Sunday, February 2, 2014


Tyler’s Third Act
Mick Garris; William Stout (Illustrator)
Cemetery Dance, $35.00
ISBN: 9781587673016

Tyler Sparrow’s first act was as a television script writer. That gig ended with the 2007 Writers Guild strike as the stations’ management and accountant learned viewers loved cheaper reality shows so they inundated the market during and after the strike. Script writers like Tyler were unemployed in his second act.

Desperate as he is running out of resources, Tyler creates a third act. He develops a bloody gory show You Want a Piece of Me for an Internet only audience with a final curtain call that he believes will make him a household name as he will satiate the blood-curdle mob.

Mindful of the movie Network, Tyler's Third Act shines a discomforting spotlight on reality shows and the culture that supports these shows through spectators observing a Christians and the Lions last person-beast standing competition as each new gig requires increasing violence. With strong illustrations enhancing the plot, readers will act like Tyler’s audience macabrely fascinated with a need to know the climax of Tyler’s Third Act in what is a solid contemporary allegory. Harriet Klausner

Tears of Rain
Rosa Montero
AmazonCrossing, $14.95
ISBN: 9781612184388

In the United States of Earth, thirty one years old Bruna Husky actually has lived for only six years and will die in four when her time expires. Though she has memories of a childhood, Bruna learns her recall of events over six years ago are false imprints; as she is a techno-human created in a lab to do work humans do not want to perform.

In 2109 in Madrid, there has been an angry assault on replicants; many murdered before there expiration date ends their lives. Detective Bruna Husky investigates the violent mysterious deaths of her peers; knowing she will likely end up like her dead colleagues. As she follows leads, Bruna realizes that behind the serial killings there is a world-wide conspiracy to take control of the globe.

With a nod to Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Tears of Rain is an exhilarating futuristic thriller that looks deeply into the psychology of being an individual with no rights who knows their shut off date yet possessing feelings similar to their human creators. The well written investigation enables the audience to compare the social and political realm of the natural born with the lab born in a divided world in which origin prejudice is prevalent. Although the prose at times feels out of place with a persistent Pollyanna optimism instead of Bruna’s dark environs, fans will enjoy the techno-human investigating the serial killing of techno-humans. Harriet Klausner

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