Squee’s Wonderful Big Giant Book of Unspeakable Horrors (Squee!) by Jhonen Vásquez

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Image courtesy of goodreads.com

My God! My brain my brain. My poor abused brain. I feel like I should have a few hours of cat pictures after reading this book. I don’t think this is my brand of humor which I normally go for. Mine is more along the line of, “Blacks Books,”  This is more Ren and Stimpy? I am having a problem finding something to compare this book too. Very dark satire. It also might be that I need to be in a proper frame of mind to read this, and I wasn’t. It was terrible and abusive and I kept thinking, “that poor kid needs a hug that is not going to turn into molestation or aliens sticking something up his butt.” I feel like such a mom. le sigh.

It is horrific, but not in a horror movie sort of way. More like, “I can’t believe I am reading this. That poor kid. No wonder he neurotic. I would be neurotic too if I had aliens chasing me to do anal probes and giant dust mites waking me up in my sleep.” All the while nightmares

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The creature known by many names. Son of Satan or El Diablo. Pepito.  

that do unspeakable things to my brain. Seriously the dust mites are nightmare fuel. We are just skin husks that provide them with food. Without them, we would be swimming in our own dead skin cells. It is really funny if you can get past the horrible abusive parents and all the terrible shit that he has to go through. Before I get hate mail, I get it. I get it. It is satire and very dark humor. I can absolutely appreciate something for what it is; and that it is a stellar example of that type of graphic novel while at the same time not wanting to come near this again with a ten-foot pole.

 

For me the highlight of this book was Pepito. I could get a print of the strip of Pepito being introduced to his class and melting the other kids in the class with his mind when they were jerks. Kinda cathartic I think. I too have wanted to melt classmates in middle school and elementary.

“Stand back amigo, this is a job for the ANTICHRIST!”

to Squee before bringing doom upon his bullying classmates

This does bring up Johnny The Homicidal Maniac that is, as far as I can see, the same brand of humor. Still, it looks really funny. I might give it a go, just because of quotes like this.

 

  • Johnny “Is this milk still good?!!”
  • The victim “Huh?! *sip* Uh…yeah.”
  • Johnny “THIS LETTUCE! HOW CRISP IS IT? HOW CRISP GODDAMMIT?!
  • The victim “It’s Fine!”
  • Johnny “THESE FUDGE-POPS! FREEZER BURN?! FREEZER BURN?!”
  • The Victim “umm..”
  • Johnny “EAT THE FUCKIN’ WEENIE!!!”
  • The Victim “mmph… It tastes okay.”
  • Johnny “Whew! Thanks. I haven’t cleaned my fridge out in awhile, and well… You know.

hahahahaha.

List NPR Science Fiction and Fantasy

As you know dear readers, I am a sucker for a list. Booklist is even better. The cherry on top, the creme de la creme of all lists for me is a Science Fiction and Fantasy book list. When I find these little education jewels, I want to share them with like-minded folk. I came across this one the other day while on Pat Rothfus’s Blog. I peruse it often. He is a great writer and has interesting articles on there. Plus his philanthropic work every year is a thing of beauty. He does a lot of good for a lot of people. Not bad. Only 21 to go. I absolutely refuse to read The Road because I don’t think I can handle the imagery. I don’t want to stain my brain that way. Completion for me will be 99 books. What is it like for you?

The List is from here:

1. The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, by J.R.R. Tolkien

2. The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, by Douglas Adams

3. Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card

4. The Dune Chronicles, by Frank Herbert

5. A Song Of Ice And Fire Series, by George R. R. Martin

6. 1984, by George Orwell

7. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury

8. The Foundation Trilogy, by Isaac Asimov

9. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley

10. American Gods, by Neil Gaiman

11. The Princess Bride, by William Goldman

12. The Wheel Of Time Series, by Robert Jordan

13. Animal Farm, by George Orwell

14. Neuromancer, by William Gibson

15. Watchmen, by Alan Moore

16. I, Robot, by Isaac Asimov

17. Stranger In A Strange Land, by Robert Heinlein

18. The Kingkiller Chronicles, by Patrick Rothfuss

19. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut

20. Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley

21. Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, by Philip K. Dick

22. The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood

23. The Dark Tower Series, by Stephen King

24. 2001: A Space Odyssey, by Arthur C. Clarke

25. The Stand, by Stephen King

26. Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson

27. The Martian Chronicles, by Ray Bradbury

28. Cat’s Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut

29. The Sandman Series, by Neil Gaiman

30. A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess

31. Starship Troopers, by Robert Heinlein

32. Watership Down, by Richard Adams

33. Dragonflight, by Anne McCaffrey

34. The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, by Robert Heinlein

35. A Canticle For Leibowitz, by Walter M. Miller

36. The Time Machine, by H.G. Wells

37. 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, by Jules Verne

38. Flowers For Algernon, by Daniel Keys

39. The War Of The Worlds, by H.G. Wells

40. The Chronicles Of Amber, by Roger Zelazny

41. The Belgariad, by David Eddings

42. The Mists Of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley

43. The Mistborn Series, by Brandon Sanderson

44. Ringworld, by Larry Niven

45. The Left Hand Of Darkness, by Ursula K. LeGuin

46. The Silmarillion, by J.R.R. Tolkien

47. The Once And Future King, by T.H. White

48. Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman

49. Childhood’s End, by Arthur C. Clarke

50. Contact, by Carl Sagan

51. The Hyperion Cantos, by Dan Simmons

52. Stardust, by Neil Gaiman

53. Cryptonomicon, by Neal Stephenson

54. World War Z, by Max Brooks

55. The Last Unicorn, by Peter S. Beagle

56. The Forever War, by Joe Haldeman

57. Small Gods, by Terry Pratchett

58. The Chronicles Of Thomas Covenant, The Unbeliever, by Stephen R. Donaldson

59. The Vorkosigan Saga, by Lois McMaster Bujold

60. Going Postal, by Terry Pratchett

61. The Mote In God’s Eye, by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle

62. The Sword Of Truth, by Terry Goodkind

63. The Road, by Cormac McCarthy

64. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, by Susanna Clarke

65. I Am Legend, by Richard Matheson

66. The Riftwar Saga, by Raymond E. Feist

67. The Shannara Trilogy, by Terry Brooks

68. The Conan The Barbarian Series, by R.E. Howard

69. The Farseer Trilogy, by Robin Hobb

70. The Time Traveler’s Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger

71. The Way Of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson

72. A Journey To The Center Of The Earth, by Jules Verne

73. The Legend Of Drizzt Series, by R.A. Salvatore

74. Old Man’s War, by John Scalzi

75. The Diamond Age, by Neil Stephenson

76. Rendezvous With Rama, by Arthur C. Clarke

77. The Kushiel’s Legacy Series, by Jacqueline Carey

78. The Dispossessed, by Ursula K. LeGuin

79. Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury

80. Wicked, by Gregory Maguire

81. The Malazan Book Of The Fallen Series, by Steven Erikson

82. The Eyre Affair, by Jasper Fforde

83. The Culture Series, by Iain M. Banks

84. The Crystal Cave, by Mary Stewart

85. Anathem, by Neal Stephenson

86. The Codex Alera Series, by Jim Butcher

87. The Book Of The New Sun, by Gene Wolfe

88. The Thrawn Trilogy, by Timothy Zahn

89. The Outlander Series, by Diana Gabaldan

90. The Elric Saga, by Michael Moorcock

91. The Illustrated Man, by Ray Bradbury

92. Sunshine, by Robin McKinley

93. A Fire Upon The Deep, by Vernor Vinge

94. The Caves Of Steel, by Isaac Asimov

95. The Mars Trilogy, by Kim Stanley Robinson

96. Lucifer’s Hammer, by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle

97. Doomsday Book, by Connie Willis

98. Perdido Street Station, by China Mieville

99. The Xanth Series, by Piers Anthony

100. The Space Trilogy, by C.S. Lewis

NPR Science Fiction and Fantasy

The List is from here:

1. The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, by J.R.R. Tolkien

2. The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, by Douglas Adams

3. Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card

4. The Dune Chronicles, by Frank Herbert

5. A Song Of Ice And Fire Series, by George R. R. Martin

6. 1984, by George Orwell

7. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury

8. The Foundation Trilogy, by Isaac Asimov

9. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley

10. American Gods, by Neil Gaiman

11. The Princess Bride, by William Goldman

12. The Wheel Of Time Series, by Robert Jordan

13. Animal Farm, by George Orwell

14. Neuromancer, by William Gibson

15. Watchmen, by Alan Moore

16. I, Robot, by Isaac Asimov

17. Stranger In A Strange Land, by Robert Heinlein

18. The Kingkiller Chronicles, by Patrick Rothfuss

19. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut

20. Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley

21. Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, by Philip K. Dick

22. The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood

23. The Dark Tower Series, by Stephen King

24. 2001: A Space Odyssey, by Arthur C. Clarke

25. The Stand, by Stephen King

26. Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson

27. The Martian Chronicles, by Ray Bradbury

28. Cat’s Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut

29. The Sandman Series, by Neil Gaiman

30. A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess

31. Starship Troopers, by Robert Heinlein

32. Watership Down, by Richard Adams

33. Dragonflight, by Anne McCaffrey

34. The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, by Robert Heinlein

35. A Canticle For Leibowitz, by Walter M. Miller

36. The Time Machine, by H.G. Wells

37. 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, by Jules Verne

38. Flowers For Algernon, by Daniel Keys

39. The War Of The Worlds, by H.G. Wells

40. The Chronicles Of Amber, by Roger Zelazny

41. The Belgariad, by David Eddings

42. The Mists Of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley

43. The Mistborn Series, by Brandon Sanderson

44. Ringworld, by Larry Niven

45. The Left Hand Of Darkness, by Ursula K. LeGuin

46. The Silmarillion, by J.R.R. Tolkien

47. The Once And Future King, by T.H. White

48. Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman

49. Childhood’s End, by Arthur C. Clarke

50. Contact, by Carl Sagan

51. The Hyperion Cantos, by Dan Simmons

52. Stardust, by Neil Gaiman

53. Cryptonomicon, by Neal Stephenson

54. World War Z, by Max Brooks

55. The Last Unicorn, by Peter S. Beagle

56. The Forever War, by Joe Haldeman

57. Small Gods, by Terry Pratchett

58. The Chronicles Of Thomas Covenant, The Unbeliever, by Stephen R. Donaldson

59. The Vorkosigan Saga, by Lois McMaster Bujold

60. Going Postal, by Terry Pratchett

61. The Mote In God’s Eye, by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle

62. The Sword Of Truth, by Terry Goodkind

63. The Road, by Cormac McCarthy

64. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, by Susanna Clarke

65. I Am Legend, by Richard Matheson

66. The Riftwar Saga, by Raymond E. Feist

67. The Shannara Trilogy, by Terry Brooks

68. The Conan The Barbarian Series, by R.E. Howard

69. The Farseer Trilogy, by Robin Hobb

70. The Time Traveler’s Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger

71. The Way Of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson

72. A Journey To The Center Of The Earth, by Jules Verne

73. The Legend Of Drizzt Series, by R.A. Salvatore

74. Old Man’s War, by John Scalzi

75. The Diamond Age, by Neil Stephenson

76. Rendezvous With Rama, by Arthur C. Clarke

77. The Kushiel’s Legacy Series, by Jacqueline Carey

78. The Dispossessed, by Ursula K. LeGuin

79. Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury

80. Wicked, by Gregory Maguire

81. The Malazan Book Of The Fallen Series, by Steven Erikson

82. The Eyre Affair, by Jasper Fforde

83. The Culture Series, by Iain M. Banks

84. The Crystal Cave, by Mary Stewart

85. Anathem, by Neal Stephenson

86. The Codex Alera Series, by Jim Butcher

87. The Book Of The New Sun, by Gene Wolfe

88. The Thrawn Trilogy, by Timothy Zahn

89. The Outlander Series, by Diana Gabaldan

90. The Elric Saga, by Michael Moorcock

91. The Illustrated Man, by Ray Bradbury

92. Sunshine, by Robin McKinley

93. A Fire Upon The Deep, by Vernor Vinge

94. The Caves Of Steel, by Isaac Asimov

95. The Mars Trilogy, by Kim Stanley Robinson

96. Lucifer’s Hammer, by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle

97. Doomsday Book, by Connie Willis

98. Perdido Street Station, by China Mieville

99. The Xanth Series, by Piers Anthony

100. The Space Trilogy, by C.S. Lewis

Review of Zombies Hate Stuff by Greg Stones

 

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Image courtesy of goodreads.com

Who doesn’t like a good zombie yarn?

 

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Zombies hate Hippies. http://www.gregstones.com

 

Although I don’t fall in with the shambling masses, I have read World War Z ten times. Zombies can be scary or an interesting sociological construct like how they were written about in World War Z. But this fell seriously flat. I am not sure why this is a book? It has eighty or so words, and although the pictures are funny or ironic, once you “read” through the book the first time the reader is not coming back for seconds. There is no need to buy it. I can see this being an ongoing webcomic, single serving chuckles. But that’s it. Hate to say it, but don’t waste your time.

 

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Yup. A whole lot of this. http://www.goodreads.com

 

 

A Trial of Fruity Proportions

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Pineberry, also known as white strawberry.

Hey! Ever wanted to go out and try as many different types of fruit as humanly possible? Me too! Living in the Pacific Northwest I am afforded the unique opportunity to try all sorts of fruit that is available up here, that is not commonly available in other areas. Blame the weather, the geographical location or whatever; Portland has a lot of fruit. This got me thinking, we as consumers,  only have access to a few varietals at the grocery store. These varietals are ones that do not rot quickly, can take some abuse from travel and taste moderately good to the majority of the population. What other flavors are out there? When is an apple not an apple, but tastes more like a watermelon? This set me on the path of trying fifty different fruits one year. Fifty is not much. There are about a gazillion varieties of apples alone, but fifty is hard to find when you are trying to get stuff at the grocery store. I scoured every grocery store, fruit stand and farm I could find within fifty miles of Portland. I wrote down everything, I made my friends sample and be guinea pigs with me. It became a slight obsession for 2012.

 

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Durian. King of the funk. 

I learned some interesting things. Firstly, it is really a shame that we have only a few varieties at major grocery stores. It teaches kids that all apples are Red Delicious, oranges are Sunkist, and watermelon is the red kind with the seeds that you spit out. Did you know that Apples come in every color imaginable and span the taste spectrum? I tried ones that tasted like celery to ones that looked like a watermelon but taste like an orange. My favorite orange fruit is bright pink and lacks the sharp acidic bite that Sunkist oranges have. Fingerling limes are way cool; it looks like caviar but is actually lime flavor explosions that pop in your mouth.

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Horned melon, which is just really freaking weird tasting. 

Horned melon is something from another planet. It tastes like if beer and grass had a baby. I took this one to a friends house and made them suffer along with me for the sake of SCIENCE! Durian smells like week-old socks but tastes odd and interesting. Plumcots are amazing little bits of sunshine in a purple shell and kumquats are not good no matter how you eat them, roll them or beg them to be sweet.

 

It was a year of fruity adventure. Now that I have my garden going, I am putting in some strange fruits to try this year. Let’s see what I can do with white strawberries.

 

ARC – Lake Silence (The Others #6) by Anne Bishop

I received this as an advanced copy from Netgalley.com for an honest review.

 

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Image courtesy of goodreads.com

First I have to start out by saying that I absolutely adore the “The Others” series. I am a pretty big fan. Like, “go out at midnight and purchase the new novel” type fan; I am a fan of this novel too. That being said, it was tough to get used to the new characters in this expansion. I enjoyed the characters in the first five novels so much that it isn’t fair to call this “The Others #6”, but maybe “The Jumble #1.” The same overall world, but very different tonality, plotting, and characters.  If you go into #6 thinking that you are going to see Meg and that sort of plot, you are in for some sadness. It doesn’t flow quite as smoothly as the first five books did but I think the issue for me is that it is missing the depth of personality the original characters had. Simon, Meg, Vlad, and Tessa all were very original ideas with particular character traits. We haven’t got there quite yet with #6.  That might be because we had a much longer time to get to know the other characters in the first five books or maybe Anne Bishop is trying out a different writing style. They are both excellent, but I don’t think this novel resonates as well as the others did. Plotting is a bit slow to get going. Anne Bishop is introducing a new area, new characters and introductions take a bit of time. In the end, It was a fun book. Not really a rampant page-turner, but I enjoyed the time we spent together, and I look forward to more installations. It is worth the read just to get to live in the world Anne Bishop created some more.

 

 

Netflix’s Altered Carbon – Dark, Complicated and Beautifully Crafted

Netflix has crafted a dark and enthralling tale of noir that combines science fiction and cyberpunk with a straightforward detective story. It is visually stunning and does great justice to the sourcebook. Better yet, the plot additions to the original story that make it fit for TV add to the richness of the story. I know many people won’t agree with me on this, but I like how the humanized Tak. They gave him a slightly bigger heart.  They also expounded on the cyberpunk themes; what it means to be human and how one holds on to their humanity when facing forever. Humanity basically becomes an ouroboros and is not so subtly hinted through the story.

 

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Image courtesy of Netflix.

 

The Netflix version added a more substance to some of the supporting characters that fleshed them out. Especially the role of Poe who plays a Hotel and was the most intriguing character on the show. In the source material, the AI is played by Jimi Hendrix, but Poe is a much more fitting nod to the stories’ noir influences.  Instead of just going with a creepy over enthusiastic AI, they gave him a soul and a shotgun. It is ironic because Poe is both the least human and most human character on the show.

 

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Image courtesy of Netflix.

 

 

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Side by Side comparison.

I can’t say much more about the story because it is a “who done it,” and I don’t want to give it away. However, if you are a fan of cyberpunk, binge watch it. It is well worth the time.