Tyson Adams

Putting the 'ill' back in thriller

Archive for the tag “Satire”

New Ultra Thin Diet

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In the tradition of nutritionists – the toothyologists of dietary advice – I have developed a new free diet plan to help people lose weight. Just like all other fad diets, my diet promises to help you lose weight or your money back. And just like other fad diets, I have come up with an overly simple way of losing weight that is guaranteed to not work in the long term.

Introducing the Dodgy Kebab Diet™

The relationship between an alcoholic binge-fest and a stop for a dodgy kebab before heading home has long been known. But have you ever wondered why it is that people don’t gain pudgy spare tires around their middle from their night of drunken debauchery? Well, thanks to not-science and pure speculation, I have discovered that it is the dodgy kebab that keeps people thin and ready for another night of drinking your paycheck.

You see, the dodgy kebab contains a quantum field of dietary entanglement. This means that the dodgy kebab sneaks up on all of that alcohol and redefines its aura, changing it from calories to vomit, which I call the Gastro™ effect.

Now this may work for the overindulgence evenings, but a diet has to be every day for 10 days or 1 dress size, so how can the Dodgy Kebab Diet™ work without the need to get plastered every day? Well, the dodgy kebab’s quantum field of dietary entanglement works just as well on your stomach lining as it does on alcohol.

The diet is very simple: eat one dodgy kebab per day for 10 days and I guarantee you will lose weight.* That’s it! You will feel better ** and look better ***.

Don’t just take my word for it: here is one of my satisfied victims customers.

Shane: I started the Dodgy Kebab Diet™, caught Gastro™ and lost 5kg.

With the Dodgy Kebab Diet™ you pay no money for access to my fully unqualified nutritionists (we’d have to be dieticians to be qualified). You only pay $59.95 per month for access to our extensive database of Dodgy Kebab Diet™ endorsed vendors. No need to spend every Saturday night wandering around to find the one with Gastro™. I’ve done all the research for you, compiling all the dodgy kebab vendors from the Food Safety Authority. All you have to do is send me $59.95 and I will send you the mobile phone app and simple instructions on how to get the most out of your bout of Gastro™.

What if kebabs aren’t my thing?
For an extra $9.95 I can include Chinese, Thai, and all of the least cooked chicken restaurants in your area.

Order now to avoid disappointment at eating well cooked food and gaining weight like a mug.

* We don’t guarantee weight loss on this diet.

** You will only feel better if you make it to the hospital emergency room on time.

*** Looking better is determinant upon surviving the food poisoning and proper application of makeup.

Thanks to Shane Nixon for helping inspire this diet.

4 Reasons to Make Your Email Public

I read a blog post recently that suggested it is a good idea to make your email address publicly available on your webpage (and elsewhere). This is a great idea. The blog author listed 4 reasons, so I’ll list another 4.

Because everyone needs an extra couple of inches on their penis.
Even if you are a woman. Maybe especially if you are a woman.

How will SEO marketers contact you without your email?
Except via the comments and domain registry information.

Nigerian Royalty could be trying to contact you.
I hear they need to give away money to people they don’t know.

From See Mike Draw. Become a fan NOW!

From See Mike Draw. Become a fan NOW!

Because there is no such thing as social media and direct messaging.
I mean, who even has a Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Google+, etc, account these days? And there are definitely no features that allow you to privately contact the person via those mediums.

Book Review: How I Became a Famous Novelist by Steve Hely

How I Became a Famous NovelistHow I Became a Famous Novelist by Steve Hely
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Satire is always fun. There is something so rewarding about taking the piss out of someone, something or society. The problem with satire is either that the target often doesn’t have much of a sense of humour or that the joke is just dragged out too far. One of the greatest works of satire, Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, is a great example of how writers can sometimes labour a joke/point too much, whilst being absolute geniuses.

Steve’s satire of the literary industry is right on the money. From the biting examples of literary drivel, to the examples of writers and the claims by industry figures that no-ones knows anything about books, Hely has hit the mark. I’m sure if I actually read much literary fiction I’d even recognise the books and writers who were satirised.

So it pains me to give this book only 3 stars, but I really had to. There were bits I had to skim over, especially in the second half of the book. Some of the literary satire pieces were too close to the truth for me, essentially making for boring reading. And, as I have already alluded, the book relies on one joke. This is still very well done, an enjoyable read, but it does suffer the fate of many pieces of satire, hence only 3 stars from me.

View all my reviews

Thou Hokey Pokey

Book Review: Energy & Environment – short story collections

Edited by Dr Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There are a lot of publications out there that specialize in short fiction. One that has stood tall amongst the Science Fiction community is the publication Energy & Environment. Published 8 times per year, this periodical prides itself on its consistent quality of short stories. It has become a renowned publication in the sci-fi community, with contributing authors often writing about an alternate reality universe, where the rules of physics do not apply.

Luminaries of the Science Fiction community have been known to publish stories in E&E, notable examples include: Dr Willie Soon, Prof Bob Carter, Prof Ian Plimer, Dr Tim Curtin, Prof Richard Lindzen, Dr Roger Pielke Sr; a veritable who’s who of the Science Fiction world. Energy & Environment attract such great writers because of the favourable editorial standards, allowing startling new sub-genres of Science Fiction to emerge. Some of the most revered works of Science Fiction have been published in Energy and Environment in the last decade as a result of the publication’s regard in the sci-fi community.

Energy & Environment is often regarded as hard sci-fi, due to its heavy use of figures and tables within the stories. These illustrations help to conjure up a vivid impression of the wonderfully weird worlds the stories are based in. Having a science background, these elements of hard sci-fi were an entertaining aside, but most sci-fi fans would be able to enjoy the fictional universes without having to take them in.

Contributors are also known to win the prestigious Heartland Institute award. This is a notable Science Fiction award given by the Heartland Institute to encourage sci-fi writers to continue their work. The award comes with a cash stipend, generously given by Heartland funders such as Exxon. A notable Australian sci-fi author, Bob Carter, is a current recipient of the award, the $1600 a month stipend helping him write sci-fi stories full-time.

If you are looking for funny, entertaining and challenging Science Fiction, then Energy & Environment has a story for you.

View all my reviews

Combating Writer’s Block: Advice by Genre

There is no worse disease for a writer than writer’s block. I’d also say that writer’s block is terrible for readers too, uninspired prose is what we expect from policy and political people, not our entertainment. I’m a fan of Stephen King’s writing advice: set a daily word goal and stay at it until you reach the goal. There is something about daily writing and forcing yourself to write that seems to make things flow.

But Tyson, I hear you say, I’m stuck with no ideas for what to write next. Luckily I was procrastinating whilst writing the other day and came up with a definitive fail safe for each major genre. Any additions are welcome in the comments.

Thriller Writers
When writer’s block strikes kill someone or blow something up.

Crime Writers
When writer’s block strikes describe the main character getting drunk and wallowing in self pity.

Mystery Writers
When writer’s block strikes introduce a red herring.

Romance Writers
When writer’s block strikes introduce new character with rock hard abs.

Literature Writers
When writer’s block strikes describe a tree in intimate detail.

Fantasy Writers
When writer’s block strikes have a talking dragon appear, or have the characters go on a long walk somewhere.

Sci-fi Writers
When writer’s block strikes cut and paste physics article from Wikipedia into your novel.

Horror Writers
When writer’s block strikes cut and paste autopsy reports into your novel.

Paranormal Writers
If you already have vampires, ghosts and werewolves in your novel, introduce ninjas and pirates as characters.

If you are really stuck after all of these ideas, then there is no novel in existence that can’t/couldn’t be improved by the addition of pirates and/or ninjas.

Science writing explained

Language is very important for scientists, as they are often authors as well. Their medium is the communication of data and knowledge to further understanding. The problem with science is that a lot of scientists prefer to make their statements as vague and non-committal as possible. In keeping with my previous explanations of music reviews and book reviews I have found a few science terms explained. This list has helped me, I hope it helps you.

Bah, humbug

It is the season to be jolly, apparently. The jolliest people are, of course, retailers, who are doing their impersonations of Scrooge McDuck swimming. The rest of us are just happy to have some time off work and an excuse to eat until our arteries congeal and drink until the tile floor looks comfy.

Don’t get me wrong, Xmas is a lovely time of year, but I have some issues with it.

1) It’s Xmas not Christmas.
This celebration stopped being about Christ’s birthday when shops started advertising how many shopping days there were left before Xmas. I’m glad we have the holiday but lets stop pretending it is a religious holiday. To the 16% of Australian’s (check your country stats here) who actually attend church, feel free to ignore this point. And yes I’m aware of the irony here.

2) Xmas cards.
I understand the idea of sending correspondence to family and friends and given the “holiday season” it only seems logical to catch up with people. But I’m under 40, so I have Facebook, Twitter, Email, Linkedin, mobile phones, and know how to use them. Sending cards feels like people the world over are taking a vow of technophobia in order to contract hand cramps and level a rain forest.

3) Xmas lights.
I think the goal of Xmas lights, if I am understanding them correctly, is blind people in the space station orbiting Earth. In the day and age of climate change, when we really should be cutting down on energy usage, we decide to set up a whole lot of lights to blind people. It has become a competition between neighbours and streets to see who can have the most gaudy display of flashing eyesores. The winner is usually the person or street who wake up to the electricity bill in January realising they need a second job and to sell a kidney.

4) Caroling.
Why is it that people only remember for the other eleven months of the year that they can’t sing?
Which also brings me to:

5) Xmas songs.
I’m not talking about the traditional carols here, I’m talking about the saccharine odes to love and presents that bombard the airwaves from every pop singer/group the world has to offer. These “artists” were barely tolerable in small doses as it was, but the competition to have the highest selling drink coaster means you can’t even go near a TV or radio for fear of diabetes and the desire to hug a puppy.

6) The celebrity biography.
Speaking of stocking stuffers, every Xmas there must be more celebrity biographies bought for Dads the world over than any other time of year. In fact, it is safe to say that the book reading statistics are built on this Xmas tradition of buying a book no-one wants to read for people who don’t read in the first place. Is it really a surprise that so few people read when the only book they start each year is about the mundane life of somebody with decent hand-eye coordination or a backstabbing politician proposing to tell all, but really just relating the party political line of events. I’d prefer the socks.

With that said, Merry Xmas everyone!

Dear Buddha, please bring me a pony and a plastic rocket.

Marketing ideas – Jesus style

We had a knock on the door this morning. A lady was inquiring if we “followed the bible”. My immediate reaction was to say something like, “Inanimate objects don’t really take me places these days.” Of course I was very polite and told her that my dog was hungry. She persisted with, “Do you follow God?” to whit I retorted, “Which one?”

I should point out at this juncture that I’m not against religion or religious people. Religion has done some good things and it has done some bad things. If we were to express their good versus bad as a baseball batting average, then I’d have to learn something about baseball.

Anyway, this got me thinking, which has been known to happen occasionally. Religious people are often very keen to sell their religion door-to-door. They often have pamphlets, invites to their church (or whatever), or even their indoctrination material for sale. I am yet to have a scientist knock on my door of a Sunday morning, “Have you heard the word of Newton?” At least with scientists door knocking they could fix the zero-point anomaly in our laundry; it’s starting to cause a gravity sink.

See, this would be brilliant marketing for any author. Imagine an entire squad of people devoted to spreading the word about your book/s. Unpaid labourers whose goal it was to sell your writing to everyone. Of course this wouldn’t be easy to arrange. I’m not sure I can afford the price of souls these days – what with the economy and all – so getting boots on the ground might either take a lot of  enigmatic persuasion or be the realm of wealthy authors.

There are plenty of examples of this happening. If you do a little digging you can find how L Ron Hubbard got his book Battlefield Earth on the bestseller lists. Every Scientologist was sent out to buy a copy, which they then sent back to the “church” (I use that term loosely) and the books were sent to the stores again to be resold. Brilliant!

Obviously not every author can create their own religion to sell books, but maybe there is something to be made use of here. Maybe your local Jehovah’s Witness may need some extra redemption and would like to sell your book door-to-door if you promise to not set the bear traps on the doorstep. Think about it!

Hard-copy books need to fight

There is a call to arms for all lovers of books. No longer can we stand by and have e-books take our readers. They may take our ink, they may take our paper, but they may never take our reading material!

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/ct-oped-0804-books-20110804,0,3970003.story

I think they are right. Books have been derailed by technology. So, to combat this, I have recruited a top advertising agency to help out. They will be promoting the smell, feel, taste and texture of real books. The smell of gold leaf that was painstakingly applied by the hands of a skilled monk. The smell of candle wax that was used for light by the monks. The texture of papyrus and hemp paper. The acrid taste in your mouth from inhaling calligraphy inks. The weight of a clay or stone tablet as it crushes your hands.

Gutenburg was wrong when he brought in mass production print. We must fight back and stop these false books from becoming the norm.

Rally behind the stone tablet and the scroll. Say no to the printing press!

Training Masterclass #3

In the previous two Training Masterclass posts (1, 2) I presented my friend Dan and his training videos. We have seen what it takes to train the chest and perfect the chin-up. This post is about the back.

Now back and bicep training is very important. Us desk jockeys spend a lot of time sitting down, a lot of time with internally rotated shoulders – just think of all the time you spend typing. Training the back properly will aid in keeping you healthy by offsetting your poor work posture. Training the biceps is important because everyone wants a nice set of guns.

Superb!

As a bonus feature I am including the Clean & Jerk. This is probably the single best exercise ever invented, next to the exercise in futility.

Training Master-class #2

You only have your health, and possibly access to some poor Indian’s kidneys, so we would all be wise to try and keep fit and healthy. Last time I presented the first in a series of training videos to help us desk jockey’s. This is video two in the training master-class, brought to you by my friend Dan/Rocky.

Mighty Pec Blasting Chest Power!!

See you all under a barbell somewhere soon.

Training Master-class #1

There is nothing in this life more important than your health. As the adage goes; you only have your health. Yet, in this day and age (what a redundant statement), more of our populous live sedentary lives than ever. So many of us are desk jockeys and the aspiring writer in me is seeking to spend more of my day sitting down.

Fortunately I’ve been a weightlifter since my teens. I love lifting heavy stuff and keeping fit. It also allows me my other passions; involving sitting, lying down, and eating chocolate. It took me years to become good at lifting, even more years to become really good at eating chocolate on a couch.

It is important to learn lifting form to get the most out of training. So I wish to present here my friend Dan’s – also known as Rocky – Training Master-class so that all of us desk jockeys don’t become desk leviathans. This first video is illustrating the chin-up.

Australian Bookstore Memorabilia Auction

Borders Book Mark for Sale

I am selling my limited edition Borders bookmark for charity. Any and all offers between $40 million and $50 million will be accepted.

As many book fans will have noticed, there are a number of book retailers circling the drain of bankruptcy. Borders in the USA may have found a last minute lifeline, but here in Australia the Redgroup stores (Borders and Angus & Robertson) have gone the way of the honest politician. The superbly managed Redgroup managed to amass $170 million in debts, $44 million of that being owed to publishers (and consequently authors).

The reason for me auctioning off my bookmark is that I hope to be able to not only share a piece of publishing industry history, but to also recoup the money that Redgroup stole from publishers and authors. Redgroup felt that selling millions of dollars worth of books that they didn’t own was really just a creative book-keeping issue. Nobody else did and now all we have to remember them by is this bookmark.

Bid Now!

The bookmark is not laminated, but I can have it laminated. I can also list the board of directors of Redgroup on the back if desired. Please, no time-wasters, this is an auction to save starving authors everywhere.

How to interpret online book reviews

p { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }My previous post sought to elucidate some of those oft quoted expressions which plague music reviews. Despite the unequivocally superior standard of articulation amongst the literary fraternity, there are, upon occasion, some idioms that have become rather cliché. Thus it has fallen upon me, dear reader, to compile and define some terms and phrases that require proper denotation, in order to provide clarification of book review terminology definitions.

Page-turner: Meets the bare minimum standards for a book.
Gripping: I got this from a library where kids are allowed to play.
Poignant: Something sad happened in this book, most likely a character gets cancer.
Compelling: I spent so much time reading this book I had to finish it despite wanting to hurt myself after every sentence.
Nuanced: I have no idea what this book was about but I liked it.
Lyrical: Should be a poem instead so that it isn’t as long and self-involved.
Tour de force: The book is too long and waffly.
Readable: Boring but better than watching TV.
Haunting: Either used to describe a book that made the reviewer actually think, or, more likely, is meant to make you think but is just pretentious.
Deceptively simple: Could have been written by a 10 year old.
Rollicking: Something actually happens in this book.
Fully realized: The book has a beginning, middle and end.
Timely: Makes passing reference to something that happened 2 years ago.
X meets Y meets Z: The reviewer hasn’t read the book so is quoting the sales blurb.
Sweeping: Long.
That said: I’ve just insulted this entire book but it is popular for some unknown reason (e.g. Twilight).
Riveting: Was able to finish reading it.
Unflinching: Unpleasant.
Powerful: I read the hardcover.
Unputdownable: Reviewer is unfamiliar with English.
Masterfully or Masterful: The author is familiar with English.
Beautifully written: A lot of long words were used.
Startling: Reviewer was surprised the book was published.
Bold: Controversial.
Accessible: Written for kids.
Memorable: Reviewer didn’t have to look up the author or title to write the review.
Epic: Really, really, long.
A tale of loss and redemption: Someone dies, the protagonist gets over it, the end.
Sensuously, seductively, and/or lushly described: Painstakingly boring descriptions of mundane details.
Must read: Bestseller.
What it is to be human: Someone falls in love or someone dies.
Luminous: Has a pretty cover.
Evocative: Not boring or pedantic.
Poetic: Wordy.
Thought provoking: Reviewer is sure the book is cultural or intellectual but didn’t quite get it.
Rollicking roller-coaster: Kids book, or should be.
Provocative: Annoying.
Lends itself to X: Reading the book X was better.
Opinionated: The reviewer disagrees with everything the author has ever written.
Emotional roller-coaster: Nominated for some literary award.
Only minor quibbles: The book sucked.
Stays in your mind long after the last page is turned: Had a bad ending.
Writing at the peak of his/her powers: Much better than the author’s other books.
At once: The reviewer is about to use more than one of these terms in a sentence.
Also, lets not forget the various terms that are used to tell you what the genre of the book is, rather than just say what the genre is:
Explicit, steamy, romp, raunchy: Erotica or has sex in it.
Charged, taut, woven, layered: Political thriller.
Heart-warming, life-affirming: Romantic drama.
Seamy, gritty, underworld: Crime.
Taut, fast-paced, dynamic: Thriller.
Epic: Fantasy.
Hope this clears things up a bit.

Math Shouldn’t Be Taught In Schools

This of course follows on from earlier interviews about whether schools should teach evolution.

I’m glad that people get such a good education in this day and age. My text book on celestial orbits around the Earth – with calculations of how flat our Earth is – will no doubt be in curriculum’s world wide soon. It is entitled The Science of Flat Earth.

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