeful disdain for his fawning fans is legendary.

Hurling insults and furnitur
...more
Barb
Dec 24, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: a-fict, series
Pretty silly but still fun look at Sci-fi convention and murder.



"For one fateful weekend, the annual science fiction and fantasy convention, Rubicon, has all but taken over a usually ordinary hotel. Now the halls are alive with Trekkies, tech nerds, and fantasy gamers in their Viking finery--all of them eager to hail their hero, bestselling fantasy author Appin Dungannon: a diminutive despot whose towering ego more than compensates for his 5' 1" height . . . and whose gle
...more
Jeane
Aug 02, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was okay, I mean it's not like it was ever supposed to be taken as a serious book anyway, just a kind-of-fun-read for between my homework assignments (one of my professors actually loaned it to me!). I liked the Scifi/Fantasy convention aspect which was the setting of the book because I LOVE conventions like that, and I loved all the geek talk but this book was from the 80s so some of it was very old school (not a negative aspect of the book, just an observation). I really liked the sa ...more
jennifer
Aug 17, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dr. Jay Omega is an engineering professor who wrote a hard sci-fi novel that explains some of his theories. His publisher re-titled the book as Bimbos of the Death sun, slapped a lurid cover on, and now Omega finds he and his girlfriend at a fantasycon for the weekend where he's expected to give a lecture, judge some horrible fanfiction. lead a D&D game, sell some books and help the police with a murder investigation.

I've never read fantasy, unless you count Harry Potter, and I d
...more
Msjodi777
Feb 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
Not exactly sure what I expected from this book, but I must admit, it wasn't what I got. I thought this would be a good sci-fi book, instead it is a murder mystery which takes place at a science-fiction/fantasy convention. I said it was a murder mystery, and it is, but it is also laugh out loud funny. Within the first 5 minutes, someone reads a button that says: "Reality is a crutch for those who can't handle science fiction." I laughed so hard I had to back the book up so I could hear what came ...more
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    Sharyn McCrumb, an award-winning Southern writer, is best known for her Appalachian “Ballad” novels, including the New York Times best sellers The Ballad of Tom Dooley, The Ballad of Frankie Silver, and The Songcatcher. Ghost Riders, which won the Wilma Dykeman Award for Literature from the East Tennessee Historical Society and the national Audie Award for Best Recorded Books. The Unquiet Gra
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Other books in the series

Jay Omega (2 books)
  • Zombies of the Gene Pool (Jay Omega, #2)
“Romulan or Vulcan?' the ushers asked each guest.

Marion, who had been poised to say 'friends of the bride' had responded to the question with an open-mouthed stare, and Jay Omega answered, 'Klingon!" which got them seats in the back row of the Romulan side.”
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“It couldn't be the beer. Donnie McRory was certain of that. If you sent American beer out to be analyzed, the lab would probably phone up and say, 'Your horse has diabetes.” 11 likes
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