Saturday, May 24, 2008

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull: A Review

You are chained to a damp concrete floor in a room, blinded by remorseless, harsh spotlights that intermittently sputter and strobe in heart-stopping, insane rhythms. On a torn projector screen, a poorly-focused, off color image is flickering silently. A pair of inhumanly strong, cybernetically-operated severed hands clamp your fingers to a white-hot cast iron Playstation controller, forcing you to play through the first level of Tomb Raider 2 again and again, forcing you to die in the same place each time. A keening, idiot humming is coming from somewhere, the broken melody is familiar: Duhn da nuh NAHH, dun na NAH.

You feel something wet against your leg and you realize that you have shit yourself. It is not the honest shit of a sick person; it is the feces of shame. The reek of self-loathing and rotting childhood fills the air.

Indistinct figures loom above you. You can only make out beards at first, but in a sudden flaring of the spotlights, the silhouettes resolve into the leering, bearded faces of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg. They are drinking Champipple from a baby's skull goblet and smoking PCP and laughing at you. And your mom is there, and she is laughing at you. And you can't help it and you gout out another jet of steaming diarrhea, and they laugh even louder. And you are weeping, and shitting, and they are laughing. Suddenly another figure is in front of you, silhouetted by the projector! That hat! Oh, it is Harrison Ford! Maybe he can save you! He leans in to the light and smiles at you. You know, that smile. Sorry kid. You wanted this. Not me.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Saturday, May 10, 2008

What really went on there? We only have this excerpt:

The so-called New Wave of science fiction, exemplified by such writers as Samuel Delaney, Norman Spinrad, Joanna Russ, and M. John Harrison was the cause of literally tons of amazing paperback covers in the late '60s and early '70s. Here is one of them, announcing a title by the High Priest of New Wave SF, Philip K. Dick, writing in collaboration with Ray Nelson. The artist is uncredited, but I suspect it may be the noted German illustrator Mati Klarwein, best know for his cover art for Mile's Davis' Bitches' Brew. I may of course, be totally wrong.

All of the represented elements in the design are indeed present in the text of the novel: A black man is one of the principal protagonists, and a hapa woman is another. And yes, there are giant aardvarks and a mountain with an angry, glaring eye. About the only element that isn't found in the story are the zappy Art-Deco electrodes. Despite the fact that that this is an amazingly psychedelic cover design, it may be one of the most literal interpretations of the text to ever grace a book cover. God love the 1960s.

Anyway, just thought I'd share.

Also: it's a rad book.