Robert Bruce Cormack penned a few kind thoughts on Two Pumps for the Body Man. Read more about his hilarious satire You Can Lead a Horse to Water (But You Can’t Make It Scuba Dive).
Ben East has created a wonderfully wacky consular bash in a place called The Kingdom, a nightmarish place straight out of Catch-22 where bureaucrats use every acronym under the sun (including OOPS, which stands for Office of Overseas Predator Strikes). While bureaucracy rules, one man, Jeff Mutton, Head of Security, tries to keep everyone safe despite the machinations of beauty Vanna Lavinia, Consul General, attempting to improve diplomatic relations with disco parties.
This is haywire bureaucracy at its finest and East does a great job bringing his characters out into the Middle Eastern sunshine. A good read from a writer who’s obviously seen some of the nuttiness himself. Truly enjoyed this.
Mark Richardson’s Hunt for the Troll (New Pulp Press) is a step up from ordinary pulp. It’s what happens to San Francisco noir when the shiny new promise of Silicon Valley comes to town, pushing back the fog to play some light in the corners. In this case, the light is more ominous than the dark. Our comfortable eyes, adjusted to the power outage, are burned by the glare when the lights go on.
Gone is the reluctant hero and snubnose pistol stoicism; in their place are dot.com entrepreneurism and quantum computing. Gone are the troubled dame and her leggy needs; in their place are the chessboard and another step toward transhumanism.
The narrator’s a cipher, a man without a name, an identity tattooed on his arm in binary code and a bad-ass alter-ego in the gaming world of Centre Terrain. He’s king and serf in his own domain, part creator and part creation. His story proceeds between worlds: the real world of breakfasts and sex; the gaming paradise he helped build, not unlike a Tolkien wet dream; and that place between sleep and wakefulness that isn’t a dream but nor is it quite real. Is it?