Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tales From the Used Book Store: Space Vamps, Cyber Samurai, and a Duchess

GOOD NEWS, Reader: Today I took a break from reorganizing shelves at the used book store to fill in the Science Fiction/ Fantasy section with some truly pulptastic paperbacks.

Now you may be wondering, "But Jennifer, what does this have to do with ME? I was promised good news and, frankly, how you spend your time at the book store does not really affect me in any way whatsoever."

Ah, but that is where you are wrong, very wrong indeed, Dear Reader, because I am about to BLOW YOUR MIND with some of the gems I discovered. Let's hand out some totally random and meaningless awards, shall we?

1. Most Ahead-of-Its-Time Concept:The Space Vampires by Colin Wilson. Forget about Steampunk. THIS is going to be the new trend in young adult fiction. How can it not be? I mean, the tagline reads, "A scourge of sex and death from an alien spaceship." That shit is serious! It's edgy. It's going to SELL.

Stephenie Meyer is already writing another Twilight novel set in the future wherein Bella and the Cullens pilot a spaceship and discover that vampires are actually aliens from another planet and--spoiler!--everyone on their home planet finds Bella incredibly delicious!! For realz guys, I am so not even making this up.

2. Most Obtuse Tagline:StarBridge, Book 2: Silent Dances by Kathleen O'Malley.

The tagline reads, "Welcome to StarBridge Academy...where alien contact is more than just a job--it's the future."

First, I dare you to read that out loud and make sense of it. You can't. It's impossible.

Second, we are treated to not only en Em dash but an ellipses as well. Talk about suspense--I'm hooked...aren't you?

Third, we are left with so many questions: if these people are at an academy, why do they have jobs already? And how is a job also the future? It's all so tantalizingly vague...

Fourth, why is the woman on the cover surrounded by birds???

3. Most Inexplicably Sexually Suggestive Title:The Duchess of Kneedeep by Atanielle Annyn Noelle (and yes, that IS a pseudonym. How ever did you know?)

The Duchess of KNEEDEEP?! Come on, right? I mean, RIGHT?

What's that? You don't know what "kneedeep" means? You don't even think that's physically possible by any stretch of the imagination? Well, I'm sorry but if you don't know, I'm not going to tell you. You'll find out eventually. When you're older.

4. Most Badass Title:The Cybernetic Samurai by Victor Milan.

That's right: this book has taken robots and samurai and COMBINED THEM.

I know what you're thinking, "Wait, how is that book even IN a used book store?! That would mean someone got rid of it at one time, and why would anyone ever let such a badass book go?"

And I have no answer to that question.

5. Most Unlikely to Meet Your Expectations:Farewell Horizontal by K.W. Jeter.

There is a reason that out of all the books in this post, THIS is the only one where the editors looked at each other and went, "Yep. We better add a subtitle that tells people that this is a 'science fiction novel' or else some people are going to be migh-tee disappointed."

Without reading that oh-so-helpful subtitle I'm sure that, just like me, you assumed that this book was about sleeping with someone one last time after you've decided to break up. But APPARENTLY it's a science fiction book about people who live in a cylindrical tower and never see the horizon. Or something. I don't know. I lost interest when I realized it wasn't about what I thought it was about.

And there you have it! So much pulp, so little time!



    I'm speechless. And giggling. At the same time.

  2. Awesome. This is so getting linkage on my blog.

  3. Thanks, Summer! I appreciate that. Now I'm off to check out your blog...

    whaddaya, every time I read that phrase, "A scourge of sex and death," I love it even more.

  4. Obviously the point of this post flew over my airy head by several miles, because when I scrolled down, my first reaction was not, "Mercy, look at all that ugly", but rather, "Ooh, Farewell Horizontal--that was a great book!"

    I am such a nerd.

  5. I actually came here via Summer's link and need to also express my sincere love of the "scourge of sex and death" phrase. That is some exceptional writing right there, kids.

    (Uh, I apparently assume that a bunch of kids will read this comment.)

  6. jjdebenedictis, I think it's awesome that you first thought about the quality of the book rather than the questionable cover/title. I do love finding the humor in the books I find in the used book store but that doesn't mean they aren't good books, too!

  7. My day is made - I thought you ought to know this!

    Thanks for sharing these gems - and to Summer for booting us in this direction!

    I too must marvel at the sheer magnificence of the Scourge. So, is the Samurai Kneedeep in Space Vampires? or has he said Farewell to the Horizontal?

    I promise I haven't been taking notes for my next SF venture ...

  8. If only I had posted this before NaNoWriMo, we all might have had a very pulpy November...

    Dominic, so glad I could make your day!

  9. I'm here from Summer's blog, too.

    She's right, this was worth the extra click. Pulpilicious, indeed.
    Space Vampires scourge of sex and death in a spaceship FTW! I'd totally read that. Comedic genius.

  10. I kind of love the title FAREWELL HORIZONTAL. Although the way I write, it would be a novel about knockin' boots one last time.

    Thanks for the laugh! Now it's back to my job/future/jobfuture.

  11. I'm here via Summer's blog, too--and laughing my head off. These are great!

  12. I'm trying to leave a coherent comment...but I can't stop laughing long enough to type more than this! :)

  13. Welcome, visitors from Summer's blog. I'm glad I could make you all laugh!

  14. OMG, Summer is right and this just made my week!!! Lurve so much lurve.

    I want everyone of these titles FedEx-ed to me STAT!

  15. Hannah, honestly that could be arranged, if you were interested. The paperbacks are probably $2 or less and the hardcovers no more than $4. All of the used books I blog about (under the Otter Creek Used Books label) are available for sale!

  16. Great post Jennifer! So funny. I'll definitely be following your blog from now on. I came by way of Summer's blog and glad she made the recommendation.

  17. Thank you, Amy! That's so nice of you. I really appreciate it!

  18. basically a book about having sex for the last time would be like reading about the origin of "shist". And this particular book even though the editors seemed to think you'd need some genre pointing is acctually a really good book, and is going to be the inspiration for my next 3D Image. acctually worth a read.