Literary Fiction – The Fabrications

The FabricationsThe Fabrications
By Baret Magarian
Publisher: Pleasure Boat Studio
Published: June 2017
ISBN: 978-0912887470
ASIN: B06XWZ3C7B
Genre: Literary Fiction, Satire, Dark humor, fiction
Formats Available For Review: Print (limited quantities, only available to qualified reviewers/bloggers in the U.S.) PDF, epub

When Oscar Babel, a cinema projectionist languishing in obscurity, is befriended by Daniel Bloch, a popular novelist, strange things begin to happen when Bloch starts to write about Oscar. Oscar’s life changes course as he becomes a 21st century messiah. At the same time Bloch’s life descends into the darkness (and madness) that his friend narrowly escaped.

Feeding in and out of this central spine are other stories: Bloch’s reconciliation with his father, who was seduced by Bloch’s ex-wife Natalie; the career of the brilliant but unsuccessful painter Najette, Oscar’s muse and lover; and ever more insane instances of PR stunts, as master-minded by the demonic publicist Ryan Rees. Eventually Oscar’s fame and myth balloon out of all proportion and the novel draws to an unforgettable climax.

THE FABRICATIONS possesses peculiar relevance to our tumultuous times. At the center of the novel is Ryan Reese, a Trump/Murdock like character. His main motivation is to manipulate society at large, spread anarchy and create propaganda. He derives pleasure from his power to sow the seeds of hope only to dash them and destroy them whenever he feels like. To this end he seizes upon Oscar Babel, an obscure blank slate of a man he can easily manipulate, orchestrating Babel’s rise to fame through “fabrications” designed to turn him into a contemporary savior of society.

The book addresses the way shadowy off-stage figures retain the real power, as their puppets and creations dance to their tunes, and the public follows suit. The novel also explores the myths of celebrity, the power of the Internet to disfigure and distort, and the madness of our culture, in which prophets, truths and legends can all be invented.

Part meditation on synchronicity, identity and sex, part satirical critique of contemporary society, and part love story, THE FABRICATIONS is a novel that abandons realism and attempts to create a parallel universe that offers deep truths about the chaos and beauty of our own. It jostles with dazzling stories, and memorable, grotesque characters, and will take you on a wild ride, lurching among pathos, hilarity and profundity, breaking the rules of fiction in creating something subversive and beautiful.

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Humor Fiction – Back To Sovietsky

Back To SovietskyBack To Sovietsky
By Michael and Danny D’Agostino
Published: January 2017
ISBN: 978-1542660761
ASIN: B01N4PZMX4
Genre: Humor Fiction
Formats Available For Review: Print (Limited Quantities, Only Available to Qualified Reviewers/Bloggers in the U.S.), pdf and epub

“Bring us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to be free,” but don’t bring us Vladimir Ruska! But that’s just what happened. Yes, Vladimir Ruska, the Russian shiftless corner cutter, came to America to achieve success. But he couldn’t even keep his janitor’s job. In less than a year, he got kicked out of the U.S for violating his visa, and for piling up thousands of dollars in unpaid traffic tickets.

But that is just the start of the saga of Vladimir Ruska. He may be lazy, but he is not stupid. So, he returned to his small, impoverished town in rural Russia, and led his relatives on a journey to a brilliant, new enterprise. They started an unbelievably successful ripoff of McDonald’s, called McRuskies. It worked. It allowed Vladimir the opportunity to move back to America, and this time, with a whole new, positive attitude. Yes! He ultimately became a successful model Russian immigrant in the USA. And four years later, Vladimir and his entire family emigrated to the U.S. Maybe they don’t speak perfect English, but they have the determination to make it in America. They end up starting “Babushka’s Chop House” in Brighton Beach, New York. The story features all the flavor and fun of ethnic Russians attempting to speak the English language. Here’s an example, when Vladimir returns home to Gorzichistan:

VLADIMIR: “Oh yes, cameras everywhere in USA. You go to bank. They watch you. You go to store, they watch you. You buy gas for car, they watch you. You dump ol’ paint in river, they watch you . . . and put you in jail!”
BORIS: “Who watching you?”
VLADIMIR: “The ‘E’ ‘P’ ‘P’ ‘A’.”
YURI: “Oh yeah, we hear dat on news. You go to da outhouse and who is watching you?”
STASIK: “The ‘E’ ‘P’ ‘P’ ‘A’.”
BABUSHKA: “So we got KGB, FSB. And America got ‘E’ ‘P’ ‘P’ ‘A’. Everyting same wherever you go. No different. Right Grandpa?”
Grandpa, who worked in the Russian coal mines all his life, takes a deep breath and heaves up a resounding, gurgling persistent cough.”
GRANDPA: “Eeeh! Ahhhh! Ehhhgheghhheeee!
BABUSHKA: “. . . See? . . . He say yes!”

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Humorous Sci-fi Adventure – NASA’s 1st Mission to Mars – For What?!!!

NASA's 1st Mission to Mars - For WhatNASA’s 1st Mission to Mars – For What?!!!
By Michael and Danny D’Agostino
Published: July 2017
ISBN: 978-1548482374
Genre: Humor, Sci-Fi Adventure
Formats Available For Review: Print (limited quantities, only available to qualified reviewers/bloggers in the U.S.)

Chicago Scientists Rebuke NASA’s Manned Mission to Mars in their New Comedy Sci-Fi Novel, “NASA’s 1st Mission to Mars – For What?!!!”

The issue: Why spend billions of taxpayer dollars on a manned mission to Mars, a totally dead, uninhabitable planet? For what?!

This witty, sometimes off-the-wall comedy, tells it like it is with authentic, real science, because it’s written by two former scientists, emerging as the comedy writing team of Michael and Danny D’Agostino. You can confirm what they say, like living on Mars would be near impossible: due to its oxygen-poor atmosphere, lack of Earth-like organic soil, the presence of elements and compounds in the rock surface that would contaminate plant growth.

The radiation alone would kill anyone walking on the surface without a thick, all-body radiation barrier. No trees, no plant or animal life, no water, except at the polar regions where you would freeze to death – what is the justification for massive expenditures to finance a mission to a dead planet? There is none.

THE STORY:
Penniless, flat broke, sleeping in a cardboard box in a tent city on the South Side of Chicago, this formerly undistinguished man, Stanley Marczek, becomes the first man to walk on Mars. How is it possible? Why would NASA select a civilian, non-career astronaut for the mission? Obviously, living in a confined space for nineteen months for the journey to Mars, is one consideration. Another, his screening test results prove to be exceptional, better than all other candidates. And this is a man of grit and incredible courage. He accepts NASA’s offer, seeing it as an opportunity to remake his life, earn a cool three million bucks, and return to Earth a hero. But the story isn’t just about Stanley Marczek, (aka Joksey), and the mission to Mars. It is also about his relationships with his loyal friends: Gnidek, a Viet Nam veteran, his dog Chichi, his girlfriend Hannah, and all his friends at tent city. His journey is clouded with almost insurmountable personal and technical challenges, and it is his friends who provide invaluable moral support; they are all in it together. But what is the catch? There has to be a catch. The catch is that Joksey is a man of strong will who freely expresses his mind. So when the mission is complete, and Stanley Marczek returns to Earth, he publicly questions the wisdom of all manned missions to Mars, to the embarrassment of NASA. And he does not mince words. He tells it like it is, straight out! This novel features realistic science-fiction. Although it is a comedy at heart, it makes a very poignant argument about manned missions to Mars.

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Literary Fiction/Humor – Cities of the Common Man

Cities of the Common ManCities of the Common Man
By Ben Hasskamp
Published: June 2017
ASIN: B071JZMZJ5
Pages: 452
Genre: Literary Fiction – Humor
Formats Available For Review: kindle, pdf

The week before his 30th birthday, once-renowned New York chef Billy MacPherson learns his restaurant is bankrupt, he’s been evicted from his apartment, and his estranged father has dropped dead. Against his better judgment, Billy agrees to return to Oregon to face the family and friends he callously left behind.

During the reading of his father’s will, Billy’s extended family is left hundreds of thousands of dollars in estate money, while Billy’s only bequeathment is his father’s beloved 1985 Back To The Future-replica DeLorean. With no restaurant, no money, no prospects, and only a DeLorean to his name, Billy sets off on a journey down the Pacific coast meeting up with distant friends from college, ancient rivals from culinary school, and old flames who still flicker in his heart. All while fighting the terrible—yet, inevitable—prospect of turning 30.

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Ben Hasskamp
Email: benhasskamp (at) gmail.com
Website: http://www.pecorinoandeggs.com

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Crime/Horror Short Stories – Dangerous Women

dangerous-womenDangerous Women
By Robb. T. White
Publisher: Ravynheart Publishing
Published: September 2016
ASIN: B01LZ8MSD0
Genre: Crime/Horror Short Stories
Formats Available For Review: kindle

Barbie dolls and inviting friends to backyard tea parties. Some, like the twins of “The Birthmark,” are sweet—and cunning as Norwegian rats, a truth the boyfriend of one learns too late. “The Gypsy Girl from Bluefield” went to the school of hard knocks, became a lap dancer, and then took her sugar daddy for a long ride—all the way to Rio. Sandy LaFramboise of “Finding Sandy Biggers” thought she could outwit a professional jewelry thief, a psychopath, who would never stop looking for her. The sharp-eyed narrator of “Blackmail Is My Business” thought he had the smarts to run a scam past a rich man’s wife and he, too, learned he’s just a minnow in a world of sharks. All the stories feature women who are as tough, hungry, and dangerous as the men who try to use them or control them. It’s an entertaining ride for all readers who prefer violence, crime, and mayhem as vicarious pleasures.

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Robb. T. White
Email: robbtwhite@gmail.com
Website: http://tomhaftmann.wixsite.com/robbtwhite
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tomhaftmann

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Dark Fantasy – The Godgame Collection

The Godgame CollectionThe Godgame Collection
Books 1 & 2
Publisher: Meridian Codex
Published: March 2016
ASIN: B01CRBGKQC
Genre: Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, Horror
Formats Available For Review: pdf, mobi, epub

A relentlessly imaginative fantasy rich in plot twists, dark conspiracies, and superbly realized characters – complete with map, notes and Appendix.

Some say the world of Meridian is in its last age of existence. The Flood is coming, an event that will wipe the planet clean of corruption. But for humanity, there are more immediate troubles. A war is brewing between the decadent and industrial City of Talos and the rural territory of Nova.

When twelve-year-old Ash Alexander is recruited by the Novan militia, his life–and the life of each member of his family–is thrown into chaos, into a war far deadlier than anyone could have predicted.

While Ash’s sanity is tested against the horrors of war; a woman seeks to uncover the mysteries of the School of the Unseen in her lifelong quest to travel the world; a man will do anything to cure his wife of a horrible sickness; and the chief adviser to the ruler of Talos will align himself with grotesque and otherworldly beings in order to achieve his ambitions.

The Godgame has begun.

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