Today I Read…Everyone Loves Bacon

Image result for everybody loves bacon kelly dipucchioToday I read Everyone Loves Bacon written by Kelly DiPucchio and illustrated by Eric Wight.

Bacon is pretty great. He’s funny, and talented, and he smells nice, and everybody loves him. Except French Toast, because French Toast doesn’t like anyone. But some people like Bacon a little too much…

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This one is destined to be part of the birthday gift for the Trickster Baby, as well as Do NOT Open This Book. I bought it because bacon, which I maintain is a reason in and of itself. I rather enjoy this bacon renaissance we live in, and all fo the bacony goodness it has produced. The Bacon Sundae I’ve tried was actually pretty good, though the Bacon Potato Chips were a little disappointing. Adults who love bacon will find this picture book hilarious. Children, well…if they understand the twist at the end, it is actually kinda dark. At least, it is for bacon. I think you can guess what happens when someone really loves bacon? And it’s breakfast time? The illustrations are charming, of the other foods who love Bacon, and the diner they live in. Special shout-out to the Canadian Bacon in the toque who wonders why he isn’t loved as much as Bacon, since I am Canadian–sorry, CB, but you’re in an American diner and they just don’t understand you the way we do up North. I’d read this to older kids, around grades 1-2, who get why the ending is funny, because everyone really does love Bacon.

Hm, I wonder what’s in the fridge…

Today I Read…Do NOT Open This Book

Image result for do not open this book andy leeToday I read Do NOT Open This Book written by Andy Lee, and illustrated by Heath McKenzie.

Look, this is really simple. Don’t open this book. Just put it down and go read something else. It’s nice out, don’t you want to play outside? No? How about…a puppy! Yes, if you go outside right now, a puppy will be waiting for you!…A puppy with ICE CREAM!…Look, I’m begging you, stop turning the pages or else something really awful is going to happen…Stop, please…Oh no!…

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I love interactive picture books, especially ones like this where the adult reading it can really make it a performance. I ADORED The Book With No Pictures by BJ Novak when I first discovered it at an OLA Super Conference a few years ago, and so did every class I read it to at my elementary school as soon as I bought a copy. This book I found at the bookstore as I was hunting for a gift for the first birthday of a friend’s child, and given how contrary the father can be, I had to get this one. (Seriously, if the world falls to a trickster/evil overlord in about 20 years, it’s going to be this kid, so might as well start buttering him up early.)

The premise is about, as is obvious from the title, a blue monster who begs the reader not to open the book, and then to stop turning the pages, or something terrible will happen (I won’t spoil it by telling you what). He rants and he raves and he begs and he tricks, but the pages just. keep. TURNING. The lettering is great, and keeps changing font size and some bits are all capitalized to add emphasis while Blue Monster is speaking , which is useful both for when the adult is performing the book for a child audience, and to use to teach learning readers about voice and emphasis. The illustrations are clean and charming, mostly of Blue Monster himself in various poses and emotions as he pleads for the turning to end.  This book is simple yet entertaining. Hmm, I wonder if I should go pick up another copy for Tiny Niece and her brother Giant Nephew. I mean, it’s not spoiling if it’s books, right?

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Today I Read…Toot and No No Yes Yes

Today I read No No Yes Yes and Toot, written and illustrated by Leslie Patricelli. She is the same artist who illustrated the Mini Myths books by Joan Holub, which my Tiny Niece adores, so I was really interested in checking out her writing as well. These two in particular are going to be part of the Christmas present for Tiny Niece and her younger brother Giant Nephew.

Normally I summarize books in these reviews, but the titles pretty much summarize them for me. Toot is about, well, tooting. Because fart jokes are hilarious to the under 5 crowd. I fully anticipate this will be a big hit with the kids when I pull it out and read it to them on Christmas Day. Their parents may be somewhat less thrilled, but hey, isn’t the point of gifts for your nieces and nephews to annoy your siblings? I’m pretty sure that’s the purpose of noisy battery-driven toys. And while this book isn’t battery operated, it does provide the chance to make sound effects. Toot! In all seriousness, it is also good for normalizing bodily functions, and it does point out that everybody toots, even mommies and daddies and doggies. Though there is still some question about whether Fishy toots.

No No Yes Yes straddles that fine line between providing useful instruction and giving kids bad ideas. I’m sure that the scenarios in the book will all be very familiar to anyone with a toddler in their life. The language is as simple as possible, and can be used for teaching opposites as well as proper behaviour. For each double-page spread, one page is a ‘no no’ activity, like drawing on the walls, pulling kitty’s tail, and putting your toys in the potty. The opposing page has a corresponding ‘yes yes’ acceptable activity, like drawing on paper, petting kitty nicely, and pooping in the potty. Hey, toilet jokes are the next step up from fart jokes. Since Giant Nephew just hit the Terrible Twos, I’m hoping that this book might help a bit, especially the “no no” page for hitting other kids with a toy hammer. Even if it does make a funny “thunk!” sound.

I love the illustration style, simple and bright, with the same non-gendered protagonist. These two are my favourites, but Patricelli has a whole series of board books. Here’s hoping that Giant Nephew loves them as much as Tiny Niece loved Play Nice Hercules and Be Patient Pandora. Well, maybe not quite so much, reading the same book 6 times in a row is enough, right? Right? Tiny Niece, can Auntie read a different books ye–no, no she can’t. Ok sweetie.

Today I Read…The Book With No Pictures

The Book With No PicturesToday I read The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak.

You might think that The Book With No Pictures is a terrible name for a picture book. Well, it is, because this book has no pictures, and how can it be a picture book if it has no pictures? So The Book With No Pictures is a bad picture book.

This book is a trick. A trick by clever children to make grown-ups say silly things. But I’m smarter than that! You can’t trick ME into saying “Boo-Boo Butt!”…what do you mean I just said “Boo-Boo-Butt?” I never said “Boo-Boo Butt.”…why are you laughing?

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I first heard about this book at the OLA Super Conference this year, when a couple of the panels I was attending recommended it. I found it in the OLA Store, and it was so funny I knew I had to buy it for my library. There are some books that you just know as soon as you read them they’ll be hilarious to read out loud at story time.

The Book With No Pictures is just that–it has no pictures, only words, and yet I’m still going to file it under Picture Books in my categories. The idea is that it is filled with nonsense that the clever kid has tricked the adult into reading, and the adult is reluctant to sound so silly. Simple, yet entertaining when read right. Kids always love pulling one over the adult’s head, and the “Boo-Boo Butt” line is always a huge hit with the kindergartener crowd. Seriously, say it to a five-year-old and dare them not to laugh, they just can’t do it. And they laugh harder if you repeat it incredulously. This book ended up being extremely popular after I read it to my story time classes, and afterwards was out just about every week. I started thinking about buying a second copy, and I might have if I wasn’t pinching my budget so hard.

It’s also a good example to use when you’re teaching older kids about narrative voices. There is the story itself, and then there are the interjecting complaints from the narrator about being forced to read silly things.

This book is clever and funny and fun to read. I think it was one of my favourites from story time last year.

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WARNING!

This book looks completely serious, but it is actually COMPLETELY RIDICULOUS!

If a kid is trying to make you read this book, the kid is playing a trick on you. You will end up saying SILLY THINGS and making everybody LAUGH AND LAUGH!

Don’t say I didn’t warn you…

(from the back cover)

Today I Read…The Cat, the Dog, Little Red, the Exploding Eggs, the Wolf, and Grandma

The Cat, the Dog, Little RedToday I read The Cat, the Dog, Little Red, the Exploding Eggs, the Wolf, and Grandma by Diane and Christyan Fox.

Cat is trying to tell Dog the story of Little Red Riding Hood, but Dog has a lot of questions. Like, if Little Red wears a cape, what’s her superpower? Why doesn’t Little Red know the difference between her grandmother and a wolf? And do the eggs in her basket explode so she can use them to fight crime?

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I loved this one when I saw it at a publishers’ sale for librarians, and I instantly bought it for my school library. I really enjoyed doing this one as a read-aloud. I always did storytime by myself, but this book could be a great performance story for two storytellers, since Cat and Dog each have their own lines. Alternatively, you can just use different voices if you’re reading it by yourself.

This book is really better for kids who already know the basic version of Little Red Riding Hood, since it’s a retelling and it can get confusing for kids who don’t know the common story. Most kids do know it, so for kindergarten and above you can just ask them “Do you know the story of Little Red Riding Hood? Well, this is kind of like that.” I didn’t have the time to read the original and the retelling during my storytime periods, so just the reminder was fine, but if you have more time than you can certainly do a themed storytime and read different versions. It’s also a good interrupting story, so as the storyteller you can use Dog as a model of how not to behave when someone is telling you a story, and show why Cat is getting frustrated. While I love storytelling, I definitely had a few days when certain classes needed to be reminded of how to behave during storytime.

The illustrations and crisp and simple, usually just Cat and Dog acting out the story instead of Red and the Wolf and Grandma. There is minimal colour and a lot of white space, which makes it easy to focus on the pictures. The title, while long, is fun to say, especially when you get to the part about the exploding eggs. I love the way the Foxes used every part of the book to tell the story, including the front and back cover and the endpapers, especially the illustration on the back when Grandma is knocking on her wardrobe door to come out. I always turn the book around so the kids can see it and knock on the hardcover while I plaintively call out “Hello? Hello?” It’s a crowd pleaser.

The story is hilarious and charming, and fun to read for both the storyteller and the listener. But Dog makes some very good points–are we sure the original is a children’s story? Why doesn’t the Wolf eat Little Red in the forest? And will anyone ever let Grandma out of the wardrobe? Read the book to find out!

 

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Today I Read…The H.M.S. Bad Idea

Today I read The H.M.S. Bad Idea: an Anti-Self-Help Comic Collection by Peter Chiykowski.

HMS Bad IdeaHave you ever had a bad idea? How about an entire book filled with bad ideas? It’s quite a challenge, but Rock, Paper, Cynic artist Peter Chiykowski is up to it, with a little help from some friends (ok, 40+ guest artists, I’ll assume they’re friends if they appeared in his book. That’s safe, right? I mean, if you’re making a book, do you ask your mortal enemies to draw in it? Is that a thing? That doesn’t seem like a thing. I mean, a self-help book would probably say rely on your friends to help you, so would an anti-self-help book say rely on your enemies? Or is it the self part that’s important, as in help yourself, so is an anti-self-help book about letting other people help you? Now I’m confused. I better go eat bacon, because bacon. Read the book to find out why eating bacon is a special occasion).

From #725 “reply to that poor Nigerian prince who’s down on his luck” to #1191 “open the eldritch book with the cover made of human skin” to #1355 “use non-genetically mutated turtles to battle your local crime syndicate,” this book is the perfect guide for anyone’s life–just don’t do anything on the list. Especially, one suspects, #2010–give alcohol to cartoonists.

Also featuring the best of five years of Rock, Paper, Cynic, this is a great book for anyone who likes geeky humour, sardonic philosophy, and turtles. Because turtles are awesome.

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RPC D&DI’ve known Peter casually for a few years now–he attends a lot of local sci-fi conventions selling his comics, and you get to know some of the regulars on the circuit. I usually try to stop by his table and see what’s new. I like his style–it’s brightly coloured and pithy and entertaining. I have a couple of his prints, but I like so much of his work that I was really happy when I saw that he had collected some of his favourites into a book. I dare anyone to read it and not smile.

teddy bears are better than most peopleRPC Fairy Tale

Actually, that’s the best praise I can give the book. It makes you smile.

RPC Happy

Also, I really want a secret bookcase-tunnel reading lair.

RPC Ebooks

Today I Read…Ensign Sue

Ensign Sue Must DieToday I read the Ensign Sue trilogy, Ensign Sue Must Die, Ensign Two: The Wrath of Sue, and Ensign Cubed: Crisis of Infinite Sue, written by Clare Moseley and illustrated by Kevin Bolk.

The multiverse is about to face the greatest danger it has ever seen–Ensign Mary Amethyst Star Enoby Aiko Archer Picard Janeway Sue! Torn between Kirk’s love and Spock’s (say what?), the seventeen-year-old medical officer, half-Russian, half-Vulcan, half-Japanese, half-Klingon, proud owner of Le Cutest of Beagle anda spunicorn (it’s like a unicorn, but it’s in space!), she is the most annoying creature the Enterprise has ever encountered. Unfortunately, in their desperation to get rid of this galactic pest, they accidentally ripped a hole in the space-time continuum and spread the Sues across the multiverse! It’s up to the crew of the Enterprise, the Doctor, and Wolverine (if there’s a team, he has to be on it), to travel the multiverse and trap the Sues in Pokeballs, and they gotta catch ’em all! But they have to be careful, because Sues lurk where you least expect…

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Wrath of SueI found this comic at the Interrobang Studios booth at Fan Expo last August, and the premise was hilarious so I bought the trilogy and read it on the train home that night. And I was right–it’s terrific! Both wonderfully funny and an excellent examination of the dreaded Mary Sue trope, the third book takes a turn for the serious by making Mary Sue into a character with a deeper motivation than her pretty hair. All she really wanted was for the people she loves so much to love her back–something many fans would like. She just has to learn that she can’t force people to love her–again, a lesson a lot of people in real life could stand to learn.

Crisis of Infinite SuesThe illustrations are adorable, and I really love the Sues’ cheek cutie marks, that help differentiate their different universes. And Sulu’s frustration at Anna Mae Sue’s terrible pidgin-Japanese, and how Mirror-Sue is evil because of her outfit, and how Khan-Prime defeats Reboot-Khan, and Kirk’s despair over his own sue-ish tendencies, and how Bella Swan is too useless and boring to even be a Sue. Basically, I love everything about this series.

It will probably appeal most to fangirls, and ones who can see the funny side of fandom and fangirls. And remember–may the Sue be with you (’cause she’s driven everybody else crazy).

Reblog: Cards Against Librarianship

So Emily Lloyd, a friend of a friend came up with this, and now I want a set. It’s a librarianship-themed deck of Cards Against Humanity.

For those who don’t know, first, find a set. Cards Against Humanity is a card game where a question is asked from a black card and then people have to select their favourite white answer card from their hand, and the judge determines which is the best answer. Since the subtitle of the game is “a party game for horrible people”, this should give you an idea of what the potential answers are like. It’s hilarious, and best played with a large amount of alcohol and a jumbo box of Kleenex, since the tears of laughter can make it hard to read your cards. It’s easy to make your own deck, since the game designers intend for people to create their own- each official deck comes with a few blank cards so you can make your own questions and answers, and on their website they actually have a pdf of the blank cards so you can make your own deck, available under Creative Commons license. I’ve played a science-fiction themed deck before at Polar Chill and I know that Justin made a Doctor Who-themed deck for Reversed Polarity though I was too busy to make it down for the tournament.

So basically, there needs to be a set of this at every library school for students to play during exam time. And it’s better if it’s located at the campus bar.

CAL card

Today I Read…Redshirts

RedshirtsToday I read Redshirts by John Scalzi.

Away missions for the Universal Union are dangerous, everybody knows that. Especially when you serve on the flagship of the Union, the Intrepid, under Captain Lucius Abernathy. But newly transferred Ensign Andrew Dahl and his friends are starting to notice that they’re only dangerous for certain people. Some people– the captain and his favourite officers–never seem to die, no matter how often or how badly they get hurt. But the lowest ranked crewmen, the ones that nobody ever seems to know the same of, they can die. They die a lot. The only ones who seem safe are the ones who stay as far away from the main five’s notice as they possibly can.

But then Dahl and his friends start to behave in strange ways. They know things that they never learn, they do stupid things that they shouldn’t survive. And there’s a furry monster living in the walls of the ship with the most outlandish conspiracy theory, which just might be crazy enough to be true. Is there any way to survive wearing the red shirt of death? Or are they doomed to die solely to advance the plot…I mean, to save their superior officers and the mission?

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I’ve seen Redshirts around the bookstore, and I thought it was about something Star Trek-ish, and I love his blog. I decided to read it on a whim, though I hadn’t read the description and I didn’t really know what it was about.

Holy hilarious satire, Batman!

This is one of the funniest books that I’ve read in a long time. It reminded me of Galaxy Quest or Night of the Living Trekkies–clearly written by someone with a genuine love and respect for Star Trek while understanding that it does have some rather prominent flaws that make it easy to make fun of. It’s that love that makes all the difference. Redshirts works quite well just as a funny book to anyone who’s caught the odd episode and knows basic pop culture, but its true magic is saved for those who get all the in-jokes and references. Fans, particularly science fiction fans, can be the most devoted people in the world, but they can also be the most critical of the thing they love. But for some, there’s a level of fandom you can reach where acknowledging the problems in your fandom doesn’t take away from your love or enjoyment.

I’ve loved Star Trek since I first watched it in grade three, as research for the school play my class was putting on. Mr. Coverdale wrote the play every year–that year it was Star Trek: The Generation After the Next Generation. I played Dr. Beverly Flusher on the starship Enterforaprize under the command of Captain Pickacardanycard (what, it was grade three, we thought it was funny). There was something magical about Star Trek–the idea that humanity would survive, would prosper, would reach out and visit the stars. To seek out strange new worlds, and new civilizations…to boldly go where no one has gone before. I loved it. I always loved reading, and I had a strong fantasy bent even then, but this introduced me to science fiction. Eventually it led me to the fandom life, to conventions, and to fans. It led me to my tribe. Even when I grew up, and started noticing all the problems (reverse the polarity? That’s what passes for science? and why the hell were military officers wearing mini skirts on a space ship?), the love stayed. It always will.

Scalzi is a part of that tribe. His love shines through, even while he picks apart the lazy writing and the terrible science and the deliberately generic characters and the demands of making a television show and he makes them all real. He takes the redshirts and he gives them names, and stories, and he makes them more than just their shirt. And he makes them want to be more than just the colour of their shirt. Redshirts is what happens when the extra breaks out of the chorus line, stands center stage, and takes aim at the director and the producer and the star and especially the writer and lets them have it.

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From the top of the large boulder he sat on, Ensign Tom Davis looked across the expanse of the cave toward Captain Lucius Abernathy, Science Officer Q’eeng and Chief Engineer Paul West perched on a second, larger boulder, and thought, Well, this sucks.

“Borgovian Land Worms!” Captain Abernathy said, and smacked his boulder with an open palm. “I should have known.”

You should have known? How the hell could you not have known? thought Ensign Davis, and looked at the vast dirt floor of the cave, its powdery surface moving here and there with the shadowy humps that marked the movement of the massive, carnivorous worms.

“I don’t think we should just be waltzing in there,” Davis had said to Chen, the other crew member on the away team, upon encountering the cave. Abernathy, Q’eeng and West had already entered, despite the fact that Davis and Chen were technically their security detail.

Chen, who was new, snorted. “Oh, come on,” he said. “It’s just a cave. What could possibly be in there?”

“Bears?” Davis had suggested. “Wolves? Any number of large predators who see a cave as shelter from the elements? Have you never been camping?”

“There are no bears on this planet,” Chen had said, willfully missing Davis’ point. “And anyway we have pulse guns. Now come on. This is my first away mission. I don’t want the captain wondering where I am.” He ran in after the officers.

From his boulder, Davis looked down at the dusty smear on the cave floor that was all that remained of Chen. The land worms, called by the sound of the humans walking in the cave, had tunneled up under him and dragged him down, leaving nothing but echoing screams and the smear.

Well, that’s not quite true, Davis thought, peering farther into the cave and seeing the hand that lay there, still clutching the pulse gun Chen had carried, and which as it turned out had done him absolutely no good whatsoever.

The ground stirred and the hand suddenly disappeared.

Okay, now it’s true, Davis thought.

“Davis!” Captain Abernathy called. “Stay where you are! Any movement across that ground will call to the worms! You’ll be eaten instantly!”

Thanks for the useless and obvious update, you jackass, Davis thought, but did not say, because he was an ensign, and Abernathy was the captain. Instead, what he said was, “Aye, Captain.”

“Good,” Abernathy said. “I don’t want you trying to make a break for it and getting caught by those worms. Your father would never forgive me.”

What? Davis thought, and suddenly he remembered that Captain Abernathy had served under his father on the Benjamin Franklin. The ill-fated Benjamin Franklin. And in fact, Davis’ father had saved the then-Ensign Abernathy by tossing his unconscious body into the escape pod before diving in himself and launching the pod just as the Franklin blew up spectacularly around them. They had drifted in space for three days and had almost run out of breathable air in that pod before they were rescued.

Davis shook his head. It was very odd that all that detail about Abernathy popped into his head, especially considering the circumstances.

As if on cue, Abernathy said, “Your father once saved my life, you know.”

“I know—” Davis began, and then nearly toppled off the top of his boulder as the land worms suddenly launched themselves into it, making it wobble.

“Davis!” Abernathy said.

Davis hunched down, flattening himself toward the boulder to keep his center of gravity low. He glanced over to Abernathy, who was now conferring with Q’eeng and West. Without being able to hear them, Davis knew that they were reviewing what they knew about Borgovian Land Worms and trying to devise a plan to neutralize the creatures, so they could cross the cave in safety and reach the chamber that housed the ancient Central Computer of the Borgovians, which could give them a clue about the disappearance of that wise and mysterious race.

You really need to start focusing on your current situation, some part of Davis’ brain said to him, and he shook his head again. Davis couldn’t disagree with this assessment; his brain had picked a funny time to start spouting a whole bunch of extraneous information that served him no purpose at this time.

The worms rocked his boulder again. Davis gripped it as hard as he could and saw Abernathy, Q’eeng and West become more animated in their attempted problem solving.

A thought suddenly came to Davis. You’re part of the security detail, it said. You have a pulse gun. You could just vaporize these things.

Davis would have smacked his head if the worms weren’t already doing that by driving it into the boulder. Of course! The pulse gun! He reached down to his belt to unclasp the gun from its holster. As he did so another part of his brain wondered why, if in fact the solution was as simple as just vaporizing the worms, Captain Abernathy or one of the other officers hadn’t just ordered him to do it already.

I seem to have a lot of voices in my brain today, said a third part of Davis’ brain. He ignored that particular voice in his brain and aimed at a moving hump of dirt coming toward his boulder.

Abernathy’s cry of “Davis! No!” arrived at the exact instant Davis fired, sending a pulsed beam of coherent, disruptive particles into the dirt mound. A screech emanated from the mound, followed by violent thrashing, followed by a sinister rumbling, followed by the ground of the cave erupting as dozens of worms suddenly burst from the dirt.

“The pulse gun is ineffective against Borgovian Land Worms!” Davis heard Science Officer Q’eeng say over the unspeakable noise of the thrashing worms. “The frequency of the pulse sends them into a frenzy. Ensign Davis has just called every worm in the area!”

You couldn’t have told me this before I fired? Davis wanted to scream. You couldn’t have said, Oh, by the way, don’t fire a pulse gun at a Borgovian Land Worm at our mission briefing? On the ship? At which we discussed landing on Borgovia? Which has fucking land worms?

Davis didn’t scream this at Q’eeng because he knew there was no way Q’eeng would hear him, and besides it was already too late. He’d fired. The worms were in a frenzy. Somebody now was likely to die.

It was likely to be Ensign Davis.

Through the rumble and dust, Davis looked over at Abernathy, who was gazing back at him, concern furrowed into his brow. And then Davis was wondering when, if ever, Abernathy had ever spoken to him before this mission.

Oh, Abernathy must have—he and Davis’ father had been tight ever since the destruction of the Franklin. They were friends. Good friends. It was even likely that Abernathy had known Davis himself as a boy, and may have even pulled a few strings to get his friend’s son a choice berth on the Intrepid, the flagship of the Universal Union. The captain wouldn’t have been able to spend any real time with Davis—it wouldn’t have done for the captain to show favoritism in the ranks—but surely they would have spoken. A few words here and there. Abernathy asking after Davis’ father, perhaps. Or on other away missions.

Davis was coming up with a blank.

Suddenly, the rumbling stopped. The worms, as quickly as they had gone into a frenzy, appeared to sidle back under the dirt. The dust settled.

“They’re gone!” Davis heard himself say.

“No,” Abernathy said. “They’re smarter than that.”

“I can make it to the mouth of the cave!” Davis heard himself say.

“Stay where you are, Ensign!” Abernathy said. “That’s an order!”

But Davis was already off his boulder and running toward the mouth of the cave. Some part of Davis’ brain howled at the irrationality of the action, but the rest of Davis didn’t care. He knew he had to move. It was almost a compulsion. As if he had no choice.

Abernathy screamed “No!” very nearly in slow motion, and Davis covered half of the distance he needed to go. Then the ground erupted as land worms, arrayed in a semicircle, launched themselves up and toward Davis.

And it was then, as he skidded backward, and while his face showed surprise, in fact, that Ensign Davis had an epiphany.

This was the defining moment of his life. The reason he existed. Everything he’d ever done before, everything he’d ever been, said or wanted, had led him to this exact moment, to be skidding backward while Borgovian Land Worms bored through dirt and air to get him. This was his fate. His destiny.

In a flash, and as he gazed upon the needle-sharp teeth spasming in the rather evolutionarily suspect rotating jaw of the land worm, Ensign Tom Davis saw the future. None of this was really about the mysterious disappearance of the Borgovians. After this moment, no one would ever speak of the Borgovians again.

It was about him—or rather, what his impending death would do to his father, now an admiral. Or even more to the point, what his death would do to the relationship between Admiral Davis and Captain Abernathy. Davis saw the scene in which Abernathy told Admiral Davis of his son’s death. Saw the shock turn to anger, saw the friendship between the two men dissolve. He saw the scene where the Universal Union MPs placed the captain under arrest for trumped-up charges of murder by negligence, planted by the admiral.

He saw the court-martial and Science Officer Q’eeng, acting as Abernathy’s counsel, dramatically breaking down the admiral on the witness stand, getting him to admit this was all about him losing his son. Davis saw his father dramatically reach out and ask forgiveness from the man he had falsely accused and had arrested, and saw Captain Abernathy give it in a heartrending reconciliation right there in the courtroom.

It was a great story. It was great drama.

And it all rested upon him. And this moment. And this fate. This destiny of Ensign Davis.

Ensign Davis thought, Screw this, I want to live, and swerved to avoid the land worms.

But then he tripped and one of the land worms ate his face and he died anyway.

Today I Read…Shockaholic

Today I read Shockaholic, the second autobiography by Carrie Fisher, and sequel to the bestselling Wishful Drinking.Shockaholic

Carrie Fisher has perfected the art of skewering herself, with one exception: she just can’t stick the apple in her mouth, mostly because it would keep her from talking about herself and her crazy life. Said crazy life over the last few years includes losing her beloved father and former stepmother, Eddie Fisher and the legendary Elizabeth Taylor; writing and starring in her Emmy- and Tony-nominated one-woman show, Wishful Drinking, based on her first bestselling autobiography; and of course her growing addiction to Electro-Convulsive Shock Therapy, and it’s related memory problems. Shockaholic is Fisher’s way of dealing with her memory problems, by writing down her life–fortunately (or unfortunately, if you don’t like the book) she’s decided to share the products with the world. So sit back, have a drink (coffee, she’s also trying to stay sober), and listen to a tale of not that long ago, from a Hollywoodland far, far away…
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I first read Wishful Drinking because Mom got us tickets to her show in Toronto a few years ago, and you can never let a book be spoiled. It was hilarious and I loved it, both the book and the show. I ran afterwards to the back door of the theater, and I managed to get the only autograph, since I guess she ran right out too.

Carrie Fisher is brutally, unrelentingly honest about her life and the mistakes that she’s made, but she never appears sorry for the drugs, career decisions, the invasion of her family’s privacy and mockery of her friends, the foul language, the devoted self-interest–on the contrary, she revels in it, since all of it comes together to create Carrie Fisher, a legend before her time who has spent the years since being Princess Leia finding out who she is underneath the silly white robe with no underwear. This isn’t so much a book as it is an experience, with a unique, oddly charming, and above all powerful voice. I’m still not sure I know who the real Carrie Fisher is, and she probably doesn’t either with all of the ECT she’s undergone, but whoever she is, she has balls bigger than Leia’s buns.