Jan 16, 2008

Voices in the Wilderness

I subscribe to the very wittily-named Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, a generally high-end market for short speculative fiction. Over the years, I've read many an entertaining short story and been inspired to look up other works by some of the authors.

However, there is a dark side to F&SF -- an aspect that simultaneously repels and draws
me in with its strange wordplay and unique artwork. Horrifying and amusing (often at the same time), I have found myself looking through back issues just to find more of these bizarre nuggets of entertainment, as they are elusive and rare.

I speak, of course, of the ads for self-published novels from independent publishers. Here shining examples:
To Live Without Warning [by Timothy LaBadie] is a story set in a future San Francisco, where public transportation is the only way to travel, and people with colds are required by machines called breathe-eraters[sic] to wear masks. ... There are aliens who disguise themselves as homeless people, and there are twins from an alien abduction, one human, one not, plus a virtual couple who live in a bungalow on the beach in a virtual Costa Rica who mix up their computer code to have a virtual child, and then there is a cat woman who can do all sorts of erotica with her tail, and a drummer who leads more than a band called Death, Ax and Grind.
Man, that sounds totally rad!

Honestly, though "To Live without Warning" sounds kind of like a cautionary tale about a world with no pregnancy tests.

But what if I was in the mood for something a little more magical?
Paraworld Zero, by Matthew Peterson: Earthling, Simon Kent, stumbles upon a secret that thrusts him into a bizarre adventure filled with magic, technology and deadly out-of-this-world creatures. He discovers a true friend, confronts his inner demons and becomes the savior to a peculiar race of people, when all he truly wants is to find his way back home.
George Lucas, eat your heart out!

According to one of the endorsements, this book features, "The exciting action of Star Wars with the humor of Napoleon Dynamite." So says Diana Pharaoh Francis, author of the Path and Crosspoint series.

I'm honestly surprised no one mentioned Harry Potter, since the crappy Poser art in the ad is pretty clearly supposed to (and utterly fails to) evoke the cartoony covers of Rowling's books.

1 comment:

Matthew Peterson said...

Paraworld Zero is not a self-published book (I didn't pay a penny to have it published). Funny that you should say Harry Potter... a lot of the reviews do mention Harry Potter.

Anyway, Paraworld Zero just hit the BarnesAndNoble.com top-50 bestseller list today. Not sure how long that will last, but it's not bad for a first-time author. www.ParaWorlds.com