Trigger Warning

Trigger Warning is a collection of short stories by Neil Gaiman. Most interesting about the breadth of this volume is the variety of narrators, many of whom are unreliable or not making clear their identity up front: the points of view of an imaginary friend, a genie in a bottle, a killer, or a living statue.…

More Trees to Climb

More Trees to Climb is Ben Moor’s collection of three short works of fiction that he has performed as spoken word. Coelacanth You’ve heard of office romances, but what if your office is a tree? The protagonist in Coelacanth, named after a deep sea fish who is unchanged over time, falls in love with a fellow tree climbing…

When the Professor Got Stuck in the Snow

I bought When the Professor Got Stuck in the Snow by Dan Rhodes off the internet when I kept hearing it recommended by comedians or writers I admire: Robin Ince and Josie Long praise the book on Book Shambles, Stewart Lee blurbs the front cover, Ben Moor cites Rhodes as a writer he admires.   Dan Rhodes, apparently,…

The Best of Wodehouse

Guest writer: Mr. Pond I have, with no small effort, finished reading The Modern Library’s Best of Wodehouse: An Anthology. I received this rather well-bound volume birthday past from Mrs. Pond who, in addition to being utterly charming with a quick and knowing wit, as well as being lovely beyond compare, is also quite thoughtful. It came with…

The Perfect Fool by Stewart Lee

In September 2006 British comedian Stewart Lee visited the American Southwest to learn about the koshare, a sacred clown within Pueblo Native American cultures. This clown wears black and white striped paint, a loin cloth, and corn husks on his head. He upturns society for one day, pointing out the pompousness of rulers, throwing children into the…

My Prefect Cousin by Kevin Eldon

Paul. Hamilton. It’s about time someone wrote a biography of this underrated poet. You’ve seen him on TV in his Shadows of Reflections special, and you’ve heard him on the radio in his Poets’ Tree poetry documentary (and if you haven’t, they’re both on YouTube). Now read all about his life in the new book by Hamilton’s comedy actor…

News from the Clouds

The third book in Robert Llewellyn’s sci-fi book trilogy News from the Clouds sees protagonist Gavin Meckler fly his plane into a third parallel future, this one ravaged by the extreme effects of climate change. Living in 2015 with the threat of more nasty weather, flooding, and polar animals dying off, of all Llewellyn’s possible futures, this…

News from the Squares

News from the Square is the second in the News From book trilogy by Robert Llewellyn about an accidental time traveler visiting the future(s). Leaving Gardenia in 2211, Gavin Meckler expects to fly his plane back to 2011, but when he crashes in a city center and finds that he has traveled through time again…to 2211…he…

Frank, the book

Last year, Jon Ronson and Peter Straughan released a terrific film called Frank, which was a fictional telling of Ronson’s time in Frank Sidebottom’s band. If you’re curious to know which elements of the film were true, read Jon Ronson’s book Frank: The True Story that Inspired the Movie. Frank Sidebottom was the stage alter-ego of Chris Sievey, the…

What Terry Pratchett Means

As you’ve no doubt heard by now, this week we lost one of the world’s great storytellers. Sir Terry Pratchett, eight years after being diagnosed with an Alzheimatic embuggerance, passed away peacefully at the age of 66. I’m not going to rehash my reviews of his works here (you can find links to those at…

Dead Funny, book review

Dead Funny: Horror Stories by Comedians edited by Robin Ince and Johnny Mains feels designed for my sensibilities, someone who grew up on horror stories and loves British comedy. However, as someone with a degree in Creative Writing, I was skeptical picking it up. Just because you can write comedy for the stage or the screen,…

The Hunt for the Mayor of Smoochyville, Author Q&A

Chris Wade is a writer who has done nonfiction for Hugh Cornwell (Stranglers) and his Hound Dawg magazine. He is a founder of the music project Dodson and Fogg (2012). On the album, actor Nigel Planer narrates two stories that go between the music tracks. Wade has also written comical fiction, including Cutey and the Sofaguard (2010), an audiobook narrated by the…

Making Money, a book review

Making Money by Terry Pratchett (394 pages) Fiction   Discworld is a series by Terry Pratchett. It’s fantasy, but it’s a hilarious satire poking fun at our own world. The characters live on a flat world composed of humans, vampires, witches, werewolves, igors, golums, trolls, dwarfs, zombies, etc. And I do mean etc.   Making Money…

The Quantum Universe

I was sat on a train once and the man next to me was very obviously reading over my shoulder. I was reading The Quantum Universe (And Why Anything That Can Happen Does) by Professor Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw. I smiled, thinking for sure he’d stop reading once he realized it was a book on quantum…

Doctor Who: The Official Quiz Book

Below the review, a chance to win your very own copy of Doctor Who: The Official Quiz Book.  You probably know that Torchwood was the label the production office used to label the Doctor Who preview prints with, but do you know which episode was originally titled “Torchwood Falls”? You surely know that Peter Capaldi guest starred in…

Feet of Clay, a review

Feet of Clay by Terry Pratchett 357 pages Fiction Discworld is Terry Pratchett’s comical satire series that pokes fun about everything in our world paralleled in this fantasy flat world. There are mini-series within the Discworld series. This is one of the Watch books, starring the commander of the Watch, my favorite character, Sir Sam…

Unseen Academicals, a review

Unseen Academicals by Terry Pratchett A Discworld Novel As read by Stephen Briggs 14 ½ Hours (unabridged) Sorry if I spell things wrong. As I have it on audio, I don’t have the book in front of me.   When the Unseen University—a college for wizards—discovers a law that states that they must participate in…

Monstrous Regiment, a review

Monstrous Regiment by Terry Pratchett Fiction Readers claim they can’t read a page of Pratchett without laughing aloud. He does it again with Discworld’s thirty-first installment, Monstrous Regiment—a cross between Mulan and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Pratchett’s Monstrous Regiment explores the myth of honor and glory in battle. Soldiers of Sergeant Jackrum’s regiment aren’t who they pretend to…

And Another Thing, a review

And Another Thing… Douglas Adams’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Part Six of Three by Eoin Colfer 265 pages Fiction What is The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: The Hitchhiker’s Guide is a 5-book trilogy by the late Douglas Adams. It’s a British science fiction comedy based on Adams’s radio series that eventually also became a…

Nation, a review

Nation by Terry Pratchett 367 pages This story takes place in the past, but in an alternate reality from our own where the Russian Flu is killing people including the 138 people in line to be king ahead of Daphne’s father. Around the same time, a “big wave” destroys all the island nations in the…

Neverwhere, a book review

Neverwhere By Neil Gaiman Fiction It’s the most important night of Richard Mayhew’s life. He is on his way to have dinner with his fiancée’s boss, a man of extreme wealth and power who just might put Richard on the right path to a rewarding career. But on the way, a young woman collapses in…