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QRD #27, august 2004
Mike VanPortfleet interview
Attrition interview
Rollerball interview
ToneVENDOR interview
Jen Banbury interview
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Book Reviews
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Book Reviews

Douglas Coupland – Hey Nostradamus!
This is Coupland’s best since Shampoo Planet.  It features several elements common to Coupland’s works like teen life, lost love, & broken families.  The story is built around a school shooting & how it affects a survivor who’s girlfriend was shot & in turn affects everyone in his life.  It’s about his loss of faith & direction.  It’s told in four first person novellas by the dead girlfriend, the lead character, the lead’s future girlfriend, & the lead’s father.

Brian Eno – A Year with Swollen Appendices
This is Brian Eno’s diary from 1995.  It reads like what it is, complete with stories about his wife, kids, & weather.  It also has several essays (probably 150 pages worth, this is the “swollen appendices” portion) on music & technology by Eno.  I think you already know whether or not you want to read this without me telling you anything more.

Joe R. Lansdale – A Fine Dark Line
I read in an interview that Lansdale was interested in pursuing the writing of more mainstream works rather than keeping his cult following status.  So I guess this is the future.  This is a coming of age murder mystery that is probably the most normal thing Lansdale has done.  It takes place in 1950’s rural Texas & raises some questions about the social mixings of blacks, lower class whites, & upper class whites.  I’d prefer another book about zombies & physical violence, but I guess splatterpunk is from more than ten years ago now anyway….

John O’Brien – Stripper Lessons
This is the third & final John O’Brien (Leaving Las Vegas, The Assault on Tony’s) book I had to read.  I’d put it off because the plot of a guy falling in love with a stripper didn’t appeal to me.  But to me the plot really doesn’t have that much to do with what the book is about.  It’s about getting to a point where life is a dead end, but comfortable (like a cul-de-sac) & how quickly you can lose what little purpose & safety you have through no fault of your own.  That being said, the ending is almost upbeat in a really bizarre way.

Chuck Pahlaniuk – Choke
I hear they’re making a movie about this book.  I really don’t see how they can, with the lead character being a sex addict it would take a lot of creativity to pull it off & get it into theaters.  Besides touching on sexual addiction, there are twelve step programs, the second coming of Jesus, historic theme parks, dying parents, medical trivia, & of course choking.

Chuck Pahlaniuk – Survivor
This is about the last survivor of a suicide cult who goes on to become an evangelist superstar thanks to the molding of talent agents.  It’s probably a more accurate portrait of both cults (given a somewhat favorable light) & evangelist (as degenerate as any hollywood star) than the average reader would want to think.  On the opening page it talks about the guy escaping a plane wreck & the whole book is supposed to give you a clue as to how he will survive it, but I wasn’t smart enough to figure it out.  Can anybody tell me?
[Answer: The tape player is playing back to the black box.]