Παρασκευή, 15 Μαρτίου 2013

Why Haven't You Read This? Part 2-Electric Boogaloo

Endless electronic vistas by DarkNeon

Why Haven’t You Read This? Part 2-Electric Boogaloo

It only recently occurred to me that I am broke. Oh sure, I have a day job as a jeweler but most of my income is used to pay my bills, which leaves me little to no income that I can allocate to entertainment, which is why I usually hang out at my friend Jim’s house, where I abuse his hospitality watching movies on his giant-ass TV and gobbling down his wife’s cooking.

They keep showing me these incomprehensible word jumbles whenever we’re playing Scrabble, though. I’ll never get married couples…
This lack of resources has led me to seek new venues of entertainment, as well as means to quench my thirst for some damn good fiction. It has also apparently led many people to want to make some good fiction (myself included), which exists out there for free, available to you at the touch of a button.

But since there’s a shitload of all that out there and I can’t expect to be able to keep track of it all, here are some basic ground rules that I’m setting down:

The stories must have a minimum of 1000 words length

There are loads of great flash fiction stories out there. They’re scary, they’re fascinating, they’re depressing, they’re wonderful but they’re also so goddamn many that you can’t hope to make sense out of them. 1000 word stories, on the other hand, are way easier to pick, since most of them are mediocre at best, but there are a couple of unexpected gems hidden there.

So remember kids: those 300 extra words could turn your mountain a’ gold into a pile of shit!

No series of novels.

Novel series lost their charm for me since the end of Harry Potter. That’s not to say that there isn’t going to be a series that will sweep me of my feet ever again

Come on, Gunslinger…entertain me!

It’s just that I don’t have time for them, not just yet. I want clear, concise things that are outlined and resolved through the course of their own narrative, simple as that.

An Audiobook is fine, too

Especially if it’s read by Morgan Freeman (PROTIP: there may not be any audiobooks in this list read by Morgan Freeman. Feel free to read the following caption in his voice, however)

“I noticed Fenris the wolf and his pack as I looked through my telescope, chasing down a meteorite, their powerful jaws tearing at its rock-flesh, their tongues lapping at the ore-blood in its veins. They looked pretty fucking cool and I got a pretty weird boner that I am totally okay with”

No Fanfiction.

Not unless it’s something unbelievably violent that’s unwilling to never take itself seriously for even one damn second, written by someone who understands what the hell diction or syntax is or how it works.

“April Fourth, 2013. Fluttershy realizes, as she’s balls deep inside Rainbow Dash's eye-socket , that she may just be fucked in the head”

 With that in mind, here’s…

The Shapescapes Essential Electronic Reading List (presented in no particular order)

Second Variety by Philip K. Dick

Because genocidal super-robots will never be out of fashion.

LibriVox is one of those websites that has a TON of awesome material but has somehow still eluded me, despite my best efforts to find great shit online. 

I guess it must have been a need for cosmic balance that not only led me to find LibriVox, but also a pretty sweet audiobook version of one of Philip K. Dick’s earliest and most brutal fucking stories, Second Variety.

So close your eyes and click the link, if you’re feeling like you need to have your goddamn mind blown sometime soon: 

The Sex Life of the Gods by Michael Knerr

Janet began orgasming uncontrollably at the mere sight of a launching rocket. Some say it’s because it looks like a giant metal dong. I think it’s because of advanced aeronautics. Bitches love advanced aeronautics

This book, despite its weird-as-fuck title, makes for an excellent read. Whereas Second Variety is about mankind destroying itself in fire, Sex Life of The Gods is about humanity reaching out to the furthest stars and then proceeding to fuck anything that moves.

It also has something to say about the way human sexuality is changing and predicts a lot of the relationship trends and problems we face today, but it’s mostly about the fucking.

The Tunnel Under The World by Frederick Pohl

Mankind in love with itself in love with its junk in love with themselves…

This, along with Scud The Disposable Assassin, are the only two properly presented and downright haunting arguments against consumerism, that present a very accurate depiction of our current society. 

Who Goes There? By John W Campbell, Jr.

Because you don’t want your kid to grow up a fucking pansy.

The book that sowed the seeds that grew into John Carpenter’s The Thing and made shapeshifting, unkillable aliens cool is a kid’s book. It’s something that was intended to be read for 14-year olds and it’s something that I’m going to force down my kid’s throat when he’s too young to tell me otherwise and it’s going to be the goddamn least I could do for him.

Is he going to experience some horrible nightmares and think that something has borrowed his dad’s skin? Maybe, but at least he’s not gonna ask any dumb-ass questions when someone asks him to go get the fucking flamethrower.

The First Person to Surgically Remove Their Own Brain by Thomas Thompson

Excerpt taken from the Neurosurgeon’s Handbook, 2013

Appearing on issue 22 of the NoSleep podcast, this story is crazy as fuck and awesome. I won’t spoilt you the ending, but it has to do with brain removal, a crazy-ass surgeon and something going wrong, maybe, I don’t know.

(Warning: I may actually know but chosen to forget it)

Blindsight by Peter Watts

The literary equivalent to getting sucker-punched in the dick.

“Dude, you gotta read this!  Dude, you gotta read this!  Dude, you gotta read this!” my friend George would pester me about this book, busting my balls and I ignored him, until I realized that I had just gotten through most of the good stuff on my e-reader, leaving me with no other choice than to try it.
So I uploaded it, started reading the first few pages and did my best to ignore the voices whispering in my ear. When I put it down, a few hours later, I realized that I was feeling very tired, scared and in desperate need of a hug. 

Because that’s what Blindsight does: it eats at your brain and spits out terrors that do not vent into nightmares. They root themselves in your soul instead.

This Crowded Earth by Robert Bloch

Everything sucks now and it’s all your fault.

Robert Bloch is an iconoclast, blasphemous in his work and he enjoys taking a dump on established narrative tropes and look awesome doing it. He’s also the only person that I would go back in time just so I could have a beer with before he got famous and talk about the crazy goddamn ideas that he hasn’t put down in paper yet.

Hell, I’d probably share the holding cell they’d put us in after we got caught for DUI and I’d still be grinning like an idiot the entire time.

Listen to this awesome audiobook version of his work, here:

Greek and Roman Ghost stories by Lacy Collison-Morley

Say what you will about the Greeks, we knew our damn necromancy.
Ancient Greco-Roman apocryphism and pagan practices are considered taboo in Greece nowadays. Oh sure, we believe in the evil eye and we occasionally adorn ourselves with some charm or another and we may have been performing some of their cleansing rituals up until the 60’s, but we think we’re way too cool for that shit.

We keep forgetting how we used to treat the afterlife like a depressing version of Christian Hell or how we had built a religion that focused on chanelling the dead and may have gone through a hero-worship phase. And that’s a goddamn shame, if you ask me.

Listen to this audiobook and brag to your Wiccan friends about it, mostly because Wiccans suck (but also because you’ll be smarter for it)

The Jewel of the Seven Stars by Bram Stoker

Bram Stoker-Putting the ‘Oh my God, run! Run for your lives!’ in horror.

Hey kids! You like Dracula? You like how it set off that chain reaction of masturbation and undead rape fantasies? What’s that? You hate that too?

Well then how do you feel about a story concerning the possession of an archaeologist by an ancient Egyptian Sorceress and the mayhem that follows her rampage? Doesn’t it sound fucking awesome? Sure it fucking does!

Listen to it here and denounce all shitty vampire tropes today!

Repent, Harlequin! Said the TickTockMan by Harlan Ellison:

And all around him and inside him, there was the cruel ticking of a clockwork world…

It’s funny. It’s haunting. It’s awesome. It’s the most referenced and quoted story in the English language. My hyping it won’t do it any goddamn good whatsoever.

Read it here:
(Sorry guys, but apparently the link was recently taken down. I will replace it soon as I find another upload of the story)

And for the shocker…

In A Thousand Years by Hans Christian Andersen

You wish your future was this awesome.

It’s a scifi story written by a dude in 1852 who wrote some of the most famous fairy tales ever, where he describes today’s world in excruciating detail. And it blows your goddamn mind, how spot on he is at it!

There’s jet engines, there’s cameras (though they’re more like Polaroids than digital cams), there’s mention of TWO World Wars and he also hints at a post-apocalyptic Europe!
Best. Fairy Tale. Ever.


You know, this is fun. I keep finding these things everywhere and the shit I’ve listed here don’t even begin to take into account the stories and audiobooks made by lesser known or aspiring authors
Maybe with a little bit of feedback, I could get a Why Haven’t You Read this with aspiring dudes and lasses from all over the interwebs, as long as the submitted stories follow the established guidelines.
On a slightly related note, wanna see the dumbest fucking thing I ever wrote? It’s violent as fuck and it’s partially about Pokemon!


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