• So I hear you’re bored.

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Monster by A. Lee Martinez

Mon-STAHR. It’s french (not really)

So, here’s the deal:  Imma review a book for you all here really fast, so I can get on off to the Netflicks to watch a movie.  See, Elrood is on sabbatical in Connecticut, where he is quite obviously doing nothing more than sitting around drinking tea with a bunch of high rolling trust fund babies and talking about the good old days, when hiring poor people meant you could force them to work 15 hour shifts.  This also means it is DOUBLE TOPHAT POST WEEK.  Here, for reference, is where you can start visualizing the confetti rain.

Anyway, the book I’m reviewing today is Monster, by A. Lee Martinez.  Usually I have a fun and witty tale about how I have acquired my books, but not this time around!  I have no idea.  None.  It’s just here.  In my apartment.  With pages.

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The Truth by Terry Pratchett

It’s a book!

Oh yes, I know.  Another Discworld book?  Like this series needs more praise.  Well, we’re just going to roll with this one today because A) I have nothing else to review, B) I finished this book like a few hours ago, and C) this book is about newspapers so I feel like I should comment.  So here’s what we’re going to do.  You’re going to sit back, all quiet like, and I’ll go over the plot of the book, which involves a man with words, a vampire photographer, and a pair of ruthless –ing thugs who are up to their necks in some good old Ankh-Morpork plots and schemes to remove the enigmatic patrician from office.  Also:  Dogs.

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Trilisk Ruins

My new-found interest in Kindle-based sci-fi novels is leading me to tackle books I never thought I’d touch. A friend of mine had a mom who was obsessed with science fiction novels when we were kids. They had this really neat library balcony type thing and it was full of dime store novels in which the captain always looses his shirt in fights and runs off with the alien girl. At the time I thought it was all cheesy to the extreme. I held a similar view of tv shows in the genre until my brother got me started on Stargate: Atlantis. It turns out I’m willing to tolerate a bit of cheese if the science is sufficiently intriguing and the characters are fascinating. The question is, does The Trilisk Ruins by Michael McCloskey meet my now lowered standards? Continue reading

Simon of Space: Ford Prefect as a robot butler

When it comes to gallivanting through space there’s just nothing like a good robe. Sure it may seem a bit silly in certain public realms, but what planet doesn’t appreciate a man in a perfectly comfortable terry cloth with a nice long belt for dipping in the porcelain at every way station? Simon of Space is a particularly Dentian character in several aspects, but his story is all his own and it’s one in which I found myself fully engrossed.

The plot begins simple enough. Simon is a soaps-level amnesia patient directly tackling the age-old question, if you’re completely disassembled at the atomic level, shot across the galaxy, and reassembled from different atoms entirely, are you the same person? Author Chester Burton “Cheeseburger” Brown skirts the main issue of the question, whether or not humans have a soul and exactly what constitutes said soul, for the more readily observable problem of the conscience. Is a person still the same person when the majority of his consciousness has been wiped clean? From there the plot takes a great number of twists and turns, but the essential question remains at the forefront in one form or another. Continue reading

Felix and the Frontier: Space without the Spiff

Hello. My name is Enosh and I bought a smartphone. Hi Enosh. I got a great deal on a refurbished unit so at least I can sleep at night knowing I didn’t pay full retail for a device I’m not entirely convinced I need. To be completely honest I got it mostly so I could browse Reddit while on the john. I recently learned that because my wife owns a Kindle I can put the Kindle app on my phone and read books for free on the John too. As you may have guessed I am a bibliophile and as such the thought of digital books cuts me to the core. Always when I move to a new town my first order of business is to locate the library. Nothing beats a building full of the smells of a thousand decaying trees desecrated with the tales of a million worlds. Still, the library is in a part of town I rarely find time to visit and its hours are less than ideal. Plus they seemed to be more interested in stocking DVDs and computer labs than books these days. So here I am gobbling up Kindle books like caviar at the Kremlin. Most recently I finished a novella written by a man called Cheeseburger Brown entitled Felix and the Frontier. Continue reading

11/22/1963 by Stephen King

What if you could go back?  I think we all ask ourselves this question.  Probably why time travel is such an interesting idea.  I love time travel, be it movies (Primer anybody?) or in this case, books.  When an author of Stephen King’s caliber decides to tackle the subject, I was quite confident it would be a good read.  King did not let us readers down here.  11/22/1963 is the date John F. Kennedy was murdered in Dallas, so the plot should be pretty obvious.  What King does so well, and what makes the story so interesting, is that this is not just a story about time traveling in an attempt to save Kennedy.  It’s not that easy.  The mechanics of going to the past are unique.  It becomes a tale about humanity, cause and effect, love, evil, and how the universe itself works.  It’s most certainly a tall order, hence the book being over 800 pages long.   King makes every one of them count.

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Snuff: By Terry Pratchett

If you’ve spent any amount of time in Terry Pratchett’s DiscWorld, you’ll notice certain names that seem to crop up here and there, characters from stories long past who have faced the trials and tribulations thrown at them by the city of Ankh-Morpork.  At this point, I’m pretty sure Sam Vimes, Commander of the Watch has seen the most distance out of any other character.  Don’t get me wrong, the only two other books I’ve read that featured Vimes as the main character were Thud! and Night Watch (Both of which I recommend.  The events of Thud! are actually referenced in Snuff, which helps shed some light into the darkness, literally.  As for Night Watch, well that book is all kinds of awesome) but through the narrative I’m lead to believe that over the past bajillion years of DiscWorld novels, we’ve seen Sam Vimes move up in the world from a lowly copper all the way to Commander of the Watch, Lord Vimes, the Duke of Ankh, and Blackboard Monitor of the Low King of the Dwarves.

Sam has had numerous adventures in pursuit of the law, but the plot of Snuff is based around Vimes doing something wholly unnatural.  Vimes is taking a vacation.

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Zombocalypse Now: Choose your own demise

Zombocalypse Now coverHoly crap it’s a book review. Haven’t done one of these in a while. I’ve been reading but I decided the books weren’t sufficiently nerdy enough to warrant your attention. Stuff like Rising Tide by John Barry a la A lil birdie on the XKCD blag. That is until I had to fly to Boston for a friend of my in-law’s wedding. (Read: free booze and lobster) My enjoyment of air travel has been on a steady decline since my first experience on a 747 in the early 90’s. There are a number of factors that play into this, my increasing length and girth, the push for smaller planes, the loss of amenities, and for the first time I became annoyed with the TSA line. To be fair, the TSA folks were as kind and courteous as could be, it was just an unnecessarily long line. Turns out the Nashville airport only has one entrance I guess. Still, it’s an airport that far exceeds La Guardia. I felt like I had some how slipped back into the 80’s while I was stuck there for two hours, and not in the bright clothes and awful music way that seems to be hip these days. It was more of the get-stabbed-in-Times-Square kind of 80’s. The one from Big.

The point is, the one thing I can do is read. I’d completely forgotten I had scored a free Kindle edition of Zombocalypse Now through twitter in early September so when my wife fell asleep I got my chance. I always loved the concept of the choose your own adventure book as a kid but I rarely got my hands on one and if I did they were usually bad spy stories or something. Fortunately this is a zombie story. Zombies have to be about the best subject for a choose your own adventure book. I mean honestly, who hasn’t watched a zombie movie and thought, No, I’d do it this way or that way? Well with Matt Youngmark’s book you can do just that. Except this isn’t your run of the mill zombie story. Continue reading

Black Blade Blues by J.A. Pitts

I was a little apprehensive about reading Black Blade Blues after I took it home from Borders, mainly because I knew absolutely nothing about it.  Of the three books I picked up that day, Black Blade Blues was the only one I didn’t even bother to read the back cover of.  I pulled it off the shelf at random and took it to the check out counter as a last, futile attempt to honor the dying chain bookstore.

I put off reading Black Blade Blues until last just to give my brain some time to open up to whatever this overly sexy, white haired blacksmith girl story had in store for me.  What I ended up with was a heaping helping of relationship drama, some confusing plot twists and some dragons, all of whom are total dicks.

On the upside, it also introduced Sarah Beauhall, who is probably one of the most well thought out female leads I’ve seen in a fiction book in quite some time.

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Dog on it by Spencer Quinn

Never thought I’d see the day, but it looks like it’s finally happened.  I’m officially reading more than playing video games.  God help me.  This hasn’t happened since, what?  Middle School?  Whenever it was that I stumbled across that Deathgate Cycle thing, at least.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t read.  It’s just that my time spent reading has always been rather dwarfed by my time spent gaming.  Because I am a huge nerd.

During a recent trip to say goodbye to Borders, I picked up three new books and have been steadily working my way through them all, as well as Slaughterhouse Five, which my brother mailed to me because it was a travesty that I had not previously read it.  But hey, Slaughterhouse Five is one of those…  Great Classics everyone keeps going on about.  If you don’t know that you’re supposed to read it, odds are you don’t like reading at all.  So instead we’re going to focus on Dog On It, written by Spencer Quinn and featuring two down-on-their-luck detectives…  though one of them is more optimistic as long as the steak and rawhide keep coming.

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