Category Archives: Spoof

The Sexphiles: Haunting Melody by Kimberly Zant

I still know next to nothing about Kimberly Zant… if anyone knows anything about her, I’d appreciate some feedback.  I like to know at least a little about the authors I read.

I frankly don’t know where I picked this eBook up at, possibly part of a collection or maybe from Amazon, Barnes & Noble or possibly years ago from Fictionwise.  I never got around to reading it until this week.

The story is an obvious erotic spoof of The X-Files with the main characters working for either the FBI (Florida Bureau of Investigations) or the PIA (Private Investigators Association), Dianne Skelley and Sly Mullien as they investigate strange cases.  In this case, they first meet and investigate and are assigned a case to investigate a old plantation style house that appears to be haunted.  The ghost rapes Dianne while she’s showering at the house the first night they stay to investigate…although frankly, she more enjoys it that is actually physically or emotionally injured.  Roles are reversed and Sly is the skeptic and Dianne is the one more inclined to believe. They are joined early on by Dianne’s identical sister, Dee who is an paranormal investigator.  Soon, Dee is also raped by the the ghost, although she is more “injured” by the ghost, although only emotionally as she was having an orgasm when she realizes it’s a ghost rather than Sly.

The story is really more of a short story than a novel at only around 125 pages and while Kimberly writes very well and has some of the most approachable, if unrealistic, sex scenes of any modern erotica, what she does lack is convincing closure in her stories.  Admittedly, this appears to be an intended recurring series of stories, the ending was, much like others I’ve read of hers, ends rather abruptly.  Never the less, it’s an enjoyable romp, if short.

If you enjoy this, try:

  • Surrender and dozens of others.

 

Equal Rites – Terry Pratchett

Terry Pratchett is one if not my favorite author of all time. His books are witty, intelligent, funny yet with serious undertones, pure fantasy….yet, very much grounding in reality.  He can turn phrase that is at once hilarious but poignant at the same time.  This is the third (or second if you count The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic as one book) of collection of books (at the time of this writing number around 40 books and comics) based on a fictional world known only as the Discworld.  The Discworld is a flat micro-planet which rests on the back of four massive elephants which stand on the great world turtle, A’Tuin (whose sex is unknown…but that’s another story).

Pratchett was born in 1948 in Buckinghamshire, England.  Growing up, he wanted to be an astronomer and collected Brooke Bond Tea cards on astronomy. This eventually led him to space-based science fiction.  At 13, he published his first story in the school magazine which was later published commercially at age 15.  At age 17, he began his first job in writing working for the Bucks Free Press writing, among other things, children’s stories published under the name Uncle Jim.  One of these stories eventually led to the characterizations in his story, The Carpet People (not a Discworld novel).

In the 1980’s, Pratchett became the press writer for the Central Electricity Generating Board covering the nuclear power stations all the while writing his first Discworld novel The Colour of Magic which was published in 1983 and gave up working for the Central Electricity Generating Board in 1987 shortly after his fourth Discworld novel was published Mort.

He has been extremely proficient writing not only the many Discworld novels, which in itself contain several childrens or young adult stories, several children/young adult books not related to Discworld and several other fiction and non-fiction books.

In 2007, Pratchett was misdiagnosed as having had a stroke.  It was later discovered that he has a very rare form of early onset Alzheimer’s disease, posterior cortical atrophy in which parts of the back of his brain began to shrink.  While his speech and motor skills have been affected, his cognitive abilities have not been impacted and he continues to write by dictation to his wife.

Having given so much joy to many lives including mine, I continue to wish him well.

Equal Rites, being the third (or second) novel in the Discworld stories and being an early work unfortunately show.  Don’t get me wrong, Pratchett’s wit and shear joy are present; however, the characters are slightly different than they are in the later stories.

The story begins by the death of a wizard who, upon passing, transfers his powers to the newborn child of a rural blacksmith. The wizard made a mistake though, he had thought the child was a boy…it was a girl!  On the Discworld, girls become Witches, boys become Wizards…girls do NOT become Wizards, it just doesn’t happen.

Granny Weatherwax, the local Witch, realizes that there’s not much she can do to help this young female Wizard, Esk.  Granny knows what she must do….well, she always knows, even when she doesn’t, that’s part of being a Witch, and takes Esk on a long journey to the seat of all wizardry on the Discworld, Ank-Morpork and the Wizards at Unseen University.

This story is a great introduction into what a Wizard is and what a Witch is in the world of Discworld and what it means to be one or the other.  In this story, Equal Rites is both an allusion to Women’s rights  and to the commonality of rites between the Wizard and Witches on Discworld.

If you enjoy this story, by all means read the rest of the Discworld novels, too many to list individually here.  I will likely review them over time.

 

 

Red Dwarf: Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers – Grant/Naylor

Grant Naylor is the collective writing name of Rob Grant and Doug Naylor.  They gained quite a bit of notoriety for writing the hilarious long running BBC SCI-FI/comedy series  Red Dwarf.  This collaboration, unfortunately ended in the 1990s, when Rob Grant left due to the age old euphemism “creative differences”, although the series continue(s) on through series VII, VIII, IX and X.

The Red Dwarf series had it’s ups and downs, sometimes side split-tingly hilarious and sometimes just OK with series X airing in 2012 with a much aged cast, but closer to how some of the previous seasons were.

Grant Naylor wrote several Red Dwarf novels that, in some ways, were better written and “acted” than the actual series since some things just could not be done on the meager budget and technologies available.

This is the first of the novels and is very, very funny and an excellent way to get to know the series.  It takes elements of much of the first few series and combines them into a novel that is one part SCI-FI, one part comedic masterpiece and all parts entertaining.

If you’ve never seen the series is about one human, Dave Lister, who due to an infraction on board the Jupiter Mining Corporation ship Red Dwarf is put into suspended animation as punishment. During his hibernation, the ship had a radiation leak and all of people on board died.  Holly, the ship’s intelligent computer, sped the ship into the deep outer space for millions of years to prevent others from dying from the radiation and finally woke Dave after the radiation levels were acceptable.  Sounds funny?  Well, oddly it is….Dave’s infraction was bringing aboard a cat, named Frankenstein, which escaped into the holds and survived the radiation and somehow bred and over the millions of years evolved into a humanoid race which has many cat tendencies…they all left except for the dying and the “terminally stupid”.  This leaves Dave with a companion, aptly named “Cat”.  Holly, who has pretty much gone insane over the millions of years, creates a hologram of Dave’s cabin mate, Arnold Rimmer, an officious but completely inept career Space Corp member who’s main job before death was as a food dispenser cleaner and who now is supposed to keep Dave sane.  Finally, a “nanny” type android that was near the end of the first season named Kryten who cooks, cleans, etc…

These are their bizarre, hilarious adventures, hurtling though space in a ship piloted by an mixed up computer, manned by a lager, curry, and chili sauce consuming Human, a creature evolved from his pet cat, a hologram of the Humans long dead roommate and a vaguely human shaped android.

If you enjoy this, read:

  • Better than Life
  • Backward
  • Last Human

Towing Jehovah – James Morrow

James Morrow is a self proclaimed scientific humanist. His most famous series of novels is referred to as the Godhead Trilogy and are religious satire with elements of apocalypse.  The Godhead Trilogy (i.e. Towing Jehovah, Blameless in Abaddon and The Eternal Footman) are epic tales about God’s suicide and the aftermath, men coming to grips in a world without God and yet finally knowing that he did exist.  Religion and the religiously obsessed tend to be recurring themes in many of his stories and while many treat his novels as athiest (he considers himself to be one, I think this is too simplistic.  Blameless in Abadon, for example, is about a man who has suffered more than anyone should ever have to and taking God to task for his suffering. And while irreverant, whether the story is an affirmation of religion or of anti-religion is in the eye and mind of the reader.

In Towing Jehovah, the first in the Godhead Trilogy, the massive body of God is found floating in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.  The Vatican secretly hires a supertanker to tow the body to a tomb being carved out of ice in the Artic.  Along the way, any number of challenges along the route including a group of atheists discovering the body and attempting to destroy it to prevent everyone from knowing that, while now dead, God did exist which now proves they were wrong all along.  The supertanker’s captain, Van Horne, struggles with guilt over damage caused to the ecology (think Exxon Valdez) as well as the usual that everyone struggles with (girlfriend and father), but hopes for redemption in his devine task.  Even worse are crew mutinys and the results of the devine corpose decomposing in ways never expected.

The novel is equal parts religious satire, and naval adventure drama.  The story is funny, scary, and critical of every faction you can imagine (feminists, athieists, organized religion, you name it).  Noone is off limits and everyone is lampooned in action and statement, yet, underneath there is a overwhelming question…”Can we, whether we say we believe in God or not, survive without Him?”

If you enjoy this, read:

  • Blameless in Abaddon
  • The Eternal Footman

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams

An English writer, humorist and writer of many BBC radio and television pieces, Douglas Adams was head and shoulders above the rest not only in his body of work, but, his shear height (i.e. 6′ 5″).

This book, written after the comedic radio sci-fi piece he wrote for BBC Radio in 1978.  The book is actually rather small at about 180 pages or so and reads very quickly; however, it is jam packed with humor, action, Earth destruction, stolen space ships, space chases, etc…

Arthur Dent is an “every man” who wakes up to find that his house is scheduled for demolition to make way for a freeway bypass.  His friend, Ford Prefect, convinces him to the local pub for several pints of beer where he explains that he’s not from Earth after all but an alien who is desperately trying to get off Earth because it’s scheduled to be demolished….today.  “It must be a Thursday,  I never could get the hang of Thursdays.”.

Arthur and Ford escaping from one frying pan and into another, and into another.  Along the way they meet “Trillian”,  a beautiful fellow Earthling that Arthur once completely failed to hit it off with at a party years earlier and Zaphod Beeblebrox, self-kidnapped, President of the Galaxy who picked Trillian up on a visit to Earth years earlier and who stole the one-of-a-kind space ship the “Heart of Gold”.  They travel the galaxy, time, and still have time for dinner at the Restaurant at the End of the Universe (well, that’s a different story).

Completely irreverent, caring little for any of the sacred cows of the  sci-fi genre that will have you rolling with laughter and amazed that the book is so short.

Highly recommended, this is by far the funniest of the series and has the heaviest sprinkling of footnotes of the books as well (but not to distraction).

If you enjoy this, read:

  • Restaurant at the End of the Universe
  • Life, the Universe and Everything
  • So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish
  • Mostly Harmless
  • And Another Thing… (written by Eoin Colfer)

The Eyre Affair – Jasper Fforde

Beginning his career in the British film industry on such films as Quills, GoldenEye, The Mask of Zorro, The Saint and Entrapment as the first assistant camera who’s primary responsibility as a member of the film crew is to maintain image sharpness on the filmed subject.  His first novel, the one being reviewed here, is the first to be published.

The Eyre Affair follows the exploits of Thursday Next a member of the SpecOps (Special Operations) 27 (i.e. Literary Crime) division of the police department.  Thursday assists in the capture of her former professor and known terrorist, Acheron Hades.  Acheron evades capture by use of his superhuman abilities allowing him to withstand gunfire and in the process kills Thursday’s entire team.  Thursday would have been dead as well if it weren’t for a copy of Jane Eyre which stopped a bullet.  A stranger helps her while waiting for the paramedics leaving behind a monogrammed handkerchief embroidered with the initials E. F. R. and a 19th century jacket.

Thus begins a fast, action-packed, hilarious adventure spanning the alternate reality in which Thursday lives to the literary world of Jayne Eyre. The story is rife with puns, literary references both commonly known and obscure (or sometimes just forgotten).  The story is a genre-bending mix of Sci-Fi, Super-hero, Procedural, Mystery, Romance, and just about any other type of story imaginable and completely engrossing.

Note: The series is described as actually two series, the first story essentially wrapped up with Something Rotten and the second on-going series beginning with First Among Sequels.

If you enjoy this, try the rest of the ongoing series:

  • Lost in a Good Book
  • The Well of Lost Plots
  • Something Rotten
  • First Among Sequels
  • One of Our Thursday’s is Missing
  • The Woman Who Died a Lot

 

Torpedo Juice – Tim Dorsey

Born in Indiana and moved to Florida at an early age, he grew up in a town near West Palm Beach.  After a moving to Montgomery, Alabama he served as a police reporter for a local paper.  He then moved back to Florida, this time to Tampa where he got a job as a reporter at the Tampa Tribune.  He quit in 1999 to become a full-time writer.

The primary character in his 18 or so novels is a brilliant deranged psychopathic, schizophrenic, homicidal character who frequently kills in villains and often in very unusual and inventive ways.

In Torpedo Juice, Storm is heading to the Florida Keys where he wants to re-invent himself as the new “Jimmy Buffett”, despite the fact he has absolutely no musical talent.  However, he’s not the only serial killer heading to the keys and they all seem to converge at the No Name Pub.

The story in inventive, funny and creepy all at the same time.  Storm’s inventive use of an MRI in reeking justice on a petty criminal is priceless, forcing him to swallow bullets then putting him into an MRI so the bullets appear to have shot from within.

If you enjoy this, try any of his other books:

  • Florida Roadkill
  • Hammerhead Ranch Hotel
  • Orange Crush
  • Triggerfish Twist
  • The Stingray Shuffle
  • Cadillac Beach
  • The Big Bamboo
  • Hurricane Punch
  • Atomic Lobster
  • Nuclear Jellyfish
  • etc…