Venus on the Half-Shell by Kilger Trout

venus on the half shell.JPG

Kilger Trout is a familiar name among Vonnegut fans, the fictional sci fi writer whose existence every reader secretly wished and googled for. Though Farmer’s version made Vonnegut cross, who according to internet overstatement legends, had dismissed the novel as a fakers drivel (mostly coz of creator ambiguity, which was later cleared by a by-line), I found it pretty fab.

This book is weird, comical, extremely absurd, reference filled and absolutely staggering. I was enraptured from the very introduction itself, and found it a worthy source(successor) material for that brief Trout plot from God Bless You Mr. Rosewater. Novel follows facetious accounts of Simon Wagstaff in his quest for “definitive answer to the most important question” (which I believe Douglas Adamas later payed homage to), with a peculiar Scheckley like sci fi humour. For a book that is propelled by its absurdness, it was delightfully scientific and philosophical at parts. Well, after fist few chapters fun seemed to dwindle and absurdity went a large, making me a bit Vonnegut-ish, only to have it compensated in long run.

rick-and-morty42Novel opened up with a Gunslinger like hero in Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy scenario. Then on, it transcended into a series of Mindswap style adventures of our Space cowboy and his little Guardians of the Galaxy gang with Anubis the dog, Athena the owl, and his super hot alien robot girlfriend – Chworktap[anagram for Patchwork] (yes, arguments are invalid). There were tons of literary references during this loquacious honky-tonk, on which the novel hilariously craps on. Exploding Star creating a new religion, Titanic and Icarus Spaceship company, 2001 A Space Odessy conscious AI, even Westworld, Doctor Who Face of Boe feline society, Shaltoonian’s Assassins Creed, Hwang Ho for Millennium Falcon, Cowboy Bebop, Reichenbach falls and Sherlock Holmes with Ralf von Wau Wau are a few I had fun picking at. Oh and that uncanny resemblance between Sommers’ John Clayter series and Doctor Who porn parody.

450px-sandro_botticelli_-_la_nascita_di_venere_-_google_art_project_-_edited
Botticelli’s Birth of Venus, figures

Venus on half shell is the Rick and Morty of sci-fi literature. It is like one of those day dream fantasy we devour as college sophomores and cringe on later in maturity. Anyway I found myself googling Jonathan Sommers III, Farmer’s Kilger Trout to fill the void left by this.

If you are weird and like weird things, this book is for you.

Mindsawp by Robert Sheckley

mindswap

Books like these are the reason I read.
Mindswap evoked a familiar, Lem or Douglas Adams feel, but this is one rare weird sci fi gem with a combination of meta realism and humour so unique of its own.

Marvin Flynn, a casual vacationer from hinterlands of Earth with innate small-town conservatism goes all wanderlust and decides to see the vastness of cosmos at minimal disposal of funds. He then Mindswaps with one Martian, a logically unsettling, but cheap process that allows individuals to swap minds with people light years away in mutual consent. Mindswap is basically Bester’s Jaunting without the body or a docile version of Matrix’s Agent Smith bodyswap or maybe little bloody Third Birthday possession.

But Marvin had to let go of the Martian body and swap along a series of near sorry situations all long the universe in bodies of various intelligent species, thanks to an Intergalactic body snatching criminal called Kraggosh. Meanwhile a stumblebum intergalactic detective ‘Urdrof’ with implacable will and utter self confidence is hunting Kraggosh, hoping Marvins body would break his protracted bad luck series of 158 lost cases so far.

“You forget that I am a detective,’ Urdorf said, smiling faintly. ‘I may have my troubles in finding criminals, but I have never experienced the slightest difficulty in finding victims”.

Marvin adventures includes talking eggs, poetic alien hermit who converse in sing-song fashion, intergalactic daily wage contract, Don Quixote references and acid trip reality benders. Previously referred Quixote fandom goes full swing in later chapters with totally absurd unnecessary anew characters fighting for chivalrous bullshit. It had me going ‘why is he telling us all this’ to ‘are these some printing errors’ to an eventually graduated emotion – ‘awesome’. Marvin – Kraggosh Twistedland boss battle so reminded me of the rotomodante slow motion fights I had with bro wen we were kids. Total high dope laugh out loud fun stuff.

f4ceb0002584f9dc49bbfaea267In terms of eloquence and adroitness, Scheckley’s humour is comparable to Lovecrafts horror. Tweaking Scheckleys own words, It was typical of books of this genre to overdo the youthful slang, thus losing any comic effect except the amazingly unintentional, but not this one. In fact Marvin Flynn is a cross of Arthur Dent and Gully Foyle, on the docile side, two puny Terra citizens lost in vastness of Cosmos.

 

 

This book is worth the reads and re reads and re re reads, not just for the laughs but for the deepness it cleverly hides.

Shiver Bureau : Welcome to London

Thanks to the author for sharing with me an early copy in exchange for an honest review.

Bit of Constantine, bit of Gene from Life on Mars, bit of 10th Doctor‘s hair n suit, bit of FMA style alchemy and loads of paranormal demons.
shiverbureau.png
This was a really refreshing, mad, fun book with stylized sleek artwork and funny comic dialogues; though I might complain about the inking now and then. Shiver Bureau is a paranormal detective mystery set in an alternative Victorian steampunk -ish London and ticks a lot of muddled crazy stuff. Loved the depiction of London through words as well as sketches, very neat and widely panned.
shiverbureau

 

This Welcome to London story arc reminded me of that Christmas Doctor Who episode, the one with Snowmen, thanks to the grand invasion plan. So about the plot,

 

A young Inspector arrives at London on his new appointment with Shiver Bureau, gets stuck with unconventional colleagues and fights monsters in a widely connected missing children case all over London. It is more fun than it sounds, there were situations that made me laugh; if only I could screenshot the premise for you. Story might seem to be going in familiar terrains with detective work, action, monsters and mystery, still it’s surprising at times. I really hope they don’t go Blue Exorcist on Pickle.

sb2
And it was awesome to find the first drafts included at the back side of story, showing the transition in story line as well as artwork. Gave me a really good perspective from the writer’s and artist’s side. I must say Pickle and Todd were more John and Dave from John dies at the end than Sherlock and Watson.

Looking forward to further installments and a re-inked future edition, because colours 

and get more here http://shiverbureau.com/

SuperGod : Warren Ellis , a world where men create Gods

supergods

Five stars to the first #4 editions and 3 stars to the finale. It was one really crazy, stupid, neo start with an ubercool apocalypse. Countries of the world being obsessed in creating their own Gods from mythos by superhuman experiments. And eventually earth becomes their battleground.

A perfect read to get stuffed in after the Brexit poll. I was past two issues while watching new puny , stab into our childhood, Independence Day movie and all through that destruction I could only think of the remaining issues of Supergod, waiting for me at home. 🙂krishna supergod
So Indian government creates Krishna, who decides that the only way to save India is by reducing the population and rebuilding from scratch. Pakistan getting obliterated by their own missiles on their try to save India from Krishna, The Russian supergod Perun is on a fight run to Delhi and so is the Iranian antigod. Amidst all these chaos the British one is an astranaut fused to some mushroom alien species deity and American one is a dead astronaut who is pretty much Captain America. I know what you are thinking, but If it sounds stupid and still entertains, It aint stupid.cthulhu supergods

Plus the name of American Supergod is Jerry. And really kickasss artwork and fights. I would pay double to watch it in big screen. Also the final battle involves an all organic frigging Cthulhu 🙂

Black orchid : Vertigo alternative for Alias by Gaiman

Black-Orchid-Comic-Movie-Rachel-McAdamsThis is like Alias except the protagonist is purple. And being a bit high might enhance your reading experience, thanks to the psychedelic artwork.
68210-david-tennant-talks-purple-man-is-he-really-a-villain-gif-239042.jpgGaiman has successfully crafted an origin story to the whole Black Orchid family, someone we remember in bits and pieces from new 52 or flashpoint. And as the story proceeds in this Arkham Asylum mixed with Shaun Tans Arrival artwork, stuff starts making sense and easter egg cameos gets lit. In this seemingly inception miniseries, Orchid is connected to The Green along with Ivy, Swamp Thing and the moronic Floronic man keeping Lex in the dark side. Also everyone is addressed by their alter ego, figuring which out gives a sense of satisfaction.  Btw The Green is the Speedforce equivalent for all plant related villains and heroes of DC universe

More than the appearance of  Dark Knight perhaps.

And something like this in the left panel classic dc style is remastered to something exotic here with Vertigo imprint (left panel- Suzi meeting Batman, or is it Suzi :P).

Miniseries – books