Thursday, November 14, 2019

Recensioner av "Maskernas stad" och bokserien "DARC AGES - De mörka tidevarven"


Bokbloggen Mest Lenas Godsaker gillade min roman MASKERNAS STAD.
Läs hennes recension HÄR.

Citat:
"Jag har ju läst de tidigare tre delarna i denna framtidsserie och jag har tyckt att de varit riktigt spännande."

Lenas recensioner av de tidigare böckerna i serien "DARC AGES - De mörka tidevarven":
- Uppvaknandet
- Ödemarkens barn
- Slaget om framtiden

OBS: Hela bokserien finns också på engelska på Amazon.com, med titeln DARC AGES.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Möt Chefen från Helvetet...

Läs ett utdrag ur min vampyrroman BLOD & SVIN: EN SKRÄCKENS KOMEDI här.
En ryslig och (rysligt rolig) rövarhistoria om Chefen Från Helvetet på Världens Ondaste Arbetsplats...

Thursday, November 07, 2019

Fantasy Book Covers: The "Rules"

Who wrote the “rule book” for fantasy book covers, anyway? Who decided which fonts are “Fantasy Fonts”… or how “Fantasy Characters” are supposed to look?

The basic rules might look something like this:

1. Book titles must be visually overdone. The more embellishments, the more “authentically Fantasy-ish” they look.

2. A book title must always be shown as part of a series, or nobody will buy it.

3. Human characters, when shown, must conform to the basic RPG classes: Warrior — Elf — Magician — Dwarf.

4. Characters must be armed with medieval weaponry and/or magical objects. (Torches may be acceptable.)

5. Under no circumstances should any human character look older than 40. (Female characters must never look older than 30.)

6. The landscape must never show any signs of cultivation. Readers detest all depictions of farming, gardening and such.

7. Medieval towns, when shown, must be clean and disease-free. Chimneys should not pour smoke, no one has boils, there is never an outbreak of plague or bad teeth.

8. Fantasy characters have always been to the hairdresser five minutes ago.

9. Ugly people must not be shown, unless they belong to "inferior" races.

10. Neither male nor female characters should be flat-chested.

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Introducing the GRANDSTANDING AWARD literary prize

 
Introducing the GRANDSTANDING AWARD for "excellence in performative moral superiority."


The Rules:

1. First it is awarded to someone who has publicly denounced a writer as morally reprehensible, in the loudest, most uncompromising manner.
(Demanding that the works of the accused should be burned in public certainly qualifies. Calling the accused a "fascist" is taken as read, but you may have to try harder than that -- the competition can get fierce.)

2. Said winner is then denounced for some moral failing (small or large doesn't matter)...

3. The award is taken away and passed on to the most chest-thumpingly self-righteous denouncer of the previous winner...

4. ...then that winner is "found out" and denounced (for something or other)... the award is passed on to the best of the latest denouncers... and so on.

In the end, everyone gets the award because nobody's pure enough to keep it.  (Hence the words "Certified Righteous (for now).")



(Even I might get the award eventually...)

#satire

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Book review: THE ATROCITY ARCHIVES

THE ATROCITY ARCHIVES (2004) by Charles Stross

This edition also includes the novella THE CONCRETE JUNGLE.

I'm involved in a reading circle. Last month we discussed THE ATROCITY ARCHIVES. We had an interesting chat, some issues came up, but in the end the book didn't make a deep or lasting impression on me.

Basically, it's a mash-up of Len Deighton's Cold War spy thrillers and H.P.Lovecraft's nightmarish fantasies.

A hacker/sysadmin is hired by super-secret British agency "The Laundry" to fight Monsters From Beyond... while he also fights the bureaucracy and middle-management in his own workplace. Instead of preventing World War III, The Laundry tries to prevent a supernatural Judgment Day.

I see why this book might be a hit with IT industry people. It could easily be the wish-fulfilment fantasy of a downtrodden office worker, longing to escape the boredom and exploitation. And if that's what you want, the book delivers.


I also appreciate the refreshing deadpan humor of the protagonist living in unglamorous squalor, wrestling with petty bureaucracy, while desperately trying to save the world. (You won't find any such laughs -- or any laughs at all -- in a typical H.P. Lovecraft story.)


But is THE ATROCITY ARCHIVES more than just a playful genre mix? Does it have something to say? Well... I couldn't find it.

There are references to Nazi atrocities as part of an occult plot to awaken those Monsters From Beyond... and that's where the whole premise fails to really grab me.

See, once you get the reader thinking about Hitler and the Holocaust, while you try to paint such real-life horrors as plot points to support an imaginary (and flimsy) Lovecraftian bogeyman, there's a clash between real and fictional monsters.
 

Since real Nazis are much worse than non-existent Shoggoths or Cthulhus, reality beats fiction hands down.

The book's frequent references to the Cold War create the same jarring clash between real fears and fictional ones. No tentacled monster can scare me like the threat of World War III actually did -- not because the author isn't trying hard enough! -- but because it's a whole different weight class.

Perhaps the story would work for me if I didn't read history books, or hadn't grown up during the Cold War?


Recommended as light (nerdy) entertainment for fans of mash-ups.

-----

FOOTNOTE: Many of Charles Stross's short stories have been made available for free online reading by the author. They are listed HERE:
http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/fiction/online-fiction-by-charles-stro.html
(Recommended!)

#bookstagram #bookreview #bookreviews #bookcover #bookcovers #bookstagrammers #bookbloggers #reviews #books #literature #sciencefiction #scifi #satire #horror #weirdfiction #paranormal #thrillers #spythrillers #charlesstross #theatrocityarchives #lendeighton #hplovecraft #coldwar

Monday, November 04, 2019

φkon - mysig SF-kongress i höstmörkret!


Jag vill varmt rekommendera Club Cosmos' höstkongress φkon (FiKon) den 16:e november.
Club Cosmos' minikongresser är inte storskaliga - men de är mysiga och gemytliga till tusen. Perfekt för en höstmörk helg!

FiKon äger rum i klubbhuset GFF-Gården på Majvallen i Göteborg, HÄR.

Läs mer och anmäl dig till kongressen här:

Svenska Litteraturklassiker (#1)


A.R.Yngve presenterar...
Svenska Litteraturklassiker #1


Sunday, November 03, 2019

Book review: EASILY LED: A HISTORY OF PROPAGANDA

EASILY LED: A HISTORY OF PROPAGANDA (1999) by Oliver Thomson

 

Quote from this book:
"In 1998 the Internet showed its propaganda value as a vehicle for the trickle release of damaging information about US President Bill Clinton, but as a medium it lacks the emotive power of most of its competitors."

Oh, really?

EASILY LED was written by a professional advertising executive. Yet it utterly failed to foresee the vast influence and reach of the Internet as a propaganda medium.

In the author's defense, this book came out before the mobile phone, the computer and the Internet were integrated into the smartphone - and years before Facebook and Twitter.

EASILY LED nevertheless contains much interesting history, and an overview of basic propaganda tactics.
Recommended for students of the subject - but only if you add more recent studies of electronic media and "big data" used in present-day propaganda.

For the layman reader
, the value of this book lies in that it might (hopefully) serve as an antidote to the manipulation that we are being subjected to in daily life.

It's not that all propaganda serves a bad cause - but it often leads us away from the calm and reason we need to survive as a species. (For example: You may have noticed that the basic propaganda technique on Twitter is to make people very very angry.)

#easilyled #oliverthomson #bookstagram #bookreview #bookreviews #bookcover #nonfiction #education #media #propaganda #history #tyranny #review

Monday, October 28, 2019

Flaggan tillhör HELA Sverige


Egentligen är det fånigt att detta ska behöva sägas, men - suck - jag är väl tvungen att förklara:

Romanen REX OMEGA är inte "högerextrem", högervriden eller ens speciellt konservativ litteratur. Bara för att Sveriges flagga visas på omslaget, betyder inte det automatiskt att boken har en "skum" agenda.

De allra flesta begriper detta utan förklaringar. De vet att ingen politisk gruppering har rätt att göra anspråk på fanan som "sitt" varumärke. Den tillhör så att säga alla svenska medborgare -- oavsett kön, utseende eller övertygelse.

Ändå har jag stött på (och hört om) enstaka personer som oreflekterat antar att om en bok har en stor svensk flagga på omslaget, så är den "högerextrem" eller på nåt vis suspekt.

Omslagets utformning är genomtänkt. Jag gjorde det själv. Romanens huvudperson är kungen av Sverige (i en tänkt nära framtid), och som sådan är han en symbol för landet.

I bokens handling hotas demokratin på ett sådant sätt att kungen tvingas ingripa för att rädda sitt liv, sin familj och sitt land - även om berättelsen är en framtidsthriller och innehåller en del dramatiska överdrifter. I det sammanhanget passar flaggan in, menar jag.

Inga fördomar mot etniska grupper eller minoriteter förekommer i berättelsen. Den har fått översvallande positiva recensioner av svenska bokbloggare - som förresten inte alla är vithyade.

Jag är fullt medveten om att omslaget möjligen skulle kunna verka lockande på personer med högerextrema böjelser -- and so what? Låt dem läsa boken om de vill -- kanske de lär sig något.

Om vi blir rädda för att ens visa fanan, så låter vi extremisterna lägga beslag på den. Kort sagt: Flaggan tillhör hela Sverige. Det var allt jag ville säga om den saken.

Romanen REX OMEGA finns på biblioteket och säljes på Bokus.com.

#aryngve #rexomega #spänningsroman #thriller #deckare #litteratur #boktips #lästips #fantastik #kungen #sverige #politik #nationalism #flaggan #bokomslag

Friday, October 18, 2019

The President has stolen a time machine!

History is history...

Read a sample from my satirical novel THE TIME IDIOT here (click "Preview"):

THE TIME IDIOT is available on Amazon.

Monday, October 14, 2019

What if it turns out the aliens are jerks?

Surely one day we'll discover aliens... but what if it turns out we just can't stand them?

Read the free sample story "The Flattered Planet" from my book with the same title (click "Preview"):




Friday, October 11, 2019

Du behöver ett bra omslag till DIN bok!

Behöver du ett snyggt omslag till din bok? Eller illustrationer?
Jag kan göra jobbet.

Jag är en professionell illustratör med lång erfarenhet.
Jag har gjort bilder för NRK (norsk radio), KG Johansson, , det brittiska skräckmagasinet MURKY DEPTHS, serier till tidningen SVENSKA SERIER och andra.


De grafiska stilar jag arbetar i passar särskilt bra för genrer som Fantasy
Science Fiction
Skräck
Thrillers
Barn- och ungdomsböcker
Humor.
Proffsigt resultat till rimligt pris!

- Arbetsprover finner du HÄR.

- Se även HÄR. 

Kontakta mig via Facebook eller epost (aryngve[AT]gmail[DOT]com).

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Book review: THE THIRD POLICEMAN by Flann O'Brien

THE THIRD POLICEMAN (1967) by Flann O'Brien (a.k.a. Brian O'Nolan)

This novel was written around 1940, but was published after the author's death.


It received great attention much later, when the TV series LOST used it as a reference.


THE THIRD POLICEMAN is a comical nightmare about a journey into a surreal, but unmistakably Irish, landscape. What happens there reminds me of Monty Python sketches.

There is a BBC radio adaptation... but it omits the many hilarious footnotes that are scattered throughout the original book. These footnotes refer to a fictional author and crank philosopher, whose works play a part in the plot of THE THIRD POLICEMAN.


Recommended for fans of absurdist humor.

#flannobrien #thethirdpoliceman #bookstagram #fantasy #sciencefiction #books #bookcover #bookstagrammer #bookreview #bookreviews #bookcover #bookblogger #surrealism  #literature #novels #novel #book

Thursday, October 03, 2019

Book review: WAR WITH THE NEWTS by Karel Capek


WAR WITH THE NEWTS (1936) by Karel Capek

This is a genuine science fiction classic, and an outstanding work of satire, from the author of R.U.R. and THE ABSOLUTE AT LARGE.

Using a variety of stylistic devices - straightforward narration, found documents, metafiction - WAR WITH THE NEWTS describes the discovery of another intelligent species on Earth (the "Newts")... and how humanity goes about to exploit it.

The Newts are large salamanders, who can be taught human speech and how to use tools. A businessman invests in a scheme to capture specimens and breed the Newts for "mass production" as cheap slave labor. The world is transformed... but also the Newts are changed. The ruthless exploitation of the Newts is clearly meant to remind us of similar treatment of humans (i.e. slavery, bigotry etc.).

It's quite a feat to make such matters funny, and Capek succeeds. The novel is suffused with black humor and dark irony - especially when the Newts turn on mankind.

WAR WITH THE NEWTS is a very modern novel. It could have been written today, or even be an episode of the Netflix series BLACK MIRROR. Highly recommended!


You can read this book for free on
http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0601981h.html

#karelcapek #warwiththenewts #rur #theabsoluteatlarge #bookstagram #bookcover #bookreviews #bookreview #review #reviews #novel #literature #classics #sciencefiction #scifi #satire #czechliterature #aliens

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Betygsätt mina böcker som du har läst!


Om du har läst mina böcker och gillat dem, vore det jättehyggligt om du kunde betygsätta dem på sajten Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18683906.A_R_Yngve

Betyget kan verka som en liten gest, men den betyder mycket för mig som författare!

Tack för ditt stöd. :-)

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

De här boktitlarna har jag med på årets Bokmässa...


På årets Bokmässa har jag med följande boktitlar som jag säljer och signerar:

REX OMEGA

BLOD & SVIN: EN SKRÄCKENS KOMEDI

PRECINCT 20: DEAD STRANGE

STADEN UNDER JORDEN (skriven av KG Johansson, illustrerad av mig)

LISA OCH DE ANDRA (skriven av KG Johansson, illustrerad av mig)

Böckerna finns på biblioteket, och finns att köpa i nätbokhandlarna.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Book review: THE SPACE MERCHANTS by Frederik Pohl & Cyril M. Kornbluh

THE SPACE MERCHANTS (1952) by Frederik Pohl & Cyril M. Kornbluth. 

Although this novel was written in the 1950s, it depicts an all-too-believable future:


Multinational corporations run everything including the government; food is laced with addictive drugs; the environment is being depleted by rampant greed; society is stratified into the haves and have-nots... and powerful, feuding advertising agencies hold it all together by manipulating the public.


In this world, Greta Thunberg wouldn't be allowed to speak; the environmentalists (called "Consies"=Conservationists) are persecuted and smeared as dangerous subversives.

Sounds dreary - but in fact this satirical novel is quite funny. And while the protagonist eventually joins the "Resistance," he is at heart a selfish jerk. (Think Don Draper of the future.)

THE SPACE MERCHANTS may have inspired later near-future stories, but it remains an enjoyable SF classic.


SAMPLE:
The novel originally ran as the serial "Gravy Planet" in the magazine GALAXY Science Fiction. Check out these scanned magazine pages containing the first chapter...

__
#frederikpohl #thespacemerchants #sciencefiction #scifi #satire #bookstagram #bookreview #bookreviews #books #bookblogger #futurism #advertising #commercials

Monday, September 23, 2019

Book review: THE THREE STIGMATA OF PALMER ELDRITCH by Philip K. Dick

THE THREE STIGMATA OF PALMER ELDRITCH (1964) by Philip K. Dick.

In a near future, when the Earth is slowly becoming uninhabitable due to global warming (remember, this was written in 1964), people migrate to Mars - or rather, they are forced to move.

Life in the Martian colonies is so dreary that the settlers use hallucinogenic drugs to cope. Using a specific drug, the settlers escape into a shared fantasy world that resembles a Barbie dollhouse.

Then the sinister-looking tycoon Palmer Eldritch reappears, after having been lost in space for years.
He brings a brand-new alien drug that he promises will deliver a form of  actual immortality.


But the promise turns into a mind-bending nightmare... and perhaps Eldritch is not human at all.

Some parts of this novel are dated (Mars isn't realistically depicted), but nevertheless it's an excellent book of the kind that only Philip K. Dick could write.


It cannot be defined as "science fiction", but rather "metaphysical horror". .

A must-read that is strangely topical in this day and age (read it and you'll see what I mean). It captures the "feel" of the world we live in now, even if it gets the details wrong...
____


#philipkdick #thethreestigmataofpalmereldritch #sciencefiction #bookstagram #review #bookreviews #bookcover #bookcovers #bookstagrammer #bookreview #bookbloggers #bookcover #novel #literature #lsd #hallucinogenic #schizophrenia #trump

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Tvåspråkig vampyrskräck!

Till årets Bokmässa i Göteborg tar jag med (bl.a.) min vampyrroman BLOD & SVIN: EN SKRÄCKENS KOMEDI.
 (Du kan hitta mig i monter A01:52 i Fantastikgränden.)

Boken finns faktiskt på två språk:


Läs ett utdrag ur den engelska versionen HÄR.

Den svenska versionen av BLOD & SVIN finns att köpa på Fantastikbokklubben.

Sunday, September 08, 2019

Book review: THE COSMIC PUPPETS by Stephen King


THE COSMIC PUPPETS (1957) by Philip K. Dick.

One of Dick's lesser-known early novels, so short it's nearly a novella, but well worth a read - and full of the weirdness that became his hallmark.

The protagonist visits his childhood small town Millgate, and finds an alternate-reality version of it - where he no longer should be alive.

Millgate has split in two - the town he remembers, and the different, decaying version that seems to have replaced it. (Or has it?)

Eventually it becomes evident that Millgate is the battleground of two vast, competing forces - one good, the other one evil...

Parts of this novel are reminiscent of Stephen King (if King had known how to write with fewer words) - an American small town haunted by a great supernatural evil, kids with magical powers... but it's unmistakably a Philip K. Dick story.

I wish more novels were as brief as this one! Perhaps the ending is a bit weak, and the story is a little too simplistic, but the novel as a whole works and would make a pretty good Urban Fantasy movie.

Recommended for its entertainment value.

#bookstagram #bookreview #bookreviews #bookcover #bookblogger #bokrecension #bookbloggers #literature #book #books #fantasy #sciencefiction #urbanfantasy #philipkdick #thecosmicpuppets #stephenking #horror #reviews #novel #novels #scifi

"PHYSICAL TERROR" Screenplay

Read my short film screenplay PHYSICAL TERROR - a descent into madness and cosmic horror.

Available for download here:
filmfreeway.com/ARYngve

Based on my short story "Physical Terror."



#screenplay #screenplays #screenwriting #writer #writers #writing #scifi #horror #shortfilm #shortfilms #moviemaking #movies #moviemakers #indiefilmmaking #indiefilm #scriptwriting #script #scriptwriter @filmfreeway

Someone bought my book... and the game!


Yes, my acclaimed horror book PRECINCT 20: DEAD STRANGE is also a computer game - curiously enough for the Commodore 64 / C64 Mini (or with emulator software, in case you want to run the game on a PC)

The game is available on psytronik.itch.io

The book is available on Amazon.

Friday, September 06, 2019

New book release on Amazon: THINGS FROM BELOW and Other Stories

New book release on Amazon:
THINGS FROM BELOW and Other Stories

Contains the gruesome horror novella "Things From Below," plus three other tales of the macabre:
- "Sniper, Viper..."
- "Man Bites Alien"
- "Served"

Read a sample from "Things From Below" HERE.

 #aryngve #books #shortfiction #literature #horror #weirdfiction #skräck #lovecraftian #macabre #bookrelease #book

Book review: LIVE AND LET DIE by Ian Fleming

LIVE AND LET DIE (1954) by Ian Fleming

Note: This lurid 1950s cover depicts a key scene in the novel quite accurately.

I don't particularly like James Bond books or movies - too formulaic for my taste - but I read this one out of professional curiosity, to learn why the books are so popular.

I made the following observations:

1) LIVE AND LET DIE opens not with colorful adventure or dramatic tension, but with a sequence of rather tedious formal procedure as James Bond arrives in the U.S. I think this is a deliberate writing trick: the more dull Bond's job seems at first, the greater the jolt when the action starts.

2) The head villain, Mr. Big, isn't all that interesting. He's a gangster with a taste for ponderous, self-important speeches and sadism. Fleming exaggerates the freakishness of Mr. Big's physical features in such an obvious way that it's ludicrous. (Apparently that was Fleming's standard manner of defining the villain as a freak, a physical monstrosity.)

3) It's a Cold War story, and the threat of Soviet Russia and nuclear war is the backdrop of all events, although not a single Russian appears in the book. Mr. Big works for the Russians, it is repeatedly stated, but never really shown. Why?

4) It's fashionable to call out racism and sexism these days, but in the case of a spy thriller from the 1950s - what's the point?
 

I roll my eyes when the author sees the need to point out whether "races" are "mixed," and words like "Negroid" are used. Although... Fleming's cringe-worthy attitudes about "race" are typical of his generation and not 100% consistent (consistency is the hallmark of the true fanatic).

5) Fleming really excels when it comes to violence. His action scenes are very precise, with an eye for the telling detail, and come off as realistic. Bond in the novel isn't invulnerable like in the movies, and his injuries leave lasting consequences.

6) James Bond is in many ways a "consumer-as-hero." A lot of space is given to what he eats and drinks and smokes, which brands he uses. You could argue he's an early example of the kind of person who builds an identity through the products he consumes.


(The James Bond movies are, as you know, overloaded with product placement -- but so were the original novels...)

Is LIVE AND LET DIE worth reading today? Well... no. There are better thrillers, and some parts of it seem terribly dated.

#ianfleming #jamesbond #liveandletdie #007 #bookstagram #bookcover #bookreviews #bookreview #review #reviews #novel #literature #thrillers #spythrillers #books

Sunday, September 01, 2019

Book review: STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND by Robert A. Heinlein

STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND (1961) by Robert A. Heinlein.

This is one mixed bag of a book. I mean, I grok it but that doesn't mean I think it's groovy, man.

("Grok" is one of the words created in this book that became part of American culture. It's been that influential.)

STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND is part satire, part science fiction, and part sermon for "free love."

It was published at the start of the hippie era, and became enormously successful in the "counter-culture" of the 1960s. It even inspired the creation of a religious cult (whose name "The Church of All Worlds" was lifted directly from the novel).

There are parts of it I like:
the satire of organized religion; the willingness to provoke, and that the author isn't fettered by stale genre conventions.

And then there are things that make me groan and wish the editor had been stricter - a lot stricter:

1) The character Jubal Harshaw. He's a colossal bore who is allowed to lecture, hector, preach, and harangue far too much and for far too long.

2) For a book that preaches "free love," it seems curiously uninterested in what women might want out of that lifestyle (apart from pleasing men, and getting pregnant).

3) The "sex" part of the book can get really embarrassing. As in "Old man tries to be 'hip' but the old attitudes bubble up to the surface." (For example, look up that passage where rape victims get the blame.)

4) The book gets seriously ugly when the Messianic protagonist starts casually killing people who get in his way - and his friends don't react with horror and revulsion. He's actually a psychopath.

Read it as a curiosity, but not as a great work of literature - it isn't.

#heinlein #robertaheinlein #strangerinastrangeland #grok #bookstagram #bokstagram #bookcovers #bookreview #bookreviews #books #literature #sciencefiction #scifi #satire #1960s #hippies #counterculture #classics #review #reviews #controversial #cults

A new official website for PRECINCT 20: DEAD STRANGE...

...can be found here:
http://precinct20.aryngve.com/

#weirdfiction
#horror
#paranormal
#lovecraftian

Thursday, August 29, 2019

New release: THINGS FROM BELOW and Other Stories

New book release on Amazon:
THINGS FROM BELOW and Other Stories

Contains the horror novella "Things From Below," plus three other tales of the macabre:
- "Sniper, Viper..."
- "Man Bites Alien"
- "Served"

Read sample chapters HERE!

 #aryngve #books #shortfiction #literature #horror #weirdfiction #skräck #lovecraftian #macabre #bookrelease #book

Bokmässan närmar sig....

 
På Bokmässan i höst kommer jag att stå i monter A01:52 för att sälja och signera min nya bok REX OMEGA (utgiven på TiraTiger Förlag).
 
Detta är en lättläst, underhållande, lätt satirisk thriller där kungen av Sverige är huvudpersonen - läs mer om den HÄR.

På söndagen kl.10 ska jag medverka på Fantastikscenen på mässan (i Fantastikgränden), för att presentera REX OMEGA.

Vi ses på mässan! :-)


Monday, August 26, 2019

Book reviews: ADJUSTMENT DAY by Chuck Palahniuk


ADJUSTMENT DAY (2018) by Chuck Palahniuk.

Rodney King famously asked: "Can't we all just get along?" In this satirical novel, an American underground insurrection answers the question with a loud "NO." (However, the insurrection does not get the last word....)

I don't want to spoil too much of the plot, so let me focus more on the style, structure and message of Palahniuk's irreverent novel...

1) The narrative is non-linear, i.e. we jump back and forth in time. It can get very confusing. I don't think this stylistic device always works out - especially the ending.

I actually double-checked the final blank "leftover" pages to see whether I had missed something, because the story seems to fall apart in the last 12 pages.

2) The book contains several "meta" jokes that made me laugh. For example, characters in ADJUSTMENT DAY talk derisively about Chuck Palahniuk and his other novels.

There's also a hilarious joke about Stephen King's frequent use of the "Magical Negro" stereotype.


3) The narrative jumps between many different characters. I think several of them were underdeveloped, especially Shasta. Even in a broad satire like this, characters need to be a bit more than just plot devices.

4) ADJUSTMENT DAY features many quotes from a book-within-the-book, a kind of "insurrection bible" that is part of the story. Perhaps these quotes will cause more misunderstandings than any other part of the novel.

The thing is, that "bible" is a mess of self-contradictory, frequently racist bullshit. It is clearly not meant to be taken seriously, but some readers might do so anyway. This "Missing the Point" fallacy is the bane of satire.


Despite the above criticisms, there are parts of ADJUSTMENT DAY that work really well. It successfully pokes fun at the idea that Americans should segregate along lines of race/culture and only live with "their own kind" to be their "authentic selves" (guess how that works out).

ADJUSTMENT DAY is uneven, sometimes confusing, sometimes very funny - and it touches a raw nerve in American culture.
Recommended.

#bookstagram #bookreview #bookreviews #bookcover #review #reviews #novel #literature #chuckpalahniuk #adjustmentday #fightclub #satire #metafiction #america

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Arbete pågår: Illustrationer till en kommande bok...

Jag håller just nu på med att göra bilder till en bok av en annan författare. Här är ett litet smakprov...

Detta ska bli uppföljaren till en barnbok som kom ut förra året, och som innehöll bl.a. talande apor. (Kan ni gissa vilken bok det är...?)

Fler arbetsprover från mina andra arbeten finns här:
http://aryngve.com/artist.html


Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Book review: THE THREE MUSKETEERS by Alexandre Dumas


THE THREE MUSKETEERS (1844) by Alexandre Dumas.

I listened through this novel as a free Public Domain audiobook (see librivox.org). It was originally released as a magazine serial in French.

NOTE: The English translation I listened to may have been slightly "bowdlerized" by British publishers, who were uneasy with the French author's relaxed attitude about sex.

You see, while Charles Dickens and other British writers entertained Victorian readers with novels about chaste characters who never even dreamed about doing anything below the belt, Dumas's heroes had mistresses, drank hard, cursed and casually killed people in duels.

The novel's main protagonist, the reckless young swordsman D'Artagnan, can be read as a kind of 17th-Century James Bond. He takes on a secret mission, seduces a woman, is himself seduced by an evil female spy, and foils a plot to disgrace the Queen of France.

What elevates this story above simplistic pulp adventure is Dumas's sense of irony, and a certain cold-blooded cynicism. The heroes are really a bunch of self-serving womanizers and bruisers, who ultimately fail to make any change to the corrupt society they live in.

The famous phrase "One for all and all for one" does occur in the novel - once. The camaraderie of D'Artagnan and his three musketeer friends does feel genuine.

Entertaining, sometimes outdated, definitely "problematic" - but interesting, especially if you're into "gritty" fantasy literature and historical fiction.

#bookstagram #bookreview #alexandredumas #thethreemusketeers #classics #literature #booksuggestion #book #novel #novels

Friday, August 09, 2019

Möt mig på Bokmässan i höst!

 
På Bokmässan i höst kommer jag att stå i monter A01:52 för att sälja och signera min nya bok REX OMEGA (utgiven på TiraTiger Förlag).
 
Detta är en lättläst, underhållande, lätt satirisk thriller där kungen av Sverige är huvudpersonen - läs mer om den HÄR.

På söndagen kl.10 ska jag medverka på Fantastikscenen på mässan (i Fantastikgränden), för att presentera REX OMEGA.

Vi ses på mässan! :-)


Monday, August 05, 2019

Book review: THE ELEMENT ENCYCLOPEDIA OF SECRET SOCIETIES

THE ELEMENT ENCYCLOPEDIA OF SECRET SOCIETIES (2006) by John Michael Greer.

I'm a skeptic and I don't believe the world is being run by secret societies. (Seriously, does it look like anyone is in charge of things?)

There's a lot of history on offer in this book, and sorting the facts from fiction. One thing I learned was that many secret societies functioned as insurance funds during those times when public social security was weak or absent. Or that secret societies exist in African countries and Native American tribes.

Still, l wonder: What is it that Western secret societies, you know, *actually do* today? (Apart from social networking and frat parties for grownups?) Sad to say, this book answers lots of questions except that one.

What's commendable about this encyclopedia: it takes a firm stance against disinformation, paranoia and bigotry.
Various conspiracy theories are listed and debunked. (More recent ones, such as "Q Anon," are missing.) Curiously, though, the book does promote the "Shakespeare didn't write his plays" hypothesis.

Anyhow, this book makes a great source of inspiration for fiction writers. If you want to learn more about secret socities, or you want to try your hand at writing conspiracy thrillers, or you're just curious, this is an entertaining introduction.


(Caveat: the author is himself a Freemason. Is he REALLY telling us everything...? ;-))

See also my review of Umberto Eco's FOUCAULT'S PENDULUM, elsewhere on this blog (or in my Instagram feed).

 #bookreview #bookreviews #johnmichaelgreer #theelementencyclopediaofsecretsocieties #conspiracy #conspiracies #secretsociety #secretsocieties #freemasons #illuminati #bohemiangrove #masons #bavarianilluminati #aleistercrowley #masons #occultism #theosophy #hermeticism #anthroposophy