Showing posts with label Geek. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Geek. Show all posts

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Penny Arcade Attack of the Bacon Robots by Jerry Holkins, Mike Krahulik

Rating: WORTHY!

This is an amusing retrospective of comic strips done by these guys who obsess over video games. I'm not a video gamer: I get much more fun out of a good novel (writing or reading) than ever I have had from any number of dumb video games, but I understand the culture, and besides, this isn't a video game! It's a commentary of a host of them over several years, and it's really amusing, even if you're not familiar with the games, which I found to be a curious phenomenon. Some of the games I did have a passing familiarity with, others I could guess at, some I'd never heard of. I've played none of the ones mentioned here except Pac-Man, but I still enjoyed the attitude and observations. These guys have a great sense of humor and it shines through their work. Yes, some of the strips fell flat for me, but most of them - and sometimes surprisingly - did not.

I think to get the most out of this you have to be of a certain culture and a certain era, but I do recommend it one for anyone who knows a little about gaming culture, or who has geek blood, and I would particularly recommend it for for those who are immersed in the culture and consider themselves trivia buffs on the topic, but note that these comic strips are from the period 1998 through 2000, so they have nothing to say about modern games. They're exclusively about obsolete games, which might well be beloved by potential readers. I found it a worthy read, anyway. Besides, I loved the title!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Geekomancy by Michael R Underwood

Title: Geekomancy
Author: Michael R Underwood
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Rating: WARTY!

DISCLOSURE: Unlike the majority of reviews in this blog, I've neither bought this book nor borrowed it from the library. This is a "galley" copy ebook, supplied by Net Galley. I'm not receiving (nor will I expect to receive or accept) remuneration of any kind for this review. Since this is a new novel, this review is less detailed so as not to rob the writer of their story, but even so, it will probably still be more in-depth than you'll typically find elsewhere!

I got this one because Celebromancy was very readable and I knew others in the family would appreciate it, so now I'm reading it with my kids of an evening. Note that this isn't a YA novel per se, so each reader have to make his or her own choice (as always!) about whether to allow their kids to read it. My kids can handle this even though the material is a bit on the mature side for their age group.

This starts out with Rhiannon Anna Maria Reyes - most commonly known as Ree - working in a comic book store while she tries unsuccessfully to flog TV and movie scripts. She lives in what's come to be known as Hollywood North - a relatively small town called Pearson, to which many "Hollywood" productions have moved (so we're told). She's working the store one evening when some weird guy rushes in, requests a specific graphic novel, slaps a twenty on the counter in payment, and exits the store with velocitous extramuralization. Very shortly afterwards there's a loud boom from the alley outside the store, and Ree investigates to find the comic book shredded and no weird guy in sight.

That's just chapter one. In two, a troll appears out of nowhere.... And so it goes. Underwood parades us through ankle deep trivia (yeah, I know it ought to be ankle-deep, but since Underwood has dispensed with all hyphenation, why not I, thinks I?), which is mildly entertaining. The most hilarious part of the novel was where he overloads us on geek chic by forcing us to accompany Ree and her new friend Eastwood (about whom I know a few secrets, and you're not going to like them, but Ree, inexplicably, does. Underwood makes so many missteps with the English language here that even a very mild dose of double-entendre will have you rolling on the floor.

On a WTF note, I found the following in just a handful of screens in this portion of the novel:

  • "bombasticity" I think he meant simply, "bombast", but if it was meant to be funny it was lost on me!
  • "seek to find" where "seek" alone would have more than sufficed.
  • "...cutting us off at this juncture..." which isn't wrong so much as weird. Given that they were wandering around in a tunnel below the sewers at the time, I think he might have found a better word. Or a better locale. This isn't an ancient city in which they live, it's a relatively small California town. It's hardly likely there would be constructed subterranean tunnels below sewer level! But what do I know?!
"Ree made a hrm sound..." reads better than what he wrote on p340 of Celebromancy: "Ree hrmed internally..." which completely failed as far as I was concerned. In fact, this whole novel failed, let's face it! I got to 55% in and kept asking myself why I was reading this when there is other material that is tempting me to start it far more than this is tempting me to continue it. I am glad I read Celebromancy first, because if I had started with this one, I would never have read it, and even though I rated that 'WARTY!' it is without a doubt, leagues ahead of Geekomancy, and that's all I really want to say on these mancies! This one is definitely WARTY!