Monthly Archives: January 2007

It’s all Randy Lander’s Fault.

Randy Lander has destroyed my dreams. 

See, two years ago he convinced me to go to the Veronica Mars panel at Comic-Con.  To be fair, my tired feet played just as big a role, but I’m not trying to be fair here.

I liked what I saw at that panel.  There was a highlight clip that made the show look very entertaining.  I put the disks in my netflix queue, where they lingered for two years off and on (this tells you a bit about my netflix habits).  Then Randy gets the first season DVD set and lets me borrow it.  See?!  I told you it was his fault!

So, I watched the first season.  An hour after I’d finished the set, I ran to Best Buy to buy the second season.  Watched that one in just over a weekend.  Yeah, I’m hooked.  I’m not proud.

But where’s the dream stuff come into play? you ask.

Right here.

Last night I had a Veronica Mars dream.  Ooh! you say.  Nate makes sexy time with Veronica and/or Mac!  Awesome! No dice.  My dream involves Veronica and her dad looking at my high school transcripts and encouraging me to be a better person.  What a rip off!  If that wasn’t bad enough, I then dreamed about going to an algebra class and trying to apply their lessons and encouragement. 

How is that Randy’s fault? you might be asking yourself.  Because I say it is.  That’s how.  And because when I started this entry, I thought it might be entertaining.  I see now I was wrong.

So I’m going to sleep tonight, Randy, and if I don’t dream about being in a bubble bath with Veronica, Mac, Lilly, and Kendall, I’m gonna punch you dead in the throat.

See ya Friday, buddy!

Read This!: Clickers

Clickers
By J.F. Gonzalez and Mark Williams

If you’re in the mood for a thrill-filled B-Movie experience, one chock full of deadly mutant animals from the sea, then Clickers is the book for you.

Clickers tells the story of Philipsport, Maine, a quiet little seaside town that goes a hundred degrees of apeshit when a swarm of prehistoric/mutant killer crab/scorpions (that we’ll call Clickers) come scuttling out of the sea to kill everything in sight.  What follows is all out war between the Clickers and the citizens of Philipsport, but nobody stops to think what the Clickers might be running from, because everything has a natural predator.

Gonzalez and Williams keep Clickers moving at a breakneck pace, and they don’t let up for a second.  The breathe life into their characters just in time for those characters to breathe their last.  Some of the characters, such as te town Sheriff, are a little more flesh out than others, but that’s not a problem.  The real stars here are the Clickers, who provide an unrelenting sense of doom throughout the novel.  This is the kind of book that makes you scared to walk around barefoot.  Maybe that doesn’t sound like praise, but trust me, it is.

Recommendation: Strong.  If you can find a copy (which might be tough), pick it up.  It makes for great escapist reading.

Communication Breakdown

Yesterday, there was a disruption in communication between my girlfriend and me.  It illustrated the difference between men and women perfectly.  It was funny, poignant, and would make you appreciate your loved ones even more than you already do.  The story could very well save the human race from impending exitinction at its own hands.

If I tell you, though, she’s going to make me live in my car.

Move along.

One Last Song up for pre-order

Good buddy Shawn Richter (Drive, A Trip to Rundberg) has a new books with CJ Hurtt available for pre-order from comic shops every where. From the book’s website…

In 2046, American media personalities must obtain an officially sanctioned “performance card” or face internment in “terror aversion camps”. Musician Amanda Casey is a rebel spreading the truth about her government’s corruption via seemingly innocent love songs. What she doesn’t know is that the government thinks her message is just the thing to keep the people under control. This is the story of a dreamer’s fight against a police state for a free society even as she herself becomes co-opted, another brand name to sell to the masses.

A four page preview of the book can be found here. The Diamond order code is FEB073275.  Just go to your local comic shop, give them this code, and tell them it’s for the book One Last Song, published by Brain Scan Comics.  Order a bunch.  Shawn’s one of the good guys.

Read This!: Wildest Dreams

Wildest Dreams
By Norman Partridge

No writer has amazed me more in the past year than Partridge, and I’m happy to report Wildest Dreams is another in a long line of good reads Norm has written.

Clay Saunders is a bad man, a killer for hire who walks in both worlds at once. To him, the realm of ghosts is just as real and important as that of the living.  His latest target is satanic cult leader Diabolos Whistler, and when he delivers the old man’s head to heir to the empire Circe he meets the ghost of a little girl, spends a night of passion with Circe, and finds her butchered the next morning… or was it really her?

Partridge isn’t a punch-puller, but he delivers his blows with a skill few others possess, delivering well-placed jabs instead of desperate haymakers.  His prose hypnotizes even as it gets your blood pumping.  Saunders is a great character, as are the others who populate this short novel.  As events spiral out of control, the story only grows tighter.  For those who like their hard boiled with a sprinkle of the supernatural, Wildest Dreams is for you.

Recommendation: Strong-to-Very Strong. Copies are still available for cover price at Clarkesworld, while used copies are already showing up with triple-digit price tags.  Grab one while you can!

Read This!: His Pain

His Pain
By Wrath James White

I shouldn’t like Wrath James White’s work.  I’m not a fan of gore, and nobody writes with more of the red stuff than Wrath.  I’ve never felt my stomach turn as sharply as when I read White’s fiction.  Strangely enough, though, Wrath has become one of my favorite writers.  His characters are some of the most vivid and engaging you’ll find on stands.  His ideas can mesmerize even as they take away any semblance of appetite you might have.  White’s writing is the literary equivalent of a bloodsport.  You know you shouldn’t watch, but it’s far too interesting to ignore.

His Pain is a new novella available from Delirium Books. It tells the story of Jason, a teenager who suffers from a rare nervous system disorder that causes him to perceive every sensation, no matter how benign or pleasant, as pain.  Not just pain, but complete agony.  When a spiritual healer teaches Jason to convert his pain into pleasure, he decides to share his experiences with the world.  This, of course, is when the fun really begins.

The bulk of His Pain is spent getting to know Jason and his well-meaning parents.  In fact, the story belongs to the parents more than it belongs their child.  White really allows us to understand the emotional turmoil of this couple who have to decide whether keeping a child who can only feel pain alive is cruel or kind.  In many ways, their lives have been ruined by their love for this child.  Will their attempts to save their child save themselves?

Much of Wrath’s signature blood and guts is absent from the first three quarters of His Pain, but when it arrives, it arrives with a horrible flourish.  It will take a very strong stomach to stand much of His Pain’s climax, but those who can soldier through will be rewarded with a gripping story.

Recommendation: Strong-to-Very Strong. Read it if you dare.  It’s worth the unsettling scenes.  Pick a copy up at Shocklines.

Read This!: The Drawing of the Three

The Drawing of the Three (The Dark Tower, Book II)
By Stephen King

Confession time.  I’d never finished reading a Stephen King book until five years ago.  When I was 24 and becoming serious about writing, I knew I had to start, so I grabbed a copy of IT and went to town.  I’d read plenty of King’s short fiction, but never made it through a novel.  That has since changed, and I’ve devoured a majority of the man’s work. Until last year, though, I’d never given the Dark Tower books a try.

While trying to remain spoiler free, I’ll say The Drawing of the Three was much more enjoyable that The Gunslinger.  Sure, The Gunslinger started it all, but it fell flat for me, while I wasn’t able to put The Drawing down.

This book tells the story of Roland, the gunslinger, wandering the desert as he gathers companions for his quest that will lead him to The Dark Tower.  These companions: junkie Eddie Dean and crippled Odetta Holmes, come from another world (which just might be ours). I don’t dare say any more for fear of spoiling you.

The story crackles through this book, and we finally get to know Roland a little bit.  Through the previous book (which is probably my least favorite King novel) the gunslinger seems to lack any real sense of life. He’s all over The Drawing, though, and he’s incredible.  As grand as he is, however, he pales in comparison to Eddie and Odetta, who are some of the best characters King has ever written.  I’ll continue reading the books to see more of their adventures, if nothing else.

There are some cons. You do need to read The Gunslinger in order to understand much of the book, and we still don’t really understand why Roland is seeking the tower. It’s probably still worth your time, though.

Recommendation: Moderate-to-Strong. 

Oh, the weather outside…

So, I’ve just called into work for the third day in a row.  The street outside is covered in ice, as is my car.  I can’t even get my car unlocked because of the inch of ice covering my doorlocks.  I hope my car will thaw later today, and I hope my fuel line hasn’t frozen up. Yay!