Tag: pulp

I desperately miss books like Max on Earth

I desperately miss books like Max on Earth

★★★★★

(5 stars)

My girlfriend picked this up for me. I think I’ve allured her into the world of buying random pulp books, though I’m the one who ends up eventually reading them. This one was picked up for the cover- delightful, as you can see, even though no good HD versions appear to exist online.

OUT OF THIS WORLD #1: Max on Earth is the tiny, short book from about 1980 when YA fiction was… well, like this I guess. An alien named Max shows up and befriends Randi, a normal teen girl, and that’s it. I honestly used to read a lot of books about this length and style when I was younger, since the library would have them. I think admittedly I was more 12 at that point, but 12 year olds do count as YA, and kids that age and younger read modern YA as well. I can’t quite recall the names, but I remember books about like an alien who interrupted baseball, a mirror that turned a kid invisible, a teacher who was secretly an alien, and a girl who was secretly an alien princess. I guess I read a lot of books on aliens, looking back. These were all MG/YA that I generally read when I was younger, being a Super Advanced Reader in elementary school and all. They rocked.

Ahem. Is this book good? No, not really. Have I given it five stars? Yes. What are you going to do about it?

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I’m stealing the concept for Incarnations of Immortality and I dare you to stop me

I’m stealing the concept for Incarnations of Immortality and I dare you to stop me

☆☆☆☆☆

(0 stars)

I’ve owned the final book of this series- book seven- for about four years now. I got it for free out of a library null pile because the cover was bizarre and wonderful. I skim read it then, out of order, and was flummoxed by the scenes I witnessed: three ghosts possessing a teenager, a 15 year old having sex with a 40 year old being okay because they are ‘in love’, a character named Orb, a three page debate on evolution versus creationism… clearly, this book and series were a Wild Fever Dream Mess.

Finally, I acquired this book at a thrift shop a month ago. Book one, at last! I found just as strange a story, but was surprised by two details: one, the premise is exceedingly solid. Two, the world is a ton of fun, full of potential and humor.

Everything else is garbage. So author beware: I will find a way to take this series from you, and actually make it good. The Time Is Coming.

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Pulp Binge: The Silicon Man isn’t the real deal

Pulp Binge: The Silicon Man isn’t the real deal

★★☆☆☆

(2 stars)

THRIFT STORE WHY: The back text seemed interesting- the cover or title sure aren’t. I suppose I was expecting something a little ‘black mirror’ esque. The back text promises a ‘deep in the future people upload their brains into machines to live on forever, but must die in the real world for this to happen’.

BACK COPY LIES (what the plot really is): In a retro style future of about 2050, an FBI agent stumbles into a secret, illegal project to copy human brains into a computer. He tries to shut it down, but is murdered and put into the machine instead. There isn’t a lot to the plot beyond this, and him dying is pretty much the only plot point.

WOULD I RECC TO READ: No. It’s generally engaging, but overall a let-down that leads to a befuddling ending.

Review:

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Time Travellers Strictly Cash is the second Callahan’s book… and fittingly, only has two quality Callahan stories

Time Travellers Strictly Cash is the second Callahan’s book… and fittingly, only has two quality Callahan stories

★★★☆☆

(2.5 stars)

This is a very difficult review to write, for one simple reason: the parts of this book that were good, were good. Other parts I skipped, and while there were reasons for that, I feel I shouldn’t include them in my grading- but then I have to, actually, since they are a part of the whole.

And the whole of this book is disappointing. Callahan’s Crosstime Saloon was excellent, and this book could have nearly been excellent if it was actually a sequel. Now, you don’t know this from the back, cover, or anything else, but this book is maybe a third Callahan’s stories, the other 2/3s being miscellaneous short stories and non-fiction.

Yes, non-fiction! That is the part I skipped. Look, they might have been fine, but I didn’t pick up this book to read interviews, essays, and speeches.

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Pulp Binge: The Word for World Is Forest’s one strength is that I got to write a very good essay on how bad it was

Pulp Binge: The Word for World Is Forest’s one strength is that I got to write a very good essay on how bad it was

(0 stars)

☆☆☆☆☆

THRIFT STORE WHY: Assigned reading, baby! Happily, I do not own this book.

BACK COPY LIES (what the plot really is): Humans come to a planet full of big trees and green monkey people. The natives have no concept of war or hardship, and are ill-prepared when the humans begin destroying their land and enslaving their people. Our narrators are threefold: A Good Human, A Rebel Alien, and a Big Fat Racist. Despite the generic set-up, we learn along the way… maybe the REAL racist allegory was inside us (the author) all along…!

WOULD I RECC TO READ: Not on my honor or life.

Review:

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Pulp binge: Callahan’s Crosstime Saloon is a cozy, comfortable book about weird times, good friends, and bad puns

Pulp binge: Callahan’s Crosstime Saloon is a cozy, comfortable book about weird times, good friends, and bad puns

★★★★★

(5 stars)

THRIFT STORE WHY: I found the cover for another book in the series (“lady slings the booze”) and was ENRAPTURED for months. I’ll post the cover below the cut, but basically: a woman stands at the bar, next to a german shepard who is sitting at the bar, wearing a suit and tie with sunglasses. Sherlock Holmes is jumping over a lamp, a robot is in the foreground, and nothing makes sense. When I found the full set for sale months later, I knew I had to read the series.

BACK COPY LIES (what the plot really is): This section is called this as pulp is often vague or misleading about the plot, but yeah: this one is pretty straightforward. Callahan’s is a bar where anything can happen, and anyone can stop by with a story to tell. Aliens, time travelers, mutants, psychics… everyone is welcome, everyone has something to say.

WOULD I RECC TO READ: There’s one or two bits that have either not aged well or are too heavy handed, but overall, very much!

Review:

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Pulp Binge: The Omen is lacking, in so many ways

Pulp Binge: The Omen is lacking, in so many ways

★★★☆☆

(3 stars)

THRIFT STORE WHY: It’s The Omen, baby!! I bought it because I knew the story and had some interest in it… plus it was very, very short.

BACK COPY LIES (what the plot really is): A husband unwittingly is given the antichrist to raise. He seems like a normal enough kid half the time, with some quirks. However, a bunch of terrible events in a row make the husband realize something is up.

WOULD I RECC TO READ: It’s a classic. But maybe just see the movie.

FUN FACT: I had no idea ‘Good Omens’ was such a parody/homage to this book. It’s obvious in hindsight.

Review:

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