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Second Anniversaries and Weddings


Ew! Baby slobber!

Ok, Bitterness follows:

Feh. This is odd. Do you realize what's up with the Bitter Guy lately? I fear I may be losing my bitterness and vital rage.

For one thing, my harrowing involvement with a squad of uber-dorks has been brought to a halt. I never thought I could be made to feel so liberated, so ALIVE by the words "Jeff, lick me". Freedom is indeed just another word for not working with morons anymore.

As well, Your Humble Servant has found himself eating many more foods with higher fibre content. Wow. Let me tell you, if there's one thing bound to reduce your rage level it's a smoothly working intestinal system.

Of course, my recent engagement may also be related to the increased level of happy levels. Yes, you heard correctly, the Bitter Guy is getting wed. I'll let you know when Registration info is available. Send many nice gifts.

Oh, yeah: cast your nominations for the Aurora awards. www.sentex.net/~dmullin/aurora. The deadline is June 15, and if I don't get listed in the eligibility list, I come to your houses and eat your cats. With ketchup. And cats are VERY low in fiber.

The High Crusade is the story of a group of knights who capture a starship and go on to conquer the universe. Okay, could I just get a really quick reality check here? A bunch of longbowmeisters and some ginsu guys take out an invading starship? And I thought Independence Day slapped my disbelief around like a prison lover. It doesn't read horribly (as long as you realize the main characters are, well, rapists & thieves), and it was pretty thin, which meant I got to read it quickly. The subtly concealed King Arthur/Guenivere/Lancelot thing was mildly annoying, but I've developed a painful allergy to King Arthur in fiction (which means 90% of Fantasy causes painful hives. And don't get me STARTED on First Knight. That cheesefest called for penicillin shots). The main story was kind of hinky; I mean, here's this vastly powerful alien race who just seem to sit on their verandas all day going "Boy, git me some lemonade!" So these guys show up with bows and arrows (ohhhh!) and walk over them. Well. I guess some people are just too stupid to run an intergalactic empire. The conclusion is cute (Zionists in spaaaace!), and it's a fun, simple read. And I find it makes me think of launching SCA members into the sun, which is always a happy thought.

I must say, Deadly Relations: Bester Ascendant, the second book in the Babylon 5 Psi Corps trilogy, is much better than its prequel. This is known as damning with faint praise. I think my main problem with it was, well, most of this stuff we already knew. I guess I expected more from a novel series set in the B5 universe than just "remember line four, scene six, episode 97? It's the middle nine chapters!" What this book should have been is an exploration of the history of the Psi Corps, without rehash of previous material. If the previous book hadn't been a muddled mess, it would have been a very good book. I guess we'll have to wait for the next book (tentatively titled "Garibaldi makes Bester his bitch") to see if Keyes can do a well written, original book.

Jingo is the current Pratchett Softcover. It's essentially "the Gulf War comes to Discworld". In it, a bunch of wacky Arabs go to war with a bunch of degenerate Ankh Morporkians. It's not as funny as the first books of the series, but isn't as bad as, say The Last Continent or Carpe Jugulum. In this book, we get the subtle moral that "racism is bad, particularly when they make such good curry." I wish Pratchett had been around to share his message of peace and brotherhood when I was getting beaten bloody by inbred Irishmen. It's got the normal funnies (Submarines? Fuuuuuny!), but some scenes make you wonder about the P-man, such as when you get to hear the alternate reality body count (and I have to wonder what kind of guy enters that stuff in his day timer). I still think he needs a two-year nap. I won't mind.

Kill-O-Byte is by Piers Anthony, which I think is enough to say right there. Oh, but you want more? Okay. First off, personal history: I couldn't get through A Spell for Chameleon. My brain kept having this reflex which caused me to toss it across the room. Rather nasty. A few years later, a pal (thanks a lot, Marty) lent me this gem. Although I protested ("A Piers Anthony book? I'll pay you back the $20, I promise!"), it ended up getting read by me en route to a friend's wedding. Wow. Let me tell you, I've read some BAD books in my time, but this was the cake. A big festering cake made of dung and pustulent scabs. Ich. I can't imagine how dialogue this bad, a plot this pointless, and storylines this horrid can make it to print. Does Anthony have photos of his editors getting intimate with plastic sheep? I can see it now: "If one word gets changed, you and Ludmilla make it to alt.sex.publishing.beastiality.latex!" It's been a few years, but it still burns in my brain, like an embolism. Ich. This book is the demon spawn of LSD, a bad mush (redundant?) and too little sleep. I think I'll call 1-800-HI-PIERS and make vomiting noises for an hour and a half. I wonder if he answers the phone himself? "Hi, this is Piers Anthony. What kind of underwear are you wearing?"

So, I read The Phantom Menace two weeks before the movie comes out. It's written by Terry Brooks and, to be honest, kinda sucks. My first opinion upon reading it is that it comes across like someone was given a copy of the script & told "fluff it up a bit". Upon seeing the movie, I find there are scenes added (and, perhaps, deleted). Which is good, because it would have distracted from the movie's pace terribly, as well as adding another half-hour. My one problem with the book is it feels like a padded up script. I don't know if Brooks' books normally feel this way (I've never read any of his books, or if I have I don't remember them, which must be a step up from Piers). I do know that this isn't exactly the kind of thing that'll make me sprint down to my local store and pick up a book or two. Ah, well. As long as he doesn't write boring, long-winded Tolkien-esque fantasies.

And now, the Bitter Guy must bid you adieu on this, the second anniversary edition of The Bitter Guide. And, as you cower beneath your bedspreads contemplating two years of pure Bitterness, comfort yourself with this thought: Dan Quayle will likely not become the most powerful man in the world next year.

If he does, I say we send in the Black UN tanks.

J.J. Mohareb

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