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Reviews Written by
S. D. Ramsey "wordsmith101" (Canada)
(REAL NAME)   

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The Fridgularity
The Fridgularity
Price: CDN$ 5.32

4.0 out of 5 stars Chaos can be fun!, April 18 2013
This review is from: The Fridgularity (Kindle Edition)
If you like your fiction well-peppered with cultural and personal chaos, you are going to enjoy this book. If the notion of a web intelligence manifesting itself through a web-enabled fridge (emoting via fonts) while it shuts down the rest of the Internet excites you, you are going to enjoy this book. And if you can imagine and appreciate the idea of a handwritten version of Twitter, then you are definitely going to enjoy this book.

Mark Rayner turns his considerable satirical talents and sharp sense of humour to our dependence on technology, and the serious and silly (and seriously silly) ways we might react to its loss. As always, the writing is both fun and funny, with an underlying vein of truth that makes us cringe a little even as we're laughing. Definitely recommended for everyone not sure if we'll be chuckling or crying--or both--when the technological singularity arrives.

Pirate Therapy and Other Cures
Pirate Therapy and Other Cures
by Mark A. Rayner
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 8.70
14 used & new from CDN$ 8.69

4.0 out of 5 stars The Cure for What Ails You, May 22 2012
Mark A. Rayner and I have a lot in common. I mean, we're both Canadian, we both write speculative fiction, and we...um...well, that is, we both....Hmmm. Okay, so we don't have a whole lot in common, but we do have this--we share a twisted and absurd sense of humour. I'm a regular visitor to [...] aptly advertised as containing "scribblings, squibs, and sundry monkey joys"--or in other words, generalized nonsense. But take note: generalized nonsense of the highest order.

Which brings me to "Pirate Therapy and Other Cures," a collection of short fiction and essays, many of which originally appeared on the blog. The collection is funny, it's absurd, it asks questions you never thought to ask (or, in some cases, never imagined anyone would ask--or should ask), and if you have a sense of humour at all I can't imagine that it will not make you laugh out loud at least once. But be aware: there are veins of serious thought that run through some of these words as well, and you might find yourself thinking of them days, weeks, or months after you've read them. That doesn't make them any less funny--it only makes them funny with a brain. And that can only be a good thing.

So if laughter is the best medicine, then "Pirate Therapy" may just cure what ails you. Or at the very least, make you forget your troubles for a little while.

Marvellous Hairy
Marvellous Hairy
by Mark A. Rayner
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 13.61
15 used & new from CDN$ 6.84

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A wild and wacky ride, April 22 2011
This review is from: Marvellous Hairy (Paperback)
I knew I wanted to read this book when I heard the author read from it at WorldCon in Montreal. For one thing, the section he read from was set in a drugstore. Now, my husband is a pharmacist, and believe me, the vast comedic possibilities of drugstores are a gold mine most satire and humour writers seem to miss. The fact that Mark Rayner had recognized this made me respect him instantly. The reading only got better from there, by turns funny, absurd, and poignant, and I knew I wanted to know more.

I wasn't disppointed. This book is not going to be for everyone; you have to be open to the surreal, the absurd, and alarmingly incisive reflections of the corporate world, and be able to laugh at them all. Don't pick it up if you're opposed to some...er...ribaldry (let's just say I haven't lent this book to my mother or my 16-year-old daughter), or if you dislike reading about monkeys, lizards, cross-species genetic manuipulation, ghosts, corporate greed, or chaos theory.

However, if you do like the things listed above, as well as absurdist humour, fast-paced writing, clever wit, mockery of institutions, a bit of slap-and-tickle, loyalty, love, and a chronicling of the gradual descent from human to simian brain, then you should really enjoy Marvellous Hairy.

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