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Old 04-15-2012, 01:24 PM   #1
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Exclamation Free (Kindle KDP) Armageddon: The Musical by Robert Rankin [Apocalyptic SciFi Comedy]

Something new and surprising in the KDP Select exclusive-or-else slushpile. And for a change, it's something I've actually read. Or at least think I actually read, since it's part of a series and I don't really recall which volumes of it I actually read.

But anyway, it's a nice sfnal backlist treat from a surprisingly prominent author.

Armageddon: The Musical opens humourous science fiction writer Robert F. Rankin's (ISFDB, Wikipedia) Armageddon Quartet (which actually only has three books in it, perhaps as a riff on Douglas Adams' "increasingly inaccurately-named Hitchhiker's Trilogy") which is about what you'd expect from the title, about the end of the world as we know it (and I feel fine).

I read part of this long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away from an old copy which the library may still actually have on its bookshelves. I've completely forgotten how things turn out, if I ever I knew, but I vaguely recall Rankin's writing being moderately funny.

This was originally published in the UK by Bloomsbury in 1990 and went through several subsequent printings from Dell and Corgi over the years.

Free with DRM for who knows how long @ Amazon main UK DE ES FR IT

Description
THE YEAR IS 2050 AND THE WORLD IS ONCE MORE COMING TO AN END

When society collapsed in 1999 with the Nuclear Holocaust Event, things got rather dull on Planet Earth. Sickly green survivors huddled in their mouldy bomb-proof bunkers, watching reality TV and waiting for things to sort themselves out.

Rex Mundi has just got himself a new job, Religious Affairs Correspondent for Buddhavision, one of the big three television companies that now control the world. Rex’s employer is Dalai Dan, the 153rd incarnation of the Dalai Lama. Dan hosts Nemesis, the most popular TV game show in human history. A show that has taken sex and violence to new extremes and Dan is not an easy Lama to work for.

Rex’s first day on the job hasn’t gone altogether well. He has been blown up, narrowly avoided being eaten by cannibals and finally tortured to death. He remains optimistic however that his second day might go better.

On the Planet Phnaargos, there is little optimism. Since the dawn of Earth history the Phnaargs, a race addicted to television, have enjoyed a TV reality show called The Earthers. Broadcast live from Planet Earth. In fact Phnaargian “script advisors” have secretly influenced Mankind’s history literally from the Stone Age to provide entertainment for their people. The Nuclear Holocaust Event was a ratings topper, but now the viewing figures are falling. There is just not enough exciting things happening down on Planet Earth.

Happily a Phnaargian TV exec has come up with a plan: travel back in time and reinstate a popular Earth character from the past. One whom, had he made a different decision, would have changed the course of Earth history and so avoid the Nuclear Holocaust Event. That individual is Elvis Aron Presley and all the Phnarrgs have to do is travel back to 1958 and persuade Elvis to dodge the draft, thus influencing a generation of American youths to follow suit, in turn preventing the Nuclear Holocaust Event.

Enter Barry The Time-Travelling Brussels Sprout.

And so the stage is set for Armageddon: The Musical, Robert Rankin’s seminal novel (originally published in 1990). Characteristically abundant in off-the-wall concepts and situations, this book is a mind-bending rollercoaster ride through a post-apocalyptic dystopia gone mad, peopled with evil villains, dyscalculic nuclear missiles, corrupt and incompetent executives, mad lesbians and loquacious vegetables; it contains something to offend everyone and is certainly not for the faint-hearted!


A quick dip into the rest of the KDP exclusive-or-else slushpile which I didn't really feel like looking to deeply into (when you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you... actually because I've got finals for the next couple of weeks).

The recognizable non-repeaty bits which checked out:

Zebra-published Doreen Owens Malek returns with a romance which she says was originally published in 1985 under the title A Winter Meeting: Winter Affair

Stephen Parrish has a novel out from Llewellyn/Midnight Ink and offers a post-Berlin Wall Cold War-aftermath espionage thriller: The Feasts of Lesser Men

Kay Keppler has a book out from Carina Press and offers a possibly-comedic contemporary romance: Betting on Hope

C.S. Lakin has had a book out from Christian publisher Zondervan and offers a possibly inspirational/possibly-secular psychological murder mystery/revenge thriller which the blurb says is in the vein of Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None: Innocent Little Crimes

Small-pressed Canadian author Nicola Furlong offers the self-explanatory: Youdunit Whodunit! How to Write Mysteries

Kate Gordon is a pseudonym for the team of previously-included small-pressed Gordon Ryan and Kate Armitage. "She" offers a fantasy crossover adventure thriller with romance, starring a modern Secret Service agent who's kidnapped to help the Irish elves and thwart some sort of disaster: Ninth Crossing: Discovery

Simon Worrall, who wrote the non-fiction The Poet and the Murderer (about a forged Emily Dickinson poem) for Dutton in 2002, returns to offer a slew of short things, both fiction and non-, including a history of The Book of Kells and something involving Canada's Baffin Island: Linkage for the lot

Lisa Verde, whose prose actually has gotten praise from Wired.com as claimed by the blurb, offers a mini-collection of her erotic shorts: The Boy, Louis and Other Stories (Lushly Literary Erotica)

Rand Eastwood adds right in the blurb the provenance of the published stories included in his collection, and the exact minor literary competitions they have placed in or won, which is something I appreciate in an author: Rolling The Bones: Six Tales of Life, Death, & Redemption

Fellow MR member author Stephen Livingston has had short stories appear in university literary society publications, IIRC. He offers a satirical short: The Wheel of Justice

I previously included self-pub Rex Jameson's stuff for having fun Samhain-style content warnings which sadly, he seems to have removed (you can still see them here in the original post where they were first spotted). Nevertheless, if you picked up his novel then, you might be interested to know that he has made a follow-up story free: The Goblin Rebellion (Primal Patterns)

Significant sfnal backlist repeats from Kathryn Lance, A.A. Attanasio, Lee Killough, and some YA fantasy stuff from Barbara Bartholomew and S.V. Peddle.

Happy reading, if indeed you manage to spot something you think you might like and you still feel fine at the end of the world as you know it.

ETA: Edith Hope Fine has written a few children's books for Scholastic, St. Martin's, and Ten Speed Press among others. She offers a non-fiction book for ages 9 and up which you should all go get to educate the kiddies: Barbara McClintock: Nobel Prize Geneticist (Spotlight Biography)

Last edited by ATDrake; 04-15-2012 at 02:31 PM. Reason: Because she blinded me with SCIENCE!
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Old 04-15-2012, 03:44 PM   #2
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Just a little stunned to see this one--I literally pulled Armageddon: The Musical off my shelf last week for a reread. Got three pages in, went, "meh, dead tree book" and put it back. Yet another book I figured I wouldn't see in ebook for a while yet. No one else I've ever known has read it. LOL

But the cover on the original is WAY better.
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Old 04-15-2012, 07:01 PM   #3
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Thanks I love Armageddon: The Musical. Will be great to re read in ebook.
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Old 04-16-2012, 10:06 PM   #4
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Feature still free, minor updates below.

ISFDBed Star Wars tie-in writer Dave Wolverton writing as David Farland returns with a fantasy short: Siren Song at Midnight

Anne Frasier writing as Theresa Weir returns with what looks like a literary fiction novel which is related to some sort of memoir about Alzheimer's: The Man Who Left

Tracy Sumner who's ex-Zebra and/or ex-Dorchester, IIRC, returns with another historical romance: To Desire a Scoundrel (Southern Heat/Novella Two: TANNER)

Circlet Press-anthologized MeiLin Miranda, who at some point became a fellow MR member author, returns with an m/m/f fantasy AU romance: Lovers and Beloveds (An Intimate History of the Greater Kingdom)

Carol Grace's 1994 Harlequin Silhouette contemporary romance may be a repeat, but it's old enough I don't have it in the newer KDP-auxiliary account: Lonely Millionaire

Small presses Imajin Books and Decadent Publishing both have a couple of new things.

ETA: Previously-included small romance press BookStrand-published Sally Quilford returns with another short romantic suspense which she says was originally published by My Weekly Pocket Novels: The Secret of Helena's Bay

ETA 2: Previously-title-featured ISFDBed Philip K. Dick award-nominee William Barton returns with an sfnal work: Cast a Cold Eye (Novelette)

Last edited by ATDrake; 04-16-2012 at 10:47 PM.
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Old 04-16-2012, 10:48 PM   #5
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Thanks!

821!
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Old 04-17-2012, 12:23 AM   #6
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Never heard of this...thanks...sounds...um...well...interesting.
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Old 04-17-2012, 02:34 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ATDrake View Post
Circlet Press-anthologized MeiLin Miranda, who at some point became a fellow MR member author, returns with an m/m/f fantasy AU romance: Lovers and Beloveds (An Intimate History of the Greater Kingdom)
I'd classify that more as epic fantasy with a romance/erotic sub-plot than a fantasy romance, because there's a whole lot more going on here than boy meets boy and girl. There's power and politics and sexuality and what happens when those things get mixed together, and then there's all the stuff going on in the exquisitely built world that is hinted at but left to be dealt with in future books of the series.

Also, this is free for two days and confirmed DRM-free.
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Old 04-17-2012, 08:56 AM   #8
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Well, at that price, I'm willing to give it a go.
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Old 04-18-2012, 02:31 PM   #9
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Probably my favourite Robert Rankin book so really glad I saw this before the offer expired! Barry the time sprout is superb!

Thanks a lot for posting this ATDrake!
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