Saturday, 5 November 2016

Not The 2016 Infomaniac Book Challenge IV

 This latest batch of books from over The Cusp is brought to you in the vaguest of associations with The 2016 Infomaniac Book Challenge. There're only three books rather than the usual five this time due to busyness interfering with reading time.

Solicitation cover - may not be final
λ : Beautiful Robots Dancing Alone, by Marian Keyes

 I was lucky enough to be one of the beta-readers for this new novel by Strictly Come Dancing superfan Marian Keyes. 
 Actually, luck didn't come into it - I made a few small contributions for which Marian showed her extreme gratitude by letting me have a read before the official publishing next year!
 Here's the blurb:   

 It is late Spring 2016, and in a broom cupboard deep in the bowels of the BBC's Elstree Studios a Charles CVC370, sick of being relegated to vacuuming up sequins from Strictly Come Dancing, show after show after show, clatters and clanks into life! 
 Now Autumn, and during the live Strictly Halloween show the unthinkable happens: The BBC's troop of professional dancers are revealed to be robots when, provoked by Head Judge Len Goodman after he witnessed her questionable rumba with Greg Rutherford, Nataliebot deviates from her programming and carves a swathe of destruction throughout the Elstree Studios.  The computer virus quickly spreads to the other dancers and - under the direction of Antron du Borg - Aljažbot, Gorkatron, Otibot, and the Cliftoncons hold their celebrity partners and Strictly host Claudia Winkleman hostage.  Meanwhile, Pashpotbot seduces BBC Deputy Director General Anne Bulford, convincing her to overthrow Director General Tony Hall and take over the BBC for reasons not immediately apparent...

 Will the Strictly - It Takes Two team of Zoe Ball, Gethin Jones, Vicky Gill and Ian Waite be able to save the BBC from the so-far-untouchable RoboDancers, or will they fall to the traitor in their midst?  Who is the villainous mastermind behind the revolt?  How was host Tess Daly able to evade the RoboDancers?  And will Olympic long jumper and Strictly celebrity dancer Greg Rutherford, Strictly RoboDancer Neil Jones, and Strictly floor manager Greg Frost ever be seen in the same place at the same time, or will the confluence of Hot Ginger cause the very fabric of the universe to unravel?! 

μ : The Fiancé Acquisition, by Kes Pi

 The follow-up novel to Two Week Recap, and a creepier tale of stalking, lust and voodoo I have never come across.
 Oh, I don't know? Some of it reminds me of our time with Tim...

ν : The Stainless Steel Enema and other short stories, edited by Porter Liu

 When one is waiting for the inconceivably slow connection to Norwich station from Peterborough, and the only entertainment to hand is this collection of unspeakable bodily violations from sub-standard medical institutions the world over, I wouldn't recommend it.
 I managed to get through two and a half tales of excruciating body-horror candidness before throwing it in the bin and consigning myself to watching a pigeon with clubfoot slowly describe wobbly circle after wobbly circle on the platform opposite.


That's it for now. For the curious, here are the links to previous challenges:

Not The 2016 Infomaniac Book Challenge III
Not The 2016 Infomaniac Book Challenge II
Not The 2016 Infomaniac Book Challenge


  1. Ooh, I seem to be first!
    I recently read a Steam punk short story along similar lines.Well, the chief stoker opened some specific valves and the mechanical cages attached to human dancers went faster and ever faster.It got very bloody.
    Mind you, anyone on a dance floor with me would run a similar risk!

    1. It sounds like a Victorian food processor on the rampage.

      The short story subject, not you. Although...

  2. "unspeakable bodily violations from sub-standard medical institutions"

    Very topical. I have to see my dentist on Monday. Uggh.

    1. Oh, dear. Maybe you should stick to the travel magazines in the waiting room?

    2. Don't touch the magazines in medical office waiting rooms.

      Hotbeds of germs.

    3. It seems everything these days is a hotbed of something or other.

      :: gets out elbow-length surgical gloves and face mask ::

  3. I've just noticed who claims to have edited that one you binned...Porter Liu

    1. If the station toilet wasn't so stenchful, I would have thrown this book into the editor's namesake!

  4. *steals plot about Strictly Come Dancing*

    1. Well, look after it then - I believe a sequel is planned!

      Oh, but I'm keeping Aljažbot and Gorkatron for, um.... research...?

  5. Can I have my textbook back when you've finished with it, please?

    1. Oh, so The Stainless Steel Enema was yours? I wondered who'd left it in the waiting room.

  6. The secret to beating dancing robots is to have an expert human dancer doing the robot! Ironically, robots suck at doing the robot!

    It's like there's a universal law in entertainment: Great performances performers perform best when they aren't doing roles that reflect their own true selves. Kind of like how shocking it is to learn that the actor playing the most realistic, best American role turns out to be a Brit or Aussie with a heavy accent during a media promotional interview!

  7. I have to confess... I've not read one book this year!

  8. Anonymous7/11/16 19:42

    Gorkatron ?
    Gingers ?
    You mean MsScarlet and Harry ?

    Gorkatron, heiliger Hammer ... no more questions your'onor ...

    1. I have just googled Gorkatron and it appears to be some sort of steampunk monster robot or something? Holy Hammer indeed!

    2. Anonymous8/11/16 09:03

      A speed metal band from Fargo (soundbyte at your own risk). I wonder whether they have a shredder on stage.

  9. Anonymous7/11/16 20:08

    [unrelated, sorry]

    Sorry IDV, I just stumbled over this picture here.
    Do you know something more about this ?

    1. No, I do not know. How can this be? I'd better do some sleuthing.

      However, I do know that Winston Churchill once holidayed in Cromer as a boy and wan't very impressed. I have some photos somewhere, so I'll dig them out for a future post...

    2. I hope Einstein picked up the (strangely sexy) Norfolk accent while he was there!


Tickle my fancy, why don't you?