Friday, December 29, 2023

RPC TV Title Match: Forgotten Realms vs Final Destination


Final Destination is disqualified by a countout, and Forgotten Realms continues it's inexplicably lengthy title reign.

Thursday, December 28, 2023

Final Destination: Dead Reckoning by Natasha Rhodes

Final Destination: Dead Reckoning
by Natasha Rhodes
2005, Black Flame

A rock singer in LA has a premonition of a collapsing basement rock venue. After her and a handful of others escape the tragedy, they begin to die off one by one in gory spectacles from convoluted, Rube Goldberg like what would have happened in a proper Final Destination novel.

Instead we get 406 pages of the author doing her darndest to not deliver on the formula. I only made it two thirds of the way, in which we get three deaths. First dies of an explosion off page. The second has a brief Rube Goldberg set up, only to get a swerve and someone else dies from mundane failing brakes. Unpredictable enough, except the third death does exactly the same thing.

The death traps work in the movies by building suspense from each step being laid out, the inevitability of the execution, and the gory aftermath. Here we get none of that. The setups are constantly interrupted by cutting away to small talk, to the point I forgot someone was supposed to die. For the third death, a full 17% of the book went by between the set up and the execution, almost all of which was teenage idiots repeating things back and forth to each other.

I appreciate the challenge the franchise has with how to fill time between death scenes, which would be even worse in print, but this has some of the worse padding I've ever seen outside of a Fanthrorpe novel, down to the narration adding "really, really" to adjectives several times. 

Currently not available anywhere on the internet, and you couldn't afford it if it was. Try the fan audiobook from The 80s Slasher Librarian.

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Shadows of Doom by Ed Greenwood

Shadows of Doom
by Ed Greenwood
1995, TSR

There's a wizard Elminster who can't use magic except for his magic wands accompanied by  ranger Sharantyr, joined later by two Harpers, all of whom murder several hundred soldiers and wizards in the High Dale. I think we're supposed to already know who these people are and what they're up to. Read reviews that decried the basically 300 pages of murder hoboing in the middle, but this is honestly the minimum acceptable level of action.

Available from Amazon

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

RPC TV Title Match: Forgotten Realms vs Final Destination

Rage on the Page in a Cage Television Title Match

Champion Forgotten Realms steps in a puddle next to the frayed extension cord of Final Destination in this Television Title defense.

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Rage on the Page in a Cage


Our new Cruiserweight Champion Ron Kelly defends the belt against the combined forces of Death.

TV Title holder Forgotten Realms face the Final Destination

Derrick Ferguson's Dillon defends against R. J. Calder'a Frenzi for the Young Guns title

Unstoppable Tag Team Champion Startling Detective meets Tan Confessions in the squared circle

European champ Joseph Rosenberger's COBRA defends against Paul Dale Anderson's Claw Hammer

New Intercontinental Champion Ray Garton squares off against William McGivern's Rogue Cop

Two rising stars fight for the vacant US Title - Derrick Ferguson vs Startling Detective

Can Ray Garton's Lot Lizards defeat Donald Westlake's Hot Rock for the World Title and become Trash Fiction Championship's first double crown winner?

And in our main event Rage in a Cage: four teams face off for four rounds, one title at a time. The losers are handcuffed to the cage and the winner goes on to the next round. The teams include:

Stranger Than Truth: True crime and more than true unexplained phenomena from Max Haines, Bernhardt J. Hurwood, From the Files of True Detective, and Warren Smith

Private Eyes: Larry Kent, Carter Brown, Matthew Scudder, and Shell Scott

Karate Kids: Mace, Black Samurai, K'ing Kung-Fu, and Jason Striker

Road Warriors: Post-Apocalyptic bikes and tanks with Last Ranger, The Zone, Outrider, and Afrika

3 magazines

28 short stories

At least 30 novels

Brought to you by our own A Fist For Your Face: The Collected Bleeding Skull

Dean Mason is the Bleeding Skull, a masked vigilante fighting a city that finds new ways to hurt.

Available from Amazon, currently free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers

Sunday, December 3, 2023

Terrortome by Garth Marenghi

by Garth Marenghi (Matthew Holness)
Coronet, 2022

Matthew Holness created Garth Matenghi's Darkplace in 2004, which was presented as an 80s TV series starring author Garth Marenghi and based on his books. Garth is somewhat based on Guy N. Smith and Steven King, with Holness' stock pedantic wanna be tough guy character.

Terrortome is a short story collection as written by Marenghi. To add another meta layer, the main character is author Nick Steen, a stand in for Garth. The first story is a Hellraiser riff, with Steen getting erotically involved with a demonic typewriter. This ends with all the stories in Steen's imagination being unleashed into the world, which he has to stop. We get two more stories - a mad podiatrist and a riff on the Dark Half.

Holness keeps a lot of plates spinning to keep up the conceit. He stays in character with the writing style throughout, keeps the story engaging, writing as if he's dead serious while keeping it funny throughout. Marenghi writes Steen as a cool stand in at the same time Holness presents him as a comic loser.

The audiobook is highly recommended, narrated by Holness in character as Marnghi, and it sounded like the text was changed in places to fit the format.

Available from Amazon

Saturday, December 2, 2023

My Sh-t Life So Far by Frankie Boyle

My Sh-t Life So Far 
by Frankie Boyle
2009 HarperCollins

Frankie Boyle is a Scottish comedian known for topical comedy panel shows, at the time of this book mainly Mock the Week. Strongest telling stories of growing up in 80s Scotland, less so for stand-up material shoehorned in whether it fits or not, and weakest with entire unused comedy scripts that were unused for a reason. His humor works best in small doses; you can only hear so many pedophile jokes in a day.

Available from Amazon