Friday, September 19, 2014

This Little Pi-Wait. What the hell? No!

Today I read This Little Piggy by Craig McGray.


James wakes up with no recollection of how he ended up shoved into a culvert full of corpses in the backwoods. He struggles to escape the confines of the pipe and quickly realizes he should have stayed home that night. Here, Piggy, Piggy!

**Warning: This Little Piggy is a short HORROR story not intended for anyone who may be offended by graphic language or scenes of violence. Please, don't read this story if you are squeamish. Really, there's some nasty stuff in here."

I was like, "Yeah, right, it probably has what you think is some nasty stuff." I was kind of wrong. This guy wakes up in a culvert filled with bodies, as the description says, and his limbs are all broken and stuff so he painfully drags himself out and remembers why he ended up in there in the first place.

It turns out he is a murderer and a rapist, and some guy catches him trying to rape and kill his sister. He beats the shit out of him and rapes him with a mop handle then puts him in the culvert.

Then when he crawls out, the guy finds him again, more beating, et cetera, and then he feeds him to some pigs.

So yeah, the description doesn't lie. There is some "nasty stuff." In fact, the "nasty stuff" accounts for basically 100% of the story.

Wait, Why in the Hell was this Written?: 5 out of 5. This was literally just descriptions of all the sickest shit this guy could think of. There is technically a story, but why do I need to read it, and why the hell was it written? It is interesting to introduce a character and get us thinking he is a victim and leave the reason he is in this situation a mystery until Act 2. But the answer to that mystery was kind of a fucking story killer (pun? I guess?). Yeah it's unique to get us in the point of view of a rapist and killer, but the fact of him being a rapist and killer doesn't serve much of a purpose in this story other than letting us know it's okay to watch him get tortured to death in medically defying horrible ways. Personally I was okay with it until he got his teeth smashed out and some went down his throat. So...I guess... good job on the descriptions?

The Ending: Totally Unnecessary out of 5. So in the end the huge guy that kills the "protagonist" goes back and tells his sister that he's dead. Then they fuck. I'm not kidding, it's like a redneck guy with all the cliches of speech and mannerisms and the incest. What literary or entertainment purpose does that serve? I mean, you could really dig for reasons to include this and be like, "Rednecks. Incest. ...HA!" That stereotype being funny is the only thing this ending does. Fine, I make poop jokes all the time, this guy can have his cheap laughs too. But not to fucking end a story. A story fucking chock full of murder, especially. All them murders need answering for.

Actually, Technically all the Murders Have Been Solved, from the Point of View of the Reader: Countless out of Bodies. This story really had so little going on other than torture that I'm just going to keep talking about that. Seriously, what am I going to review all the torture scenes and critique their value as a form of art? I'm sure to someone it is art, and it has to have been written for a reason. That sounds really critical, but I'm not being ironic. It is literally a sadistic story, and it seemed to want to be cathartic or something. All I can really do when faced with this information is just assume that this Craig McGray author guy is actually a rapist murderer and this story is a fantasy of how he wants to punish himself. Or he thought guts are cool.

Overall: 2 out of 5. I don't really want to give it that high of a score, I really didn't enjoy reading this, but technically it doesn't break any of the rules I'm always bitching about, so... Yeah.

On a lighter note, if you would like to check out my snuff series, go to

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

All My Errands

Because reading this was sort of a chore. This week I read All My Demons by Frederic Ayers.

"It was another day in my life that was simply unlike anybody else’s. I have been on the run since I was a kid. Running from demons, not my demons, but demons. When I got on yet another bus to try and keep the demons at bay, I expected it to be like any other bus ride, a safe haven from these demons that everyone says are just in my mind.
Now, on a hot and crowded summer holiday weekend I am on a bus full of screaming kids and broken air-conditioning. If I don't shake this feeling of being watched, I am sure I will have to resort to something to finally end this suffering and the demons forever. The question really is, will I be able to control the demons. Find out in this new science fiction horror short story by Frederic Ayers."

That description is actually probably more detailed than the actual story. The guy is haunted by demons that only attack him when he is alone, but he gets on a bus and for the first time ever they attack everyone on the bus. The guy sitting behind him holds his hand, then fires a strange weapon and the demons go away.

The man then explains that the demons are beings from another dimension, attracted to a few humans like magnets, but when normal humans are around the pull is not strong enough. He also explains that he was firing the gun at our protagonist and not the demons, to reverse his polarity. Then, he gets into a black car that pulls up out of nowhere.

But before he goes, the protagonist grabs his arm and sees that he has the same cherry branch tattoo as himself. Why do these guys have a cherry branch tattoo? Isn't that like a patently female tattoo? Whatever, maybe they just want to look like sexy drifters, it's not for me to judge. Oh yeah, and obviously the older dude is the protagonist from the future. Spooky!

The End.

AND then the old guy gives him a package and inside is his treasured pocket watch. Why is it always a pocket watch? Then the guy is like, "Wait, is that me from the future?" Uh, yeah, we're all one step ahead of you dude what the fuck.

The End.

Least Exciting Slaughter Ever: 5 out of 5. Not only does this guy do that annoying shit I always bitch about where half the story is just telling us about his backstory and nothing is happening, but when the action does get started it is some of the most disconnected and boring shit ever. My summary above might as well be the original story. In fact, I might get sued for plagiarism for that little synopsis. In this story, demons wrench open the top of a bus like a tin can and start systematically slaughtering people as they get closer and closer to the protagonist. But again, what I just said right there had more action and adjectives than the actual events. This shit reads like, "Then they tore open the bus and started killing people. There was some screaming and blood. I didn't know what was happening." Fuck! MAN! Give us some blow-by-blow action here! Who was screaming? What did it sound like? Where was the blood coming from? What did any of this look like? What did it sound like when the top of the bus was yanked off? Describe anything!

Nothing is Explained: 5 out of 5. I can understand that like science fiction and time travel are mysterious and there are reasons you can't tell your past self shit or something blah blah whatever. But you can at least tell us why you can't tell us something. There is no explanation for why the demons attacked a crowded bus once and only once. There is no explanation for how his future self got this technology or where he is going or...anything! And if you want us to come to the conclusion on our own, that you don't want to fuck up time by telling everything, then why the fuck did the old man not say anything to the protagonist all mysterious-like and then ruin it all by giving him a fucking clever little package with his watch inside all like "Maybe Santa is real!" If anything, that's what would fuck things up the most. Just couldn't help himself? No, I'll tell you why it all played out this way. The author doesn't know or give a fuck about the details. It is clear by how few details were actually included throughout the story. He just wanted demons and a clever ending and was too lazy to fill in the rest properly.

 Actually There Were a lot of Details About All the Wrong Things: 5 out of 5. The backstory was boring, but this author was clearly really into it. He spun quite a tale about how he is so special because he sees demons and nobody understands him so he became a hardened drifter. Again, all of this was removed a step by a healthy tell and don't show buffer of reflecting on the past and summarizing events, but there was still quite a bit of detail wasted on this telling and not showing. He also really wanted everyone to know what the city and the bus smelled like. He went to massive efforts to describe it, although he eventually failed because he broke down into saying that it was a smell he just couldn't quite place. But it was a bad smell. Oh, I assure you, it was the stinkiest of stinks. Now, after all that effort, maybe a reader could expect that the smell plays a part in the story? Nope. Not important. Doesn't come up again at all. Instead, you just have the really predictable transition from the subtle but cliche, "There was something familiar about this old man," to, "Something REALLY familiar," to, "REALLY REALLY FAMILIAR LIKE FAMILY BUT EVEN CLOSER," to beating you over the head with, "And he had the same tattoo, but why would he have the same tattoo as me unless he is me but that's impossible because I am me," to the final addition for mentally impaired readers, "and then he gave me my own watch but I have my own watch so he HAD to be me!" Maybe, and this is just a suggestion, maybe it would have been more subtle if the effort wasted on describing the smell was used later in the story where it really would have counted.

Overall: 2 out of 5. Back to the drawing board, dude. Actually someone could probably make this idea into an alright story, although not a very clever one.

If you want to see some more ideas that someone else could make into a good story, go to

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Something Racist, Something Free

This week I read Something Safe, Something Free by Janice Daugharty.

"In time, Willie will drop from his high on alcohol and self-pity. In time, he will adapt to working for the black man who used to work for him. Bear now owns Willie's hard-earned heavy-construction business because of a glitch in government regulations. But what Wille will never adapt to is his x-wife's conning him out of his twin girls."

That set off a bit of a red flag, eh? He will adapt to working for the black man who used to work for him? Because of a glitch in government regulations? Is this story going to be a sermon about affirmative action?

Thankfully, not really, but we'll get to that later. This story reads like a piece by a creative writing student in college who has been reading experimental fiction and wants to emulate it. Sure enough, from her author page: "Janice Daugharty, writer in residence at Abraham Baldwin Agriculture College, in Tifton, Georgia."

She is all about the creative writing classes. And, it would be sort of ironically prejudiced for me to point out that "Georgia" and "Agriculture College" don't bode well for not being a racist, but... well, come on. Misspelling ex-wife doesn't help her case either, as long as we're making sweeping generalizations.

The thing is these pieces that are a product of college classes can be good, but it is damn hard to be as good as the famous, post-modern short story authors you are studying. This particular story is about a depressed redneck who you expect to commit suicide by the end. There is actually far, far more effort put into the story than the description lets on, but like I said, her goal is essentially on-par with me sleeping with Jennifer Aniston without a rape charge- creative writing teacher or no.

The thing is, there has to be a reason for this story in order for it to be good, and I was fully expecting it to end in suicide, which would have been a stupid, pointless story. Luckily, she adds a twist at the end--the guy takes his rope, loops it, and uses it to steal a sign on the road as a small consolation prize.

NOW, that would be a good story, IF I liked the main character. But I didn't. He sucked, and I found myself wanting him to die at the end of the story. The result? A story that was not predictable, but which was actually slightly disappointing because of that fact. Don't get all meta on me and say that maybe that was her intention, that the guy stealing the useless sign at the end was him symbolically stealing something from me as a reader and this was all self-conscious. That is giving way too much credit.

WAY Too Much Flowery Language: 5 out of 5. This was actually a really short story, but it seemed to go on twice as long as the stuff I usually review because every fucking minor detail had over-the-top descriptive language. It didn't always benefit the story, either. Here is the first paragraph:

"A scooched owl in the live oaks swoops low over the lanes. Willie slows his pickup and turns left off the highway. Yellow lights blinker on the white mailbox, on rags of Spanish moss where katydids stash their summer shrieks. A tired country song on the radio loads the dusk, textured of winter's nothingness hum. Sounds borrowed from yesterday, on loan from tomorrow."

You know that doesn't make any fucking sense, right? I am impressed with the amount of bullshit that was jammed into one paragraph while telling me essentially nothing. "There is a guy driving a truck," you say? Great. I give a fuck, I really do. First, the internet says there is a colloquialism for "scooch owl," not "scooched," but I'll let that slide. But here- oh! You forgot an adjective for lanes! What kind of lanes are they? You're not being exhaustively fucking descriptive enough! Since when is "blinker" a verb? You know how I can tell "where katydids stash their summer shrieks" is a fucking useless thing to say? Because I can't tell if it's winter or summer from this paragraph now. You have failed at the thing you are trying to do hardest--set the scene. "Sounds borrowed from yesterday, on loan from tomorrow." What the fuck does that mean? Does it make any fucking sense at all? Tell me. TELL ME. Being very liberal here, I am going to give the benefit of the doubt and say it's a really fucking dumb way to say every day has the same soundtrack. "Winter's nothingness hum." Please. Get the fuck out of my house.

Is This Racist? 5 out of 5. Yeah it really leaves you wondering. That's not a good sign, is it? Now, the main character is definitely racist. He is all down because he is "the new nigger." It's not the use of the word nigger that bothers me, hell, I used it for a purpose just now. It's the fact that he is upset about a black man being his boss. There's more though. He reflects that the "city folk" will kill you if you use the word nigger, but they turn right around and call you redneck. Yeah, well, deal with it, you racist fuck. He also thinks that all white people are the new niggers. Thanks, OBAMA! Don't even fucking start with bringing up affirmative action and saying bullshit like that. You will end up dead by my hands, DEAD. Anyway, all of that does not necessarily mean that the author is a racist. He is a character in a story, not her journal. But then there's the fact that he steals a sign at the end instead of committing suicide, and the message is basically: sometimes life is a bitch, you are a born loser, and you just gotta take your consolation prizes. Like I said before, that's only an effective message if I like the main character. And I don't like him. He's a racist. So there's that. You meditate on that for a while.

A for Effort: 5 out of 5. This story is well-polished, previously published, and a lot of thought went into it. Like, a fuck-load of thought. You read the first paragraph for yourself; you think she spent less than a month trying to think of all those little embellishments? No, she definitely fucking strained her brain for this one, and for that I will give her credit. Thank you, lady who I already forgot the name of, for putting one hundred and ten percent into an Amazon story, and making all of us fellow self-published authors look a little less like teenagers stranded on a desert island without clothes just rabidly jacking off after we beat up the kid with glasses. time, and don't get mad when I say this, but next time, can you put all that effort into a story that has, you know, a really solid direction and message? Thanks.

Overall: 3 out of 5. Yeah, higher than you thought, right? I think this one is worth a read for anyone who hasn't taken a university-level writing class. You will seriously get the full experience.

If you want to find out what winter's nothingness hum is, go to

Monday, August 25, 2014

You Thought You Knew Everything About Global Warming, But This Story Will Blow Your Mind!

I couldn't think of a stupid pun, even though it shouldn't be that hard, so I just went with a clickbait title.

This week I read The Cold Pools by Chris Ward.

"Meet me at the end of the world ...
As civilization comes to an end, Lewis and Karen take their last vacation to the only cold place left on Earth, the remote resort town of Cold Pools. There, they will say goodbye ...

The Cold Pools - a short story of 3,000 words, is taken from the author's collection Ms Ito's Bird & Other Stories.

Chris Ward is the author of more than 80 short stories (33 of them published) and the novel The Tube Riders, available now on Amazon."

The Tube Riders, eh? Amazon really has way too much erotica these days. Well, anyway, this one isn't an erotica (unless you're into really weird stuff I guess). It's about global warming and the consequences of it, including, of course, skin cancer and the only inhabitable continent being Antarctica.

I'm actually NOT going to spoil this one, because it's decent for once. What I will say is this guy and his wife go to the last glacier on Earth which is also the only place where the temperature is below 80 degrees fahrenheit. It is, sadly, their last big, expensive trip because his wife is dying of a rare form of skin cancer that leaves her body covered in pussy sores. That's kind of scary... maybe  have cancer because- no, wait, WebMD says it's just herpes. Thank god.

So I was like, "where is this going?" thinking the author had just thought of a unique scenario for a story and was screwed for an ending. I was pleasantly surprised, though, that it turned out to be a little poignant commentary on our human need for the artificial, lies, and self-deception. Even though we know the truth, sometimes it is better for us not to say so out loud and use the therapy of illusion as best we can.


A Little Too Far: 3 out of 5. Of course, this story is about global warming and is a speculation on how terrible it is all going to turn out. That's fine, but there were some parts where I was like, "OKAY, I get it!" There's not really a need to explain stuff like the couple doesn't have kids because they would have a terrible life and humanity will probably find a way to survive for a couple hundred more years but they will eventually all die. That could all be worked in, but it's shit we kind of already know without going into so much detail. These things should be used as flavor instead of preaching. And that is a fine line, because some of the stuff just adds more to the reader's imagination of this planet, but other stuff is kind of like, "And this is all because the people in the PAST drove their CARS too much! Maybe if they had read more cautionary tales about the future!"

Research: Shaky out of 5. I'm not a scientist or a doctor, but there are a few things about this story that I kind of doubt were researched. The world seems to be one constant temperature except Antarctica and the Himalayan Steppe. It seems logical that those two places would be more habitable, but the details are a little cloudy. It would have added to the story if the author had researched predictions of what it will actually be like a little more and included them, because I didn't get a really great image of this planet. That's all fine, but another thing that got me was his wife's cancer. I think he described it as "a rare form of skin cancer" or something, which is sort of a red flag in itself. Again, I could be wrong, but I have never heard of any skin cancer that gives you puss-filled sores all over your body. I sort of doubt that this isn't just made up. That's fine though, because it becomes a metaphor for things which were once beautiful and still are under all the scars but which you cannot touch without causing more harm. There is therefore a painful distance and desire between the narrator and his wife that does add to the story. It's also a work of fiction, so I'll leave it at that.

The Ending: 3 out of 5. This also goes into the same category as the "a little too far" one above, but in a different way. The ending isn't preachy, it's just a little too caught up in trying to convince the reader. There is a lot of explanation which I don't really think is necessary. Some of it adds to the overall message of the benefit of self-deception, but at the same time some of it is caught up in explaining logistics and that very explanation ruins a bit of the self-deception message. If the narrator is explaining all this shit to us, he is obviously thinking about it and explaining it to himself, which means he's not doing a very good job of accepting the illusion. This is all really hard to do without spoiling the fucking story for you, so just bear with me. It's like if you said to a girl, "You want to come up and see my collection of vegetables shaped like things?" and if she actually accepted, you wouldn't then be like, "Awesome, because we both know you aren't actually interested in that and I don't actually have such a collection and we're just going to have sex."

By the way, works every time.

Overall: 3.5 out of 5. This was by no means a kick-you-in-the-balls type of great story, but it was decently written. It had plenty of flaws, which I told you all about, but aside from those it was well written, and most importantly, fucking well-edited. Amazon needs more stuff like this, so please don't rely solely on your sales of "The Tube Riders," Mr. Ward.

If, however, after reading this, you are still interested in stories about tubes, go to

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Something About KILLypso...get it? Like kill?

This week I read Something About Calypso by Ian W. Port.

Nice cover.
"'A lean, intriguing story that packs a real surprising wallop. Ian W. Port builds suspense and delivers with startling results.' – Ralph Pezzullo, best-selling author of Jawbreaker"

Well, that's not really a description now is it? And I don't really trust this review. I am going to ask Ralph if he really said that. Not that I've actually read Jawbreaker.

Well, this story starts out with some guy and his new wife on their honeymoon. I think her name is Calypso or something.

The story rapidly escalates into the territory of the author telling us to be scared (I wouldn't have known otherwise) when Calypso asks what the worst thing he has ever done is and she pins him down and says she killed the hostess he was looking at and her corpse is in the bathroom.

Then she says it is just research on trust and fear for her PhD dissertation. Got to say, I am a doctoral candidate and that is not how you fucking do research. But that doesn't really matter.

Anyway, the guy doesn't check the bathroom, he just goes to the bar and gets drunk, then when he gets back his wife is gone. He calls the desk clerk and there is one of those cliche "I would like to stay for another week." "But sir, you have already reserved for the rest of your life," moments when they are like, "You checked in alone, I show no record of a Mrs. Whateverthefuckyournameis." WHAT THE FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU

So then he goes into the bathroom and finds the dead corpse, freaks out a bit (because he obviously killed her) and then decides to get to know the new corpse girl better, maybe even marry her.

Yeah, yeah psychological thriller blah blah.

If Ralph Pezzullo Endorsed This, I am not Reading Any Ralph Pezzullo: 5 out of 5. Again, he said, "A lean, intriguing story that packs a real surprising wallop." Well, lean just means short. Pretty much too short to be any good, because there is no character development to tell us this guy isn't crazy (or is, in case he didn't want it to be a HUGE twist but instead wanted us to believe it). Actually there was a little bit of that, but I'm not really convinced that was intentional so much as bad writing. Anyway, it doesn't so much pack a real surprising wallop because of that, intentional or no. Let me explain in the next two points. See you below.

I Know There is Tension Because You Said There is Tension: 5 out of 5. So here are some examples of  the intentionally crazy or bad writing question. His wife pins him down and says she has done real bad things, and he gets all freaked out. Like abnormally freaked out, and instantly. There is no doubt in his mind that she is not joking and has done something terrible and he should fear for his life and try to escape and call the police as soon as possible. This all happens in about a sentence. I had to read back over it to make sure I didn't miss anything, because it was literally something like, "She straddled him and said, 'I have done some really bad things.'" No tone of voice, no descriptions of the way she moved or held him down or anything, just that sentence then, "OH FUCK SHE'S GOING TO KILL ME." Then when she says it's research he just believes her and gets grumpy and goes to the bar. At the bar, some strange lady repeats the same thing his wife said before: "Is it true that men are always cheating on their wives, even if it's just in their minds?" Oh, SPOOKY. Actually, who the fuck cares. I'm not mortally afraid of being accused of adultery, nor should anyone else be, especially mind adultery which is just fucking nonexistent (sorry Christians).

SO, my point is these things make him look crazy, but that's also because the author is like, "I need to raise the tension of this psychological thriller. I KNOW! I'll just tell the reader stuff is tense and psychologically thrilling!"

Repeating and Repeating and Repeating and Repeating: 5 out of 5. So this guy clearly has a really small vocabulary. That's fine, you don't need a large vocabulary to write, but you do need to be creative with that vocabulary. Just look at how many different ways I use the word fuck on this blog. What this guy does instead is just repeat the same words and even full sentences word for word literally right after you read them. This is another failed attempt to raise the tension. I feel like the first time he wrote a lot of these sentences he was like, "This isn't tense enough," because he had written something like, "I have done some really bad things. I am super serious." That's very true--it isn't tense enough--but for his solution he settled on, "I have done some really bad things," she said again. Great work, you just wasted a ton of words in this already too-short story.

Overall: 2 out of 5. I don't know, I like the concept of psychological thrillers, but they never seem to catch me off guard and all the ideas seem overdone. Oh, except Solaris. God damn was that a creepy book. Go read Solaris.

If you liked Solaris, you should check out my completely unrelated writing at

Monday, August 4, 2014


Today I read THEY  by Vincent Hobbes.


"'THEY' is a short story by Vincent Hobbes. It was first released in January, 2010 in the anthology, The Endlands. 

A relaxing road-trip becomes madness as two couples find themselves trapped in a blizzard."

So the whole time I was reading this, I was like, "I have totally been trapped in a blizzard in Colorado and it made me want to write a snow zombies story." And then guess what, at the end it turns out this story is a zombie story set in a blizzard in Colorado.

Stole my idea.

But mine was better, of course. In this white-out, I was creeping along when I saw the silhouette of a cop materialize and he got out of his car and started screaming, "Go back! Go baaaaack!" That was creepy on its own. I feel like I could do much better with the shadows of figures slowly appearing only for the main character to gradually realize something is not right about the slow, stumbling gait of the creatures.

Still, this story did pretty good as far as suspense goes. The group slowly runs out of gas and they are not sure if they see lights ahead in the distance and none of it is rushed. I liked that part. But the end was kind of abrupt. Like, I won't give it away entirely, but the part that was supposed to be the most tense was the least tense, and instead of using the blizzard to obscure the zombies and make them more terrifying, he just constantly used the words they and them. Anyway, it wasn't bad, but it was nothing surprising or exceptional. And I wouldn't bitch about that except for the guy's author page saying: "Mr. Hobbes writes with elegant prose, has unique plot-lines and great character development. His work is mind-boggling, his characters life-like, his ideas fresh in a dull market."

How I wish it were true.


Mastery of English: Shaky at best. Some sentences just didn't make any sense. Others used the wrong verb--"And then he bleeding to death." Shit like that. That's just fucking lazy, especially considering this was supposedly already published in an anthology. At times when I reading this I crying.

Pick a Character: 5 out of 5. He switched between the thoughts of the four people so much I started to hear voices. This, too, is a lazy tactic. Instead of describing peoples' facial expressions or giving them interesting dialogue, he just cheated and immediately said what they were thinking. I think it would have been much more interesting if we could feel the tension from the way the characters acted rather than him constantly being like, "'Yes,' she said, but really she was all like, Fuck, I'm so fucking nervous! What if I have to do a shit on the side of the road?" All of this was pretty unnecessary too, because by the end of the story he actually ended up with a single protagonist that was more competent and exciting than the rest of the dumbasses who all immediately got themselves killed.

Overuse of THEY: 5 out of 5. I was pretty pissed off at him substituting they and them for any actual descriptions of the zombies or emotions or tension or, well, anything entertaining. He probably used those two words 1,000 times in a 4,000 word story, and I'm sorry to say it was NOT as cool as he thought it was. Maybe use it once, then the reader can be all like, "Oooh shit, that's the title. Neat," and move on to reading the parts where there was actually effort put in. And the most disappointing thing, as I mentioned earlier, is the fact that there actually was effort put into the first three quarters of the story. I felt the tension, I wanted to know what happened next. Then, it was just over. All foreplay and no payoff, and now I have to change my sheets. Well, the sheets thing is kind of unrelated to me reading this story.

Overall: 3 out of 5. It was okay. I want this guy to try harder, for the sake of everyone who bought a kindle and doesn't necessarily feel like reading erotica EVERY time they turn the damn thing on. And, also, this doesn't have much to do with anything, but here is his picture. Enjoy.

If you want to find out what happened to my sheets, go to

Friday, July 25, 2014

Shallow Over Impotence

Today I read Shadows Over Innocence by Lindsay Buroker.


"Sicarius, the emperor’s personal assassin, returns from a successful mission only to discover that the enemy is retaliating by sending an assassin of their own. The target? Five-year-old Prince Sespian. 

Shadows over Innocence is a 4,500-word short story set fourteen years before the first Emperor’s Edge novel."

Let me just start by reminding everyone that I hate fantasy. Especially these "A short story from The KingSword Bollucks Castrilfriligantor universe" shits that plague Amazon are just unappealing to me.

That being said, this story was really solid. Maybe it's because there was none of that requisite mystical bullshit. I don't at all understand why if you want to have magic, you also must have swords and British accents and use words that went out of style in the 16th century and elves. Fucking elves. This story didn't have any of that, just had all the stupid long names for no reason. No, nobody can ever be named Charles even though it's like the most common medieval name ever.

But, since this story didn't have all the magic shit and just had like some swords, I'm just going to call it historical fiction. Much more comfortable for me.

Alright, so this historical fiction is about an assassin who is not supposed to have feelings, but when the emperor chastises his son for drawing, the assassin feels sympathy.

After that, he goes around generally being a badass until he uncovers a plot to assassinate someone in the palace. He runs around, interrupting the emperor's orgy and stuff, trying to find the rival assassin until he realizes the target must be the sissy son of the emperor that nobody likes or cares about.

He is right, and of course he stops the murder just in time, not even waking the boy in his bed he's so skillful at silently fighting. In the aftermath he finds some drawing utensils on the rival assassin he was using to make maps, and he leaves them in the boy's room.



Getting Bogged Down in Fantasy Politics: 0 out of 5. This story naturally dealt with politics. The assassin arrived back from another kingdom with a sackful of nobles' heads, and that kingdom sent a rival assassin. What's more, the story's other characters are all in politics--the emperor, his son, the head of war, etc. Despite all that, there wasn't the usual fucking awful boring shitload of politics. This was a human story. Instead of explaining to the boy that instead of drawing he should be learning how to fill out form W-I in order to file a formal complaint against the misappropriation of gherkins, the emperor opts to give the boy a lesson in what politics are like by having the assassin empty out his sack of heads in front of him.

The only downside is we'll never find out what those gherkins were used for.

Giving the Assassin Superpowers in Order to Make Him Badass: 0 out of 5. The assassin simply trained and trained and then after eating bland food in order to try to keep emotionless, he trained a hell of a lot more. He was good at his job, but he still fucked up letting a rival assassin get far enough to almost kill the emperor's son. He didn't have magic eyes or the ability to turn into mist or a pet falcon who could shit acid on his foes or any other fruity shit you may have read in your shitty dark elves book. He was human, and that was the point of the story, and any totally wicked fantasy powers would have taken away from that.

Having an Actual Point: 5 out of 5. And ANOTHER thing I hate about FANTASY--shut up, shut up, just lissen, no YOU'RE drunk! If this was the average teenage authored fantasy, it would exist just for the sake of...well, fucking ASSASSIN, that's why! Assassins are totally awesome, and everyone knows it. Why do you think Assassin's Creed has sold so many fucking copies? It's not because it's a good game, because the story and gameplay and basically everything are shit. No, it's because it has the word Assassin in the title. And yeah, fine, this story played on that quite a bit, but what it also did is instead of showcasing how heartless this stealthy killer was, it showcased how heartless he tried to be out of duty but how he still failed and ended up acting from his heart. And that's what the world really needs--contract killers with love in their hearts.

Overall: 4 out of 5. POP THE CHAMPAGNE! This is probably the best story I've reviewed so far. Fucking solid work. Every single word was spelled correctly and everything! And I fucking remind you: I hate fantasy. It's not my job to review something based on the genre, but it definitely doesn't help when I go in with a huge bias. Oh, and my for reals apologies, for once, for spoiling it, because it would have been worth a read. But now it might not be. It's nothing mindblowing, but it's good writing.

If you want to find out what I did with the gherkins, go to