Fi50 November Challenge: Past Regrets…

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Get ready, Get set, and…GO get your Fi50 attempts and link them up here! That’s right, our IT department (comprising an ornamental frog by the name of Ernest who hangs out between the illustrated hardback versions of The Lord of The Rings trilogy) has finally figured out how to embed a linky widget. You’re welcome!

fiction in 50

To play along, simply create a piece of fiction in 50 words or less based on the monthly prompt, post it, and link it up to the linky within this post or in the comments section.

This month’s prompt is….

past regrets button

I have titled my entry this month:

Apocalypse (is just so) Now!

They warned  us.

Don’t be caught unprepared

Now I’m stuck until the limbs fall off the lumbering beast that is undeath, without the essentials to make it worth un-living.

No brain-slicing attachment for the sushi roller.  No ergonomic, organic, merino lamb’s wool zom-baby sling.

Hipsterism – the zombie apocalypse’s sole survivor.

If you want to play along, or read other participants’ efforts, click on this here link to be taken to the linky:

Next month will be our last challenge in the current list of prompts, so if you have any suggestions for monthly prompts for 2014, please feel free to suggest them – I’ll post an updated list of prompts in early January so you’ll have plenty of time to prepare.  In the meantime, next month’s prompt is…

reflections button

I look forward to reading your mini-tomes!

Until next time,

Bruce


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Are you Prepared for the Jam-pocalypse?: What’s in a Name Reading Challenge…

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Obstacle 2 in the What’s in a Name Reading Challenge: Jam by Yahtzee Croshaw…

This is the first title I’ve attempted from my Non-Christie-Listie, as well as the first title from Category 2 (something you might find in the kitchen) and I am happy to report that it has been successfully (and cheerfully) vanquished.

JamThis is Croshaw’s second novel, after Mogworld, and it certainly displays the same swift and silly plotting and characterisation.  Jam follows the story of Travis, a young man who wakes up one morning to discover that his city (incidentally, the one in which I also reside!) has been invaded by flesh-eating jam.  So begins a rollicking romp around Brisbane (Australia, not Texas) involving a cheeky tarantula, plenty of ironic ironicisms and plastic bag fashions a-plenty.

This Novel’s Point of Difference:

Um. I’d say it’s probably the jampocalypse aspect.

Pros:

  • One of Croshaw’s great strengths is silliness-in-appropriate-quantities and this book is jam-packed (pun-intended).with the same. There’s a lot of humour and laugh out loud lines in this book – it’s really one for when you need a bit of a chuckle or aren’t in the mood for anything too heavy in the thinking department.
  • It’s set in Bris-vegas….I quite enjoyed seeing the cityscape on the front cover and being able to recognise the Gotham City Building (I don’t know it’s actual name…since it was built everybody I know has only ever referred to it as the Gotham City Building)
  • It’s a fantastically welcome change from Zombie-related apocalypses (apocalypsi??), and scary, bring-us-all-down dystopian thrillers.

Cons:

  • It’s silly.  Now I realise I just put this in Pros, but I’ve read a lot of reviews (from people who are familiar with Croshaw’s work, weirdly) that panned this book because some of the events depicted were too silly to be credible.  I found this a bit odd, considering the whole premise is based on apocalypse by carnivorous strawberry preserve.  But I suppose, if you are after strictly believable scenarios, this is not the book you’re looking for.
  • I found it hard to recognise my own city in parts of this work….Croshaw faithfully recreates Brisbane landmarks and general layouts, except in the naming of two buildings in which most of the action takes place.  So the Myer Centre becomes the Briar Centre, and the Hitachi building becomes the Hibatsu building….but other landmarks, such as the Wintergarden and plenty of streets are given their proper names….as a local, I found this irritating as it got in the way of me picturing the action as it was occuring in places I know very well.
  • Croshaw uses plenty of American dialect words despite mostly Australian characters in an Australian setting – for example” ice pops” (we call ’em ice blocks here), “community college” (TAFE), “janitor” (cleaning staff), “middle school” (we only have primary and high), “wastepaper baskets” (bins)….I found this quite SPECTACULARLY annoying.

Teaser Text:

He sighed. “There isn’t much we can do without electricity, but my team has been researching alternatives.  One of my engineers proposed a system of fans powered by dogs in giant hamster wheels, but the major issue there is our limited dog inventory.  We’ll keep looking into it”.  p199

Although I have listed three cons, in honesty, if you are not a Brisbanite, it is unlikely you will even notice the specific local references (or lack thereof) that irritated me so.  If you’ve never tried Croshaw’s work before and you are open-minded, enjoy a bit of silly humour and particularly if you are aged 20 – 40 and interested in gaming, you should probably give it a go.

Oh, and here’s a link to some pictures of the Gotham City Building for your viewing pleasure:

http://www.flickriver.com/photos/tags/statelawbuilding/interesting/

Until next time,

Bruce

There’s still time!: Books to read before our impending doom….

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Hello my fellow doom-kittens! In the spirit of “one-last-hurrah”, I’d like to share this wonderful list of books provided by the Book Depository – it’s tailor-made for those who, in the face of impending non-existence, like to set some goals for personal achievement.

You can find this list by clicking the picture below:

mayan calendar gag

Until next time (touch wood!),

Bruce