Tag Archive | Humour

Bad Timing by Molly Brown

Format: Hardcover
Rating:  4 Stars
Reviewer: Laurel

Alan Strong works in the Archives Department at the Colson Time Studies Institute some three hundred years in the future. One day, when he arrives at work, his friend Joe Twofingers draws his attention to a fiction story in a magazine from the 20th century called Woman’s Secrets. The story is about a man called Alan Strong from the 24th century who travels back in time because he sees a photo of a lady called Cecily Walker, falls in love with her. And apparently this man works at the Archives Department at the Colson Time Studies Institute…

What ensues is a humorous account of Alan’s attempt to find Cecily. Time travel gets tough when you don’t have all the instructions.

I enjoyed reading this story. Brown’s writing is vivid and concise, and the story tickles the time travel paradox nicely. Definitely a thumbs’ up from me.

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Fortunately the Milk by Neil Gaiman

Source: Own Collection
Format: Paperback
Rating:  4 Stars
Reviewer: Laurel

This book is a hilarious juxtaposition to the ordinary children’s book. In normal books, the children have adventures and the grownups don’t believe them. In this book, those roles are reversed with hilarious consequences. And no, I won’t be mentioning Professor Steg, the pirates, the space aliens (not to mention the space police) and a wonderful cast of other characters.

Highly inventive and beautifully chaotic, this tale is a romp. A very quick read for an accomplished reader, it will entertain.

The Waitabits by Eric Frank Russell

Source: Own Collection
Format: Hardback
Rating:  5 Stars
Reviewer: Laurel

Oh my goodness, but this story made me laugh out loud. There aren’t that many that get to through to my expressed emotions these days, but this one… definitely made it.

In this extraordinary take on time, Russell puts two groups together whose sense of time just runs differently. When one species meets another, the latter being a breed apart in that they live life in the slow lane quite literally, the results are utterly comical – if one stands far enough away to view them for what they are. Recall the scene where Judy Hopps meets the sloth in Zootropolis, and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.

Going in, I was scratching my head rather, as Russell typically drops one in the middle of a normal day with zero explanation as to what’s really going on. That’s ok – neither does the main character. But this story really hots up when one lands on the planet of the Waitabits and the inter-species interactions begin. Extremely well written with great setting and characterisation, this was one of my best reads this year.

Young Zaphod Plays it Safe by Douglas Adams

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Source: Own collection
Format: Hardback
Rating:  4 Stars
Reviewer: Laurel

I read this as part of The Time Traveller’s Almanac, edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer.

A typically wacky, entertaining story dealing with flying filing cabinets, lobsters (many…) and designer humans from Douglas Adams. As science fiction is wont to do, he takes various digs at “life as we know it”, but all in good humour. A fun read.

Given that I was expecting a story dealing with time travel, I was very disappointed to discover that it is not. This has nothing to do with the story itself, but everything to do with it’s selection for inclusion in The Time Traveller’s Almanac.

Maxx Fragg, V.P.I. by S.A. Check

Maxx Fragg
Source: ARC from author
Format: Kindle ebook
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewer: Laurel

When Maxx lost his brother in a car accident, his world fell apart. It didn’t help he was driving the car when it happened. Finding an escape inside the virtual world of Other Syde, Maxx runs the Maxx Fragg Virtual Paranormal Investigative Agency with his best friend, Tane. But in a world where dreams become reality, can nightmares be far behind?

When a real ghost attacks Maxx inside the program, he’s saved by the last person he ever expected to see again, his brother. Risking everything for a chance to say he’s sorry, Maxx, Tane, and Maxx’s almost-girlfriend Emi, need to figure out why real ghosts are haunting a virtual world while on the run from a murderous cybergeist, high-tech security guards, a corrupt corporation with their own plans for the technology, the recluse genius who created the program, and Maxx’s own demons.

This book is refreshingly humorous and inventive. We meet Maxx Fragg, a Virtual Paranormal Investigator who scams the denizens of the virtual world of Other Syde as a ghost hunter in return for, well, payment. (what else?) Except he soon runs into a real ghost, with some serious consequences.

A quick and easy read, I just love Check’s imagination, which comes through clearly. He treats serious subjects gently, and makes one laugh at the not-so-serious stuff. And this is the only spoiler: the dream sequences are FREAKY! Very well done, they are.

It is a pity that the quality of the editing does not match that of the story itself, and it is hoped that a future edition of this book will be made available to a higher standard. This is the only reason this book did not receive five stars from me.

If you enjoyed the Tron movies, and even Neuromancer, this one’s of a similar ilk. I’m not up on the YA protocols, but this appears to be a YA read.