Don’t usually do this, but too funny not to link to: the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest Results of 2008.

A couple of personal favourites:

“Toads of glory, slugs of joy,” sang Groin the dwarf as he trotted jovially down the path before a great dragon ate him because the author knew that this story was a train wreck after he typed the first few words.

The mongrel dog began to lick her cheek voraciously with his sopping wet tongue, so wide and flat and soft, a miniature pink fleshy cape soaked through and oozing with liquid salivary gratitude; after all, she had rescued him from the clutches of Bernard, the curmudgeonly one-eyed dogcatcher, whose own tongue — she remembered vividly the tongues of all her lovers — was coarse and lethargic, like a slug in a sandpaper trenchcoat.

Timothy Hanson, Commander of the 43rd Space Regiment in the 52nd Battalion on board the USAOPAC (United Space Alliance Of Planets Attack Carrier) and second in command to Admiral L. R. Morris of the USAOP Space Command, awoke early for breakfast.

She had the kind of body that made a man want to have sex with her.

 

 

Is it wrong of me to want to read all of these stories? 😛

Demon Apocalypse

August 7, 2008

 

 

Demon Apocalypse: Book 6 of The Demonata, by Darren Shan.

 

A kid’s book, huh? Wish these’d been around when I was a kid. I mean, the very first paragraph has a human-sized demon in the shape of a scorpion poke out some hapless victim’s eyes with its stinger and lay millions of flesh-eating maggots in the bloody sockets, which then proceed to eat said victim’s brain. Kid stuff. Yum.

I’m not buying into the argument here that violent material stimulates violent activities in children. For what it’s worth, I think that’s down to parental supervision and the ability of a parent to contextualise said material for the little tykes if it’s a wee bit splattery or nasty. What I am buying into is that almost any kid would love this, which is why Darren Shan is so popular. It’s gruesome, gory fun with a cleverly engrossing overarching plot and a real sense of danger throughout the series. In Shan’s books, people make decisions and have to live with the consequences; often those decisions are bad, and so are the results. As is life.

Shan’s characters are, above all, human. They’re scared, and sometimes that doesn’t mean they do the right thing. Sometimes running away is considered the best option, as well it should when a million demons led by the luverly Lord Loss, a floating red eight-armed monster with a torn-out heart and Medusa-like serpents in the bloody hole, invade your home town and proceed to kill and eat everything in it. And when the chips are down and they do the right, noble heroic thing… it doesn’t always work. Characters you know and love may not make it through.

And that’s damn good. As has been this series, thus far. Happily, bloodthirstily awaiting the next one (Death’s Shadow) — especially if it has the return of the acid-spewing, stomach-melting giant rabbit. I dunno, kids today…  😛

Briefly, damnit…

August 5, 2008

Popping in to reassure myself I’m not dead, and am in fact drowned in other things. Promised myself I’d update this today and didn’t get to it until the deathknock. So, very briefly what has passed recently through the Reading Stomach™ and made it to the other side:

Saturn’s Children, by Charles Stross: enjoyed very much, but not quite up to his previous three sci-fi extravaganzas. The convolutions were marvellous but became a little too much towards the end. Still, slightly sub-par Stross is still an order of magnitude over most of what passes for sci-fi out there, so it’ll certainly do me ’til the next one. Oh, and loved the cover, even though it seems to have polarised half the known world: very tongue-in-cheek (or, I guess in the case of protagonist Freya Nakamichi-47 sexbot, tongue-in… er, somewhere else).

Flesh House, by Stuart MacBride: gruesome and surprisingly funny police procedural re a serial killer who likes serving up his victims as cuts of meat. First book I’ve read of his; apparently fourth in a series so it looks like I’ll need to start searching him out backwards.

Heart Sick, by Chelsea Cain: enjoyable, slightly derivative detective novel wherein the chief character is basically a female Hannibal Lecter, even down to her psychologist / psychiatry background. And incarcerated, to boot, with the occasional prison conversation. Still liked it; occasionally squirm-inducing violence (using a hammer and nails to break someone’s ribs, for example) but ultimately a bit chaotic and the string of coincidences were too long. Hard to believe that someone could’ve killed over 200 people and not even been sniffed at by the law either. Nonetheless, worth a quick read… and now that I think about it, I must’ve liked it more than this paltry review probably comes across, because I’m rather looking forward to the sequel, Sweetheart.

‘Nuff now. Will do better as soon as I have time, I promise myself. Yep. Sigh. 😦