Book review: By by Rich Bottles Jr.

ByBy by Rich Bottles Jr.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If you are familiar with Rich Bottles’ work then you probably won’t be shocked by anything in this book. However two points if you are not: (1) Shame on you, he is a really good writer and if you like bizarro then you should have read at least one of his works by now. (2) There is a lot of really perverse sex in this book including multiple scenes in Hitler’s Berlin bunker so you have been warned. If you are easily or even not so easily offended this is not the book for you. The trigger alert on the back cover was hilarious and should give you an idea of what the book has in store for you.

I am really glad that Rich put together this compilation as it would have been a shame for any of these stories to not have been (widely) published. It kicks off with “Bitter Night”, a nice Nazisploitation piece that feels like a speculation on how effed up Hitler and his cronies might actually have been. I thought the opening quote before the story was quite apropos.

The author states in the foreward that “There’s No Place Like the Sanitarium” wouldn’t have fit anywhere else but the aborted bizarro Wizard of Oz collection that never saw print but I disagree. I really enjoyed the story and feel that it could be included in any compilation. It really gave me a new perception of Judy Garland even if it is fictional.

“Exciter” was tailor made for me since I grew up with 80s metal and really appreciated all the inside jokes and references. 

I had already read “Hamster and Gretel” when it was published in another book and really enjoyed it. It is a creepy one but just as enjoyable here as in the Hamsters! collection where I initially encountered it.

“Unarmed and Dangerous” was a wild ride, I thought it had a really neat storyline and the two main characters were quite interesting. This one really shows the author’s creativity as the main character Thomasina is unlike any other character I’ve run into when reading bizarro material. I was enjoying the story then it took a twist that I totally did not see coming which was great.

“A Town Called Rupture” closes out the book with a bang. The storyline and setting were great, Michael and Patrick were awesome main characters. Once I again I was so engrossed with the story that I didn’t see a plot twist coming at all. I haven’t read much bizarro (if any) set in the old west so the setting was a very nice change of pace. This is another one where the opening quote (this time from Annie Oakley) was quite fitting.

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Kindle mangles PDF

For some reason my Kindle is displaying the PDF of Bigboobenstein by Jeff O’Brien with some funky fonts. I looks fine on my iPad though.

And yes, I bought a physical copy directly from the author but couldn’t wait for it to arrive to start reading it. After reading the intro by Dustin Reade I need to go watch the movie I Spit on Your Grave now.

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Pax Titanus giveaway

I really enjoyed reading my ebook of Pax Titanus as part of a group read earlier this year. In fact I enjoyed it so much that I am going to buy a hard copy so that I can help Tom get a book deal. Yes, it was that good, five stars from me. If you are squeamish stay away as this is true bizarro and not for the faint of heart.

Check out Tom’s post for all the details.

Pax Titanic May Spectacular

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Steam Crow

I was fortunate enough to talk to Daniel and Dawna of Steam Crow at Wondercon yesterday. They put out some really fun art and I joined thier new Steam Crow Scouts program. Check it out, there has got to be at least one thing you like there.

Steam Crow Scouts

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Geocaching Find #500

After about 16 months I finally found my 500th geocache which I specifically picked for this milestone. Fear Factor: Up the Rat Hole by the DAK Girls. It is difficulty 2 and terrain 5 and was physically challenging.

We (myself and NavalAv8or) had to get into the drainage tunnel which is only about four feet high and walk at least 35 yards in. You can see the next challenge on the cache page.

This picture was taken as I exited the tunnel while trying to keep my feet dry. I definitely made a good choice for a big milestone. Here is my full log entry.

Returning from geocache find #500

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Time to re-read Utopia

I decided that since one of my reading groups at Good Reads is discussing the definition of the dystopian genre that I should to back and re-read a book from one of my college lit classes: Utopia by St. Thomas Moore. Pack rat that I am I still have my used copy bought at the UCSD bookstore in about 1988 or so.

I think this read may be more interesting because there are at least two distinct highlighting styles from the previous owners of this book (one in black ballpoint, one in orange highlighter) so I will be melding those into my interpretations.

I bought this used copy at the UCSD bookstore in about 1988 and still own it in 2014.

I bought this used copy at the UCSD bookstore in about 1988 and still own it in 2014.

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Learn Point & Shoot Photography

I am really looking forward to some great tips on how to shoot better pictures with something besides a DSLR. The new Pocket Lenses web site. They have tutorials and I am really looking forward to the podcasts since I know Sonny puts out great audio content as well.

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She’s Alive!

Well that was a false alarm. Apparently my spatial recognition skills failed me in the dark the other night as my geocache is just fine. The bush that got massacred was near it but the container was undisturbed.

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Games for sale/trade

I am trying to clear out some old, dusty games that just don’t get played anymore so that I can get some new shinies. Below are all the things I am bringing to Kingdom-Con to sell or swap.

Board/Card Games
(See my Board Game Geek collection page and filter by Trade)
Ascension: Apprentice Edition
Blood Bowl (first edition, 1986)
Building an Elder God
Feudal
Food Fight
Gangs of Mega-City One
Pennant Race (1983)
Rezolution (minis book)
Risk: Plants vs. Zombies
Star Trek: Expeditions
Supremacy (1984)
TAG: Terrorist Attack Game
Times to Remember
Top Gun (1986)
Victory in the Pacific (1980s)
World War II: European Theater of Operations (1985)

* Dystopian Wars v1 rulebook and cards

* A bunch of Star Wars CCG cards from Cipher (1990s I think)

* Axis & Allies miniatures collection (including carrying boxes/bag), see my collection at Miniature Trading

I’ll probably bring along my Boris 2 collector cards since the gamer audience will probably be interested.

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Short-lived first hide

Well that was certainly depressing. You may have seen that I hid my first geocache about a month ago. I was walking my geodog Jackson a couple of nights ago right past GZ and discovered that the bush had been “landscaped” away. It looks like someone took a hatchet to it six inches off the ground and just hacked it away.

I couldn’t find the container in the dark by flashlight so I disabled the listing and I’m going back in daylight to look for it again. This has to be the shortest-lived first hide and quickest death by landscaper ever.

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Wall of Shame: Minor Progress

Well “progress” is debatable but at least I got out some of my Protectorate of Menoth models (Warmachine) and the Ogrun Assault Corps to paint last night. My hobby room is still backed up with boxes so 80% of my time last night was setup and finding tools. I never did find my 30mm back arc marker though. Hopefully I will make noticeable progress every night for the next ten days until Kingdom-Con starts.

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Geocaching Milestone: #200

I had a tremendous amount of fun finding my 200th geocache yesterday (12 April 2014): GCTDBJ A Bridge to Nowhere which ended up being a great choice for a milestone.

Below is what I logged at GC.com for this find:

I wanted something special for my 200th find and this one certainly did not disappoint. I parked at a wide spot in the road and had a fun walk in to GZ.

I had fun scrambling over rocks and around bushes to make my way to GZ. The view was awesome and I am really glad that I had gone out of my way to come out here.

I found my #200 milestone at 1420 but spent over 20 minutes in the immediate area just looking around and taking pictures. I was so distracted I forgot to log a discover on the TB.

Major props to the CO for hiding this here, giving it a favorite is a no-brainer. I can’t believe that in eight years this one only has 70 finds, everyone caching in San Diego county (heck even up in Riverside county) should make the trip for this one.

Funny epilogue, I was so giddy making my way out that I made an ill-advised leap from a small rise and totally biffed the landing. I left with a couple of bloody knuckles and a dinged up knee but still couldn’t be happier. (Rated 5 stars with GCVote)

A Bridge to Nowhere GCTDBJ

A Bridge to Nowhere GCTDBJ

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North County Real Estate Mogul

Geocacher düg had his North County Real Estate Mogul series published on Sunday March 23. It consists of 18 traditional caches, six series of three houses each. Each set of houses has clue that combine to reveal the coordinates of a hotel. Finding the six hotels will reveal clues to the location of the final puzzle cache, Advance to Go!

There was a flurry of activity the first three days. Amazingly The Thirsty Ladies group (Trixxster, Silver Horde and The Lost Clan) somehow had the stamina to drive over 130 miles in 13 hours to complete all 25 caches in one day and nab FTF (first to find) on the final puzzle.

I wasn’t able to start my hunt until day two but I have found at least one house per day for five days straight and am having a great time working on the series. I hope to finish up on Sunday. I have two houses, six hotels and the final puzzle left to complete.

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Creative writing via RPG

For some reason I suddenly have a craving to write fantastic fiction and my brain is telling me that the best way to do it is by writing a campaign for a roleplaying game.

This seems like a cheat but it allows me to not have to start from literally nothing. There will be an overall setting with at least some background material. The character generation system helps come up with at least basic character outlines and possibly some detail.

Right now my top three settings are all sci-fi (more or less) but the third is a bit more horror. Stay tuned for the list in future updates, hopefully I can write enough to justify a full post for each.

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Finally hid my first geocache

Last week saw the publication of the first geocache that I have hidden myself, Nearly Caged Quail (GC4XXPG). I kept to my pledge to wait until after at least 100 finds before placing my first (it ended up closer to 140) and I started off with an easy park & grab near home. If conditions are right (i.e. no marine layer) you can catch a nice sunset from ground zero (GZ). I included a few of my signature bottlecaps and a Where’s George tracked dollar bill for the first to find (FTF).

I realized after the fact that I should have put more fun information into the description so I added this image and text today:
“When we first moved into a condo up on this hill in 2000 the south end of Mission Gate Drive was right about at GZ and none of the single-family homes were here. We had a nice area of coastal sage scrub on either side of the road and could see quail families (Callipepla californica) in the brush or even crossing the streets several times each year. Shortly thereafter in 2003 lots of new housing was built and I haven’t seen any quail up here since then.”

California Quail courtesy of the National Park Service

California Quail

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