Finished reading: Dirty Heads

Title
Dirty Heads: A Novella of Cosmic Coming-of-age Horror
Author
Aaron Dries
Date Published
October 2021
ISBN
9780999451984
Current status
Complete

⭐️ Recommended.

For all the kids who ran to the back of the video store to browse the horror titles they were never allow to see . . .

For all the kids who grew up queer, half a step out of sync with their peers . . .

This one’s for you.

I honestly loved this so much; like it’s probably my favourite thing I’ve read in quite a while. Not super long1 and it definitely won’t be for everyone. But I mostly bought Dirty Heads because of the cover, and if you are the sort of person who looks at that cover and thinks, “Man, that seems cool?” Then yes! Yes you should absolutely get this book.

  1. Not gonna lie; I am currently reading the “short” titles off Mt. TBR in anticipation for the rest of my MXTX books arriving . . .

Finished reading: Highway Bodies

Title
Highway Bodies
Author
Alison Evans
Publisher
Echo
Date Published
May 2021
ISBN
9781760685027
Current status
Complete

Queer teens fight the zombie apocalypse, but what if the real monster all along were (dun dun duuun) . . . the cishets?

Also still jarring to read things that are so strongly Australian. Both in the setting and language (one of the narrators here has a very strong ocker accent, which is written phonetically in the narration), but also just for things like characters going to Mitre 10 and eating Shapes.

Finished reading: Monster (Graphic Novel)

Title
Monster (Graphic Novel)
Author
Enki Bilal
Publisher
Titan Comics
Date Published
September 2019
ISBN
9781785868733
Current status
Complete

What if Andy Warhol was Satan and also an immortal alien or whatever.

I confess to never having heard of Bilal before randomly picking this up at a con, mostly because I liked the art style. I was subsequently complimented by everyone in the immediate vicinity for my great taste. Now having read it, Monster is . . . okay? I guess. It has a much more enjoyable cyberpunk world than most that crop up in the sanitised American versions of the genre, but the plot and characters were just very . . . meh. Also, the protagonist is called “Nike” (intentionally after the brand) and the antagonist “Optus” (not related to the telecom company), which made me lol.

Still enjoyed the art, but the fact that Bilal can apparently only draw one (1) female face did wear a bit thin after the fourth identical-looking-but-not-actually-a-clone character showed up.

Conflux 2022!

Con book haul!

Also, like. No one is “con fit” any more. Three days of dealing with people in an enclosed space after two years of lockdown is . . . A Lot.

Finished reading: Make Room! Make Room!

Title
Make Room! Make Room!
Author
Harry Harrison
Publisher
Orb Books
Date Published
April 2008
ISBN
9780765318855
Current status
Complete

I blame the stinking politicians and so-called public leaders who have avoided the issue and covered it up because it was controversial and what the hell, it will be years before it matters and I’m going to get mine now. So mankind gobbled in a century all the world’s resources that had taken millions of years to store up, and no one on the top gave a damn or listened to all the voices that were trying to warn them, they just let us overproduce and overconsume, until now the oil is gone, the topsoil depleted and washed away, the trees chopped down, the animals extinct, the earth poisoned, and all we have to show for it is seven billion people fighting over the scraps that are left, living a miserable existence.

Harry Harrison, Make Room! Make Room! (1966)

What a weirdly prescient, yet entirely frustrating book. Written in the 1960s and set in the Distant Future of 1999, Make Room! Make Room! is set in a squalid, over-populated New York city, and deals with everything from peak oil to climate crisis to water rationing to ACAB-style police shootings of minority groups. On the other hand, it is very very definitely written by a middle-class liberal in the style of Malthus, and is grotesquely classist, particular towards the end where Harrison starts wallbanging about birth control and, in particular, poor people “over-breeding” to get government welfare. (And noting this book pre-dates, for example, China’s infamous One Child Policy.)

And, of course, the elephant in this book’s room is capitalism which — for something about over-consumption and resource hoarding by the ultra-wealthy — somehow never warrants even the slightest whiff of a mention . . .