Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us money per month for bills, and since we don't believe in showing ads to our users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
 
  • Post
  • Reply
Hieronymous Alloy
Jan 30, 2009


Why! Why!! Why must you refuse to accept that Dr. Hieronymous Alloy's Genetically Enhanced Cream Corn Is Superior to the Leading Brand on the Market!?!



Morbid Hound

Welcome goonlings to the Awful Book of the Month!
In this thread, we choose one work of literature absolute crap and read/discuss it over a month. If you have any suggestions of books, choose something that will be appreciated by many people, and has many avenues of discussion. We'd also appreciate if it were a work of literature complete drivel that is easily located from a local library or book shop, as opposed to ordering something second hand off the internet and missing out on a week's worth of reading. Better yet, books available on e-readers.

Resources:

Project Gutenberg - http://www.gutenberg.org

- A database of over 17000 books available online. If you can suggest books from here, that'd be the best.

SparkNotes - http://www.sparknotes.com/

- A very helpful Cliffnotes-esque site, but much better, in my opinion. If you happen to come in late and need to catch-up, you can get great character/chapter/plot summaries here.

For recommendations on future material, suggestions on how to improve the club, or just a general rant, feel free to PM the moderation team.

Past Books of the Month

[for BOTM before 2019, refer to archives]


2019:
January: Roadside Picnic by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky
February: BEAR by Marian Engel
March: V. by Thomas Pynchon
April: The Doorbell Rang by Rex Stout
May: Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
June: 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus by Charles C. Mann
July: The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach
August: Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds by Charles Mackay
September: Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay
October: Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado
November: The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
December: Moby Dick by Herman Melville

2020:
January: The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
February: WE by Yevgeny Zamyatin
March: The Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini by Benvenuto Cellini
April: The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio
May: Black Lamb and Grey Falcon by Dame Rebecca West
June: The African Queen by C. S. Forester
July: The End of Policing by Alex S. Vitale
August: The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood, of Great Renown in Nottinghamshire, by Howard Pyle
September: Strange Hotel, by Eimear McBride
October:Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things (怪談)("Ghost Stories"), by Lafcadio Hearn
November: A Libertarian Walks Into a Bear: The Utopian Plot to Liberate an American Town (And Some Bears) , by Matthew Hongoltz Hetling
December: Ignition!: An Informal History of Liquid Rocket Propellants by John Drury Clark

2021:

January: The Mark of Zorro by Johnston McCulley
February: How to Read Donald Duck by Ariel Dorfman and Armand Mattelart



Current: Carrier Wave by Robert Brockway

Book available here:
https://www.amazon.com/Carrier-Wave-Robert-Brockway-ebook/dp/B084M9PL8J


About the book


Harold Fjord posted:

Based on some goon recommending it for BotM I started Carrier Wave.

It's absolutely awesome and everyone should read it. But I feel like it should have a content warning for violence. Nothing sexual yet. I know we are quite used to violence in all our media, and a little surprised to find myself posting this, but this is one of the most brutal books I've ever read. (I haven't read the red wolf or whatever everyone talks about) I'm sure you'll all be fine.



Mel Mudkiper posted:

Since the description from Hieronymous didn't go too much into detail about Carrier Wave, I would give some insight

Carrier Wave is a sort of Lovecraftian/cosmic horror inspired chronicle of a post-apocalypse created by an errant radio signal. Less a single story than a collection of recurring characters and events told as individual narratives. The constant jump in protagonists and events give it a unique way of constant feeling fresh, as it approaches the event differently depending on who is narrating it. Sometimes mystery, sometimes comedy, sometimes near Splatterpunk levels of horror. It manages to keep all of these balls in the air.

Evokes some of the best of writers like King without necessarily any of the eye-rolling King is known for.


Glimpse posted:

Carrier Wave is a self-published horror novel?

The confidence to publish it yourself instead of going through a traditional publisher can only mean good things, I'm sure. Carrier Wave.

Stupid_Sexy_Flander posted:


Anyway, I forgot where I was going with this so just order Carrier Wave by Robert Brockway cause he's awesome and got hosed when he got fired from cracked.



About the Author

author's blog here: https://www.robertbrockway.net/

quote:

Robert Brockway is the author of the post-apocalyptic horror epic Carrier Wave, the cyberpunk novel Rx: A Tale of Electronegativity, the comedic non-fiction essay collection Everything is Going to Kill Everybody, and The Vicious Circuit, a punk rock urban fantasy series from Tor Books. He is the former senior editor and columnist of Cracked.com (during the good years! Mostly!). He lives in Tucson, Arizona with his wife Meagan and their three dogs, Detective Martin Riggs, Detective Roger Murtaugh, and Penny (she did not make the force).

Author's twitter here: https://twitter.com/brockway_llc?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

https://twitter.com/brockway_llc/status/1226921433068011524?s=20

https://twitter.com/brockway_llc/status/1226922282972434432?s=20



Pacing



Read as thou wilt is the whole of the law.

Please post after you read!

Please bookmark the thread to encourage discussion.


References and Further Materials

The good parts of Cracked?

http://1900hotdog.com/


Suggestions for Future Months

These threads aren't just for discussing the current BOTM; If you have a suggestion for next month's book, please feel free to post it in the thread below also. Generally what we're looking for in a BotM are works that have

1) accessibility -- either easy to read or easy to download a free copy of, ideally both

2) novelty -- something a significant fraction of the forum hasn't already read

3) discussability -- intellectual merit, controversiality, insight -- a book people will be able to talk about.

Final Note:

Thanks, and we hope everyone enjoys the book!

Hieronymous Alloy fucked around with this message at 12:33 on Mar 2, 2021

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Mel Mudkiper
Jan 19, 2012

It's not a sexual thing. Please don't think this is a sexual thing I just like mudkip and babies need diapers, that's how it works.

Hey everybody,

I talk to Brockway on a discord sometimes, and he is gonna put his book on sale TOMORROW WEDNESDAY 3/3 to celebrate getting to be the Book of the Month!

So if, you are curious, or if money is an issue, be sure to pick it up tomorrow during the sale.

Also, if anyone misses the comedy of old school cracked, he currently co-owns a new site with Seanbaby http://1900hotdog.com/ that also occassionally features former Cracked writers like Lydia Bugg, David Wong, Swaim, and DOB.

Mel Mudkiper fucked around with this message at 12:28 on Mar 2, 2021

Take the plunge! Okay!
Feb 24, 2007




I kind of needed something lighter to rinse my brain after reading a ton of serious stuff, and this really hits the spot. I am something like 5-6 stories in and this book really does all kinds of things, from creepy to gory, from comedy to social commentary.

apophenium
Apr 13, 2009


Is the ebook of this only on Amazon? Interested in reading it without Daddy Bezos getting a cut

Mel Mudkiper
Jan 19, 2012

It's not a sexual thing. Please don't think this is a sexual thing I just like mudkip and babies need diapers, that's how it works.

Unfortunately I believe it is Amazon only.

If it helps you can steal a bunch of Washington Posts to balance it out

Crashbee
May 15, 2007

Stupid people are great at winning arguments, because they're too stupid to realize they've lost.

The concept sounds very similar to the comic book Memetic, which was about aliens sending people insane through the use of memes.

Mel Mudkiper posted:

Unfortunately I believe it is Amazon only.

Hope that includes UK Amazon, but I'll probably buy it either way.

Crashbee fucked around with this message at 16:45 on Mar 2, 2021

Remulak
Jun 8, 2001

The four most over-rated things in life are champagne, lobster, anal sex and picnics. Oh, and that stupid children's book 'The Little Prince,' ugh.


Yams Fan

Overall, I'd say it's fun, good and not great. Writing is spectacularly clear, but not simplistic, if that makes sense. I don't think it's especially violent at all, especially as the most likeable character consistently get plot armour but that's to be expected.

BUT I bought it yesterday and read it nonstop all the say to the end, so that's a pretty strong endorsement. The fact that sobriety is interfering with my sleep schedule will be ignored.

Second thoughts forming now. Wow. Very strong, smart, clever commercial feel, in a good way. Media sale done yet?

poo poo - now third thoughts. gently caress! I wish I had the creativity and drive to construct something that could IMMEDIATELY start production at HBO or whatever. Goddamn wow - you could start casting right now based on the book and crank out individual character-driven episodes in parallel bringing everybody (left) together in the last few episodes. Christ that fucker is smart.

Harold Fjord
Jan 3, 2004



Remulak posted:

Commerical aspect stuff

Also the fact that this isn't directly affecting animals.

Sandwolf
Jan 23, 2007

i'll be harpo



Mel Mudkiper posted:

Hey everybody,

I talk to Brockway on a discord sometimes, and he is gonna put his book on sale TOMORROW WEDNESDAY 3/3 to celebrate getting to be the Book of the Month!

is this gonna be paperback or kindle only? regardless, that rules

ulmont
Sep 15, 2010

IF I EVER MISS VOTING IN AN ELECTION (EVEN AMERICAN IDOL) ,OR HAVE UNPAID PARKING TICKETS, PLEASE TAKE AWAY MY FRANCHISE


Should you be sufficiently tied into Amazon to have Kindle Unlimited...this book is on it for free, FYI.

Hieronymous Alloy
Jan 30, 2009


Why! Why!! Why must you refuse to accept that Dr. Hieronymous Alloy's Genetically Enhanced Cream Corn Is Superior to the Leading Brand on the Market!?!



Morbid Hound

Sandwolf posted:

is this gonna be paperback or kindle only? regardless, that rules

It sounds like he self published through Amazon, so that's the only way to get it. Upside is more of the $$ goes to the author that way than in just about any other publishing agreement, I believe.

Sandwolf
Jan 23, 2007

i'll be harpo



Hieronymous Alloy posted:

It sounds like he self published through Amazon, so that's the only way to get it. Upside is more of the $$ goes to the author that way than in just about any other publishing agreement, I believe.

Moreso than the paperback too? I’m a physical book kinda guy but if this dude gets a bigger cut from the eBook I’ll buy that with glee.

apophenium
Apr 13, 2009


Only read the first two stories but I'm enjoying how schlocky it is so far. Excited to see how many different kinds of tones and voices Brockway ends up using throughout the course of this thing.

Also a fan of the obvious cipher the first story represents. Whatever it is that's Out There wants more from us lowly monkeys and I have a feeling it's gonna get more than it bargained for.

Mel Mudkiper
Jan 19, 2012

It's not a sexual thing. Please don't think this is a sexual thing I just like mudkip and babies need diapers, that's how it works.

One of my minor frustrations with the early book is that I think it doesn't let some of its mysteries simmer long enough. Like, I wish the idea of the "carriers" was left a little more ambiguous for longer than it had been.

Take the plunge! Okay!
Feb 24, 2007




HA asked me to post Brockaway’s Patreon in case you want to get the book on Kindle for $4 and still feel the need to throw a little extra to the author, so here it is: https://www.patreon.com/brockwar

Bilirubin
Feb 16, 2014

The sanctioned action is to CHUG!!!




Bleak Gremlin

Mel Mudkiper posted:

One of my minor frustrations with the early book is that I think it doesn't let some of its mysteries simmer long enough. Like, I wish the idea of the "carriers" was left a little more ambiguous for longer than it had been.

Yeah, being only 5 stories in so far and the cop chapter explained a little too much for so early in.

But there is so much left to go and I am having fun speculating how the opening chapter will work into the entire thing. Good stuff so far!

killer crane
Dec 30, 2006


Well, I hadn't had a dream in months, but last night I had a nightmare about sleepers. I'm halfway through, I'm hoping the brutality and general discomfort keeps up.

I appreciate the take on cosmic horror and insanity. I'm used to other cosmic horror cribbing so much from cults in Lovecraft stories, where the adherents are just simply bad people. Having their cultish behavior come from the horror removing a portion or two of their humanity is refreshing.

So, in pop media criticism, there's this idea that zombies are emblematic of fear of right/conservative politics, vampires are the fear of left/liberal. If I were a smarter person I could write about this story, the alt-right, and trumps cult of personality... but I'm only good for half baked ideas. What I'm trying to say is I get the same discomfort reading this book as I do talking to my maga in-laws.

Harold Fjord
Jan 3, 2004



I agree the early part could have breathed a little more, but i think since the understanding of the creatures shifts slowly over the book it was a good place to start

Having finished it, there was a chapter near the end that felt a little cribbed from WWZ and I found the climax to be a bit muddled. I like it a little less, but it's probably the most I've enjoyed a book in a while.

What I don't understand is did Order have any kind of plan to stop himself and his compatriots from banishing themselves? it seemed like the ending was inevitable in a way that was contradictory to their huge power and million year plot

Harold Fjord fucked around with this message at 05:05 on Mar 4, 2021

Remulak
Jun 8, 2001

The four most over-rated things in life are champagne, lobster, anal sex and picnics. Oh, and that stupid children's book 'The Little Prince,' ugh.


Yams Fan

Harold Fjord posted:

What I don't understand is Blah blah blah who cares?
Dan O’Bannon found the same logical conclusion, with less foreshadowing, so dig him up and argue with him.

If you don’t understand the above then keep giving https://www.amazon.com/Robert-Brockway/e/B002T3RPFO/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1 your money, ok?

Untrustable
Mar 16, 2009







Bought this on sale from a rec in the general horror thread. So far it's dope. It's very tightly written, absurdly gory, and actually really funny. I recently finished Obscura and this is a nice departure from Serious Horror™ into something more clever and fun. So far it's like a really good B-movie. I am currently on Story 3.

Remulak
Jun 8, 2001

The four most over-rated things in life are champagne, lobster, anal sex and picnics. Oh, and that stupid children's book 'The Little Prince,' ugh.


Yams Fan

This dude's Unnoticeables series work reading? $12/pop on Kindle, which is a we bit pricey for a trilogy.

(Not denigrating the value of his work, just the value of my income).

Untrustable
Mar 16, 2009







Finished up the book. It's a very long read in the best way. The way that it comes full circle back to some of the characters (even Ronnie the tiny archivist!) is really an accomplishment. The stories really work in a lot of characterization and you see even small characters like the hoodie Merry from Siege Tower come back into the story later. Just an insanely satisfying read. I'm blown away with how cohesive it is with how long and all-encompassing it is. Excellent.

DACK FAYDEN
Feb 25, 2013

Bear Witness

Loved the book. Think I missed a plot point, though. Why did the infected doctor, the first Merry we see, burn down the quarantine hospital?

suicidesteve
Jan 4, 2006

"Life is a maze. This is one of its dead ends.




Remulak posted:

This dude's Unnoticeables series work reading? $12/pop on Kindle, which is a we bit pricey for a trilogy.

(Not denigrating the value of his work, just the value of my income).

I really liked it, along with his other trilogy, Rx: Electronegativity. Unnoticeables is closer to Carrier Wave if that's what you're looking for. Rx is more along the lines of the Zoey Ashe books from fellow Cracked writer David Wong Jason Pargin.

DACK FAYDEN posted:

Loved the book. Think I missed a plot point, though. Why did the infected doctor, the first Merry we see, burn down the quarantine hospital?

My reading of the book got cut in half by the release of FF7R so my memory of the first half isn't as good as the latter, but I think he knew it was the only evidence in the world of what was going on. IIRC there was a (multiple year?) time gap between that and the rest of the book where presumably we could have come up with a solution, or at least prepared.

DACK FAYDEN
Feb 25, 2013

Bear Witness

suicidesteve posted:

My reading of the book got cut in half by the release of FF7R so my memory of the first half isn't as good as the latter, but I think he knew it was the only evidence in the world of what was going on. IIRC there was a (multiple year?) time gap between that and the rest of the book where presumably we could have come up with a solution, or at least prepared.
Right, there was a big gap because once the hospital burned down the only backups were what the military had, and then it only got re-released via the hacker selling it to the guy who made the song

...but it seems like the actual effect of his actions are that the signal can't spread at all from this infection - so was he hoping that it'd get "found" again? that the military would let it loose? that someone would implausibly look at the backups like what actually happened?

a foolish pianist
May 6, 2007

(bi)cyclic mutation



DACK FAYDEN posted:

...but it seems like the actual effect of his actions are that the signal can't spread at all from this infection - so was he hoping that it'd get "found" again? that the military would let it loose? that someone would implausibly look at the backups like what actually happened?

I'm not finished with the book yet, but to me, it seemed like the merry only cared about cheerfully committing gruesome violence, and burning the whole place with all the scientists inside was the most fun he could have under the locked-down lab circumstances.

suicidesteve
Jan 4, 2006

"Life is a maze. This is one of its dead ends.




a foolish pianist posted:

I'm not finished with the book yet, but to me, it seemed like the merry only cared about cheerfully committing gruesome violence, and burning the whole place with all the scientists inside was the most fun he could have under the locked-down lab circumstances.

Yeah I think it's this. He has a line when he's talking to the scientist that started the whole thing, right around when we learn the name of the merry, that made me feel like they weren't really interested in the plan and kinda just did what seemed most fun to them.

Found it -

“But that’s not how we work,” the short man pleaded. “We’re all on the same side. We don’t harm each other.”

“Friend,” the tall doctor said, still sketching on the glass. “I don’t think I follow your rules.”

DACK FAYDEN
Feb 25, 2013

Bear Witness

Makes sense.

apophenium
Apr 13, 2009


Just finished The Merry chapter and I'm wondering if it comes out that it's more than just hearing the signal that gets you going. People are using soundproofing to quarantine effectively (more or less) so unless it acts on you in a different way wouldn't deaf/Deaf people be immune?

Either way it's been fun so far. Given how the US at least has bungled the covid response, anything even slightly more deadly or contagious (let alone something like whatever is going on in this book) would basically be an extinction event.

Aardvark!
Mar 3, 2002



Finished it. Good book. The long story at the end was probably my least favorite though.

Bilirubin
Feb 16, 2014

The sanctioned action is to CHUG!!!




Bleak Gremlin

Aardvark! posted:

Finished it. Good book. The long story at the end was probably my least favorite though.

I also finished it and really enjoyed it. The long chapter was nice to bring back the previous characters for a final look but yeah it's kind of weird to think the entire world was concentrated in the pnw. But cool concept and a very entertaining read all around for me. I especially like how each chapter slowly expanded what we knew about just what the gently caress.

-Blackadder-
Jan 2, 2007

Game....Blouses.


This is the first book I've read in what seems like forever, (even though I hoovered books growing up). I guess my reading speed has slowed down a lot. I've been chipping away at it in the mornings and evenings for about a week, Kindle says I'm about 65% through. Just finished the Walled City chapter.

I like it, but I was reading it more often early on, now I'm starting to slow down from boredom, it's seeming like just endless post apocalyptic vignettes with not a lot of overall plot progression. I'm sure things will pick up soon, and ^^^ is right that there are some minor overall plot reveals in each story but it could be moving a bit faster for me personally. Basically I'm not so sure this story needed 850 pages, but we'll see.

-Blackadder- fucked around with this message at 16:28 on Mar 15, 2021

killer crane
Dec 30, 2006


so why do the cosmic horrors all hangout together? are they a package deal, or just enjoy each other's company for eons?

Untrustable
Mar 16, 2009







killer crane posted:

so why do the cosmic horrors all hangout together? are they a package deal, or just enjoy each other's company for eons?

It's explained that they're all separate god-like entities and also I think it's explained that they're siblings.

Take the plunge! Okay!
Feb 24, 2007




I really appreciate the fact Brockaway just wrote an American novel instead of inserting unnecessary Emmerich-style scenes of the Eiffel Tower on fire or whatever to make the story feel global.

Hieronymous Alloy
Jan 30, 2009


Why! Why!! Why must you refuse to accept that Dr. Hieronymous Alloy's Genetically Enhanced Cream Corn Is Superior to the Leading Brand on the Market!?!



Morbid Hound

Need noms for next month

Take the plunge! Okay!
Feb 24, 2007




I have a few ideas. Hard to be a God by the Strugatsky brothers is a cool twist on the fantasy genre, with undercover astronauts from Earth living on a planet with a medieval level of culture and technology. It’s also very bleak, and should be widely available.

Or we could try reading RA Lafferty’s Fourth Mansions:

quote:

The Wesleyan Anthology of Science Fiction described Fourth Mansions as "a cartoonishly oneiric conflict between cosmic good and evil that draws on the mystic visions of Saint Theresa of Avila".

Tree Goat
May 24, 2009

argania spinosa


convenience store woman

my brilliant friend

Bilirubin
Feb 16, 2014

The sanctioned action is to CHUG!!!




Bleak Gremlin

Travels with Charlie

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Collateral
Feb 17, 2010


I enjoyed Carrier Wave. Order's plan (?) to save 3000 people to carry on until the next harvest has a rather large flaw in it. All the survivors are those that are unaffected by the sound/black spot, by what he says himself, their offspring would be same. So another harvest would come to nothing.

Really enjoyed it.

Rec for April unless it has already been done: The Third Policeman by Brian O'Nolan classic Irish strange.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Post
  • Reply