ATTENTION WRITERS - Here is your chance to share your work. Send us your short stories to be published on-line. Click here for details Don't Delay

LATEST UPDATES


December 9



December 1, 2017
Updated Convention Listings and
Rocky Horror Picture Show


November
Book Pick
of the Month




November 15
New reviews in
The Book Nook,
Odds and Ends and
Voices From the Past


November 12



November 1, 2017
Updated Convention Listings and
Rocky Horror Picture Show


Previous Updates

WesternSFA



Dave vs The Monsters: Emergence
by John Birmingham
Del Rey, mass market pb $9.99, 382pp
Published: April 2015

This was just plain fun.  I ripped through this in record time.

Dave is a sorry excuse for a man.  A rotten father and husband; the only thing he’s good at is maintaining safety on his oil rig.  He’d just come off a bender where he splurged the money that should have gone to his kids on a couple of extra-special hookers and their accompanying drugs and was on his way back to the rig for a shift when the shit hit.  The rig was in chaos with people running everywhere in panic.  Even with his hangover and flabby body, Dave was the one to step up and confront the origin of the panic – the monster in the break room snacking on his friend.  When Dave saw the carnage – dismembered bodies, blood everywhere – and the nastiest fiend he’d ever seen sucking on his friend’s bones, he kinda lost his shit. The dead friend had valued his splitting maul and brought it with him to the party but now it lay abandoned on the floor. With no coherent thought in his head, Dave grabbed the heavy tool and attacked the monster.  The monster, for his part, was totally enjoying the best meal he’d had in his life.  Racial memory had promised that man-meat was an extraordinary delicacy but the Horde had been sealed in a deep cavern for a millennium and this monster had never even seen a man before this day.  It was just bad luck that the drilling rig had gone deeper than ever and poked a hole in said cavern.  When Dave buried the splitting maul in the skull of the monster, they were both surprised.  The monster couldn’t believe a puny human would even have the balls to attack and Dave’s mind went bye-bye.

When Dave awoke, he was, of course, the center of attention from the government.  He was the only one to have a close encounter and live.  But it was way freakier than just that – Dave knew stuff.  He knew the name, rank and serial number, so to speak, of the monster he’d brained.  He knew where it came from, he knew its battle tactics, he knew the other monster races and their characteristics.  And as more of the critters found their way to the surface and began to destroy New Orleans, Dave was the only one with any intel.  But the freakiness didn’t stop there.  Dave and his splitting maul had changed.  Dave’s body seemed to healing itself – from everything.  Overweight with skin cancer popping up and other assorted ailments of a badly mistreated body, Dave was becoming a lean, mean machine with some very interesting new talents.  His splitting maul, now named Lucille, was also acquiring some interesting new characteristics.

The escaped Horde was having its own moments of confusion.  The last time they’d been topside, humans were still wearing stinky hides and cowering in caves.  While the man-meat was every bit as succulent as legend promised, the Horde was discovering they couldn’t just glut and lay back to enjoy the repast; unbelievably, the humans had magicks that could hurt and kill them.  But there are an awful lot of them and they do prove difficult to kill.

Again, this was just plain fun.  Birmingham just rampaged through this story.  Dave is an unpleasant, self-indulgent man and the author gives us just enough reason to not really like him at the beginning.  So his transformation entices us to root for him, even while he’s still being Dave – crass, crude and sexist.  The story did take a while to build up steam and the beginning had a bit of purple prose which made me look at it with a jaundiced eye.  Fortunately, the author found a good balance and the over-the-top characterizations and dialogue started to work about a quarter of the way through the book.  The action never slowed down and the characters, both human and Horde, were well-drawn.  This is the first of three that I already have on my shelf.  I have no idea if they are the full series as I couldn’t find an author website.  But I heartily recommend these if you just like a good monster-bashing time.  ~~  Catherine Book

Follow us

for notices on new content and events.

Our Columns:

The Book Nook
Reviews of the latest in science fiction and fantasy

The Illustrated Corner
Reviews of the latest in Manga and Graphic Novels

Odds and Ends
Reviews of non-genre items our staff enjoyed
(Can be books, movies, TV shows or music)

Voices from the Past
Reviews of genre books from the past (at least 20 years old)
and those which are Out of Print but still wonderful to read

A Chat with
Interviews with people of interest
Current Interview: Brandon Sanderson

Author Appearance & News
This page lists author signings and appearances, convention news
and any other events we think might interest our readers.

Reel Talk
Reviews of current genre movies in the theater
and favorite and new DVD releases

A Tale Told Thusly
A place for new and established writers to show off their short stories

Trivia Contests

In Remembrance
Memories of those who have passed on



WesternSFA Main Page

Links of Interest

Email Us

Disclaimer

Copyright ©2005-2017 All Rights Reserved
(Note that external links to guest web sites are not maintained by WesternSFA)
Comments, questions etc. email WebMaster