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Category: Comedy:Improv

A weekly podcast wherein we freestyle ‘reviews’ of books we haven’t read, with tenacity, ingenuity and palpable desperation. We only judge a book by its cover!

July 11, 2019

28 · Spider Robinson’s Ornery Leopard

Cover artThis week, in “Telempath“, by Spider Robinson:

The day after his daughter's wedding, having waved her off to her honeymoon cruise, retired artist Arthur Robinson sits alone in the park and finally eats the last lunch his late husband made for him...

...utterly soaked in LSD.

K explains cheetahs and puppy-eyes. Khaki forgot that we were doing portmaneaus this week and puts everything he has into a Jersey joke.

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July 4, 2019

27 · Paul French’s Hotshot Rock Knockers

Cover artThis week, in “Lucky Starr and the Pirates of the Astroids“, by Paul French:


With Solar Systems as their playing fields, hotshot rocket-jockeys knock big ol' rocks around gravity wells and planetary orbits, risking life and limb and continental devastation in hopes of slingshotting to intergalactic fame.

Lucky Starr is an up-and-coming reporter embedded with the Pirates to record their meteoric rise, and discovers she has more in common with them than she would ever have suspected.

K quotes Thor Odinsson from Avengers: Infinity War despite not having seen the film. Khaki hosts a fashion show..

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June 27, 2019

26 · Roy Meyers’s THOT To His Enemies

Cover artAyurvedic space hippies think they found the perfect gig, unaware that they're being exploited by scheming planetary real-estate developers — and the very wildlife they think they're protecting...
“Destiny and the Dolphins“, by Roy Meyers

Boom-Shankar, dear readers-at-home, let's have ourselves a good old-fashioned beach sesh!

Make love, not peace.

K explains about hemp. Khaki starts a new fashion-related quest.

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June 20, 2019

25 · Stephen Gresham’s Swomp Thang

Cover artThe band didn't read the fine print before they took the new gig, so...
“Dew Claws“, by Stephen Gresham.

A country crawfish boil, a brandy glass full of brown M&M's, a record deal with fine print and before you know it a small-town band's dreams are blown way out of proportion.

Count the toes and the dildos: the rise, fall and resurrection of Swomp Thang.

K stealthily tosses a pen at Her Majesty. Khaki gets a promotion, which he now always has had.

Special mention to @scattermoon on Twitter for her excellent literary accent joke and to to fabulous troubadour Cosmik for his superb song "Make America Great... Britain Again!"

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June 13, 2019

24 · Dominique Verseau’s Bringing Porn to the Pornless

Cover artThe first in a science fiction adventure series starring a beautiful sexologist on an intergalactic mission of love.
“Yolanda, the Girl from Erosphere“, by Dominique Verseau.

In a post-prude universe, a progressive scientist finds herself challenged by outmoded yet newfangled notions of propriety and we happily skate through our incomprehensive/ble knowledge of European sexual liberation.

K introduces Khaki to the Book Repair Studio and reassures him repeatedly. Khaki clears his throat repeatedly and in different languages and recounts a visit to a museum in Berlin.

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June 6, 2019

23 · Robert E. Mills’s Definitely Not Star Wars

Cover artDictatorial forces -- under orders from a cruel {Lord} -- hold the {Princess} hostage, in their efforts to quell the {rebellion}. A lowly {farm-boy} and the {scoundrel} captain of a quick ship, work together with the companionable {droid duo} to rescue the beautiful {princess}, help the {rebels}, and restore freedom and justice to the Galaxy.

“Star Fighters“, by Robert E. Mills.

We careen through our far-from-comprehensive knowledge of ‘70s swashbuckling space sci-fi as we share a bold and daring mission: review a Star Wars rip-off without ever saying ’Star Wars’.

(We do not last long, but we take a mulligan and try again!)

K has a morning after the night before. Khaki becomes creative with papier-maché.

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May 30, 2019

22 · Catherine Asaro’s Fondling the Magic Deck

Cover art"The Ruby Dice", by Catherine Asaro.

This week we open the Grimoire Cage and unleash that most dangerous of bibliographic bogeymen: the Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book! Your stalwart hosts recount very different experiences on their voyage through the number-coded pages of a vast and sprawling adventure, with naught but their wits — such as they are — and a studious commitment to sincere literary reportage to guide them.

K battles a Space Dragon (who may or may not be a pirate). Khaki invents a collective noun for Velibraraptors.

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May 23, 2019

21 · Christopher Anvil’s Katzendämmerung

Cover artA gang of rogue geneticists, lead by an anarchic pharmacist-cum-messiah-figure, seek to turn the world order upside down by seeding the atmosphere with a virus that restructures human DNA to pull out animal traits. Robert Katz, an early test subject, must find a way to stop them.

"RX for Chaos", by Christopher Anvil, as recommended by friend-of-the-library Old Pines.

Continuing the trend of hunky cat-men that last appeared in the show back in episode 2, this week's book is all about the hubris of science, the mundanity of human experimentation, and the ecstasy of catnip. It also features our titular kitty-man running amok in a Tactical Jockstrap, which, you know, isn't bad.

K reminds Khaki how time and calendars work. Khaki reenacts his favourite scene from Jurassic Park, with terrible results.


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May 16, 2019

20 · James P. Hogan’s Rainbow Revolution

Cover art“In a world where poor fashion-choices mean death, one man dared to wear orange.”

The heir to an inter-stellar fashion empire, on an in-between year, uncovers an unlikely artefact of ancient Zambian space history and sparks a revolution – but the Fashion Police are always one step ahead...

K recites the French irregular adjectives and explains where jeans go when they dye. Khaki recites one of his favorite limericks and defends JJ Abrams's oeuvre against unprovoked attacks.

Bookmarked passages:
Infrared ID photo, dental records, green boots, Brian Blessed!, Aldrin and Armstrong are hard to tell apart, Commonwealth of Milk & Honey, Space ZAKA, Tau Alpha Ceti, E before I except after C, Menzies where the Stenzies, Space Diaspora, the Planet of Jogging and Premarital Sex, Spanish naming convention, bleu-de-gênes jeans and bleu-de-nimes denim, Edward Nkoloso's Zambian Space Program, Olympic condom logistics, the world's funniest joke (Monty Python), Lovecraftian couture, dessin diabolique, Vantablack, purple reign, dying denim, ace in the hole, Star Wars and Star Trek's inscrutable internal consistency, Intergalactic Holi Festival, definitely unquestionably a book, rated Blue out of Rainbow.

Selected quotes:

"It's kind of left in the middle...
– Oh, is it? Yeah, it's strange how when I when I point out obvious logical flaws and always turns out to be ambiguous in the book."

"Where's the difference between grave-robbing and archaeology?"

"The average Vomit-Comet doesn't do that much better, right?"

"I will never forgivenes JJ Abrams for putting the Klingon Homeworld and Earth within transport a distance of each other."

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May 9, 2019

19 · Orson Scott Card’s Gay Razzmatazz

Cover art"In a world where science and engineering rule while magic merely serves, an industrialist aristocrat’s genius heir finds himself drawn to the allure of a novice kitchen-wizard."

Young love blossoms in a world aswirl with conflicts both magical and mundane in an alternate Victorian era where Europe's class system changes under the influx of magical innovations from the flourishing African nations.

All that fancy philosophy aside, a cover like this promises certain salacious same-sex shenanigans, and famed marriage-equality activist O. S. Card's saucy gay romance novel certainly delivers on its promise!

K rates this book a B on the turgidity scale. Khaki crafts some convincing stilts.

Bookmarked passages:
More feathers for Phase Four, red ink protocol, Farscape slash fiction, Alvin Maker: The Sorceror-Slut, award-losing author, penis-equipped danders, David Bowie's ball handling, Chang & Eng, Brian Blessed, non-colonial Victorian era, cantrip parlors and back-alley tech clubs, recharging at the sex-garden, Orson Scott Card has a "type", bilingual street signs, Mormon multilingual WordPerfect, Stirling engines, popular polyandry, wizard unions, seizing the means of conjuration, Chuck Tingle's Brexit allegory, Bloise Idaho, a bit of a shit-bird.

Selected quotes:

"The gay sex does get in the way of the cooking.
– Story of my life, really."

"Whatever comes after post-modernism, that's Chuck Tingle."

"A pre-shaprd tip is pressed into the subject at a pre-set force..."

“It’s like the fluffer of modern technology.”

"can't wait to get into his magic sack!"

"Their eyes 'throbbed' at each other — that was a gross one!"

“And he’s into reciprocation, which I like.”

“So we have cat-fur and glass rods – and a lot of other rods being rubbed here, and a lot of magical power is released in the process!”

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