This edition of Not The 2016 Infomaniac Book Challenge comes to you a little late. Or a little early, if you're not bothered about having one every two months to match up to The Very Mistress MJ's original challenges?
One of the reasons for this apparent scheduling fail is that I had an interminable wait before I could cross the Cusp Interface and come home. I left my friends' floating glass castle on Thursday—expecting to be back in time for The Very Mistress's Sixth Annual Infomaniac Garden Photos Event—but ended up stuck in a dizzying holding pattern in one of the Cusp departure lounges due to leaves on the line, or some other such nonsense! With little else, to do, I entertained myself with some of the least objectionable literature that had been left laying around the lounge...
ζ : Jeffrey Hunter was my Poolboy! by Ingmar Devine
Jeffrey Hunter's sheer beauty and presence has managed to elevate this sad, cheap little rag (I mean, I know it was printed in the early 70s, but colour had been invented by then) to a must-read—
Must ogle, more like!Cwooaaarrghh, yeah!
*ahem* A must-read for any waiting room, holiday—
Or visit to the sperm bank!Right! That's quite enough from you lot!
What was I saying? Oh, yes. Jeffrey Hunter.
Once I'd got past all the pictures of The Most Handsome Man in Hollywood (which took some time, let me tell you), I was left with the text. And very poorly written it was, too. I found it quite difficult to follow the narrative and work out the timeline of events (and that's saying something for one who is now used to the annoyances of time-travel). But the characters, although barely fleshed out, did seem reasonably believable, and even a little familiar. In fact, the whole thing left me with a strange feeling of stretched out déjà vu.
I think I'd better do some investigating into this Ingmar Devine. I wonder if we're related...?
η : Photographing Starships, by Zila Gyils & Lwial Sim
Photographing Starships is a lavish coffee table book packed to the docking ports with glossy, full colour photographs of Starfleet starships from all corners of the United Federation of Planets - and beyond!
Seventeen solar years in the making, Gyils and Sim take you on a journey around the Federation, including the Antares Shipyards, Star Station India, Zeta Aurigae IV in the Taurus Reach, Deep Space 9, the Starfleet Museum of Deep Space Exploration, and the Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards. Starships of all eras, regions, classes and variations are shown in harsh candidness, as well as in breathtaking majesty.
Photographing Starships is a book that the starship aficionado cannot afford to miss!
Well, the back cover blurb doesn't lie: it is lavish, and it is absolutely full of photos of starships. The Betazoid authors/photographers have done a brilliant job of displaying the sheer diversity of the Federation's most visible assets. A couple of my particular favourites are of the refit Constitution class USS Olympia (NCC-2091) gleaming in the sunlight departing Starbase 117 for its deep space mission into the Beta Quadrant (made somewhat bittersweet by the fact that it never made it home); and the Wasp class USS van Dyne (NCC-9748) in orbit above the rings of Chand Aad.
θ : Catastrophic Cakefarts, by Delilah Smythe (with foreword by Margaline Jones)
ι : Looking for Linda, by Linda La Hughes, with Helen Fielding
Linda La Hughes's rather skimpy autobiography is tragically named for the time she, as a child, was playing hide-and-seek and wasn't found for three days. It would have been longer but her mother only opened the fridge for a can of Tennants Extra...
Even Helen Fielding can't save this one (although I have heard that Channel 5 have bought the rights with an aim to have a TV movie out next year)!
κ : Houseboys From Space! A collection of Houseboy Novellas from Infomaniac Publishing
This omnibus of Houseboy Novellas collects five space-themed stories in their original, first edition, edited state.
And, frankly, what a state they are!
I must admit, however, that I was surprised to find this collection as, although billions were published, only a few were ever sold. The rest, stored in a warehouse at some remote dock, were eaten by monarchs. And I don't mean the caterpillars of monarch butterflies, I mean actual royal monarchs after their yacht ran aground nearby with a dangerously low supply of Mrs Majesty Queen Food on board.
Anyway, the Houseboys From Space are:
Houseboys Among the Ruins, by George "the Mad King" of Az'Dar
Houseboys from the Sky, by Margaret Travel Banana
The Never-Ending Houseboy, by Una Macaw-Mackintosh
Orion's Houseboys, by Christof "L'Oreal" Elnett
Houseboy Noir: Day of the Houseboys, by James Swallows
So, that's enough of that. For now, anyway...