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braddsibbersen

braddsibbersen

Joined January 2022

Author. Reader. Cad. My author page: https://books2read.com/braddsibbersen
review
braddsibbersen
The Next Encounter | Donald Thompson
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Mehso-so

Passed on this a couple times before I finally bought it, which is weird because "scary sci-fi" is right up my alley. Maybe the lackluster cover turned me off? Anyway, it's alien abduction / MiB stuff with a bit of a twist. Strong beginning, draggy middle, underwhelming climax. The twist ending redeems it though.

#ufos #alienabduction #meninblack

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braddsibbersen
Untitled | Unknown
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Ten stories to tickle and torment, featuring dinosaurs, mind control, rogue AI, firearms, cryptids, game shows, altered fairy tales, high adventure, an infinite mansion, and (sigh) leprechauns from outer space.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0B3WKCCC8

3 likes1 stack add
review
braddsibbersen
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Mehso-so

Four tepid tales, including two mild ghost stories. The most interesting element is that they're spun as if they're thinly-disguised true accounts, and frankly they're so prosaic - ghosts notwithstanding - that they may very well be. Polite and inoffensive, as befits its Canadian origins.

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braddsibbersen
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Pickpick

Long on my "occult detectives" to-read list, I finally got around to this, and the sequel (really more like the second part, as the hero re-encounters the evil spirit that escapes at the end of this one). Another entry in the series was announced, but never appeared as the magazine publishing them folded. It was pretty obviously reworked into a story called "The Hand of Saint Ury" though, so I read that one too, making for a nice little trilogy.

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braddsibbersen
Mysteries and Fantasies | World Book, Inc. Staff
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Pickpick

This hits all the usual notes - UFOs, the Bermuda Triangle, Bigfoot - but there were a couple of considerably more obscure entries too. As a supplement to a children's encyclopedia, it has a way of cutting through the BS and would probably qualify as skeptical literature. Brimming with beautiful artwork, like many of these vintage children's books about the weird and mysterious.

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braddsibbersen
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Mehso-so

Frustratingly underwritten, I guess? Disappointing because I really like the Hellcat character and this is ALMOST good. Still, I got it for $2 so I can't complain. Much.

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braddsibbersen
Untitled | Unknown
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Mehso-so

Alternates short, fully illustrated day-in-the-life stories of dinosaurs and their ilk with pages of dry, scholarly text about picayune dinosaur classifications and anatomy. The former are exciting, educational, and engaging. (Only one really fumbles the ball, with its juvenile fixation on the "Isn't nature just so VIOLENT?" angle.) The latter belong in a textbook and are a chore to slog through. So... half a good read, I guess?

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braddsibbersen
Horror Stories | Ron Ripley, A. I. Nasser, David Longhorn, Eric Whittle
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Mehso-so

[E-book] Your typical mixed bag horror anthology: some good, some not-so-good, a couple outliers in either direction. "Tell Me Your Name" is the standout. "Urbex", "Scarecrow", and "The Sin-Eater" also worked to varying degrees. So that's four keepers out of ten, which is honestly above average for this sort of thing.

AmandaBlaze I like the Ron Ripley\Scare Street novels. 2mo
2 likes1 comment
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braddsibbersen
Walls of Fear | Kathryn Cramer
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Such insight!

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braddsibbersen
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Mehso-so

Pohl's Gladiator-at-Law is one of my favorite old-school sci-fi novels, but the previous short story collection of his that I read left me pretty cold. This one falls somewhere in the middle; a couple of stinkers, a couple that are just okay, and at least one solid keeper.

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braddsibbersen
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Mehso-so

Enjoyable enough adaptation of a Dr. Who arc I've never seen. It's a 40-year-old British publication, and the back cover assures us it's for children despite being at least as sophisticated (in both premise and vocabulary) as a lot of current American sci-fi aimed at adults. I'll let that speak for itself.

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braddsibbersen
Welcome to Mad Science U | Brad D. Sibbersen
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Featuring "Subterranean Truck Driver's Blues", probably the creepiest thing I've ever written. Now available in paperback.

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braddsibbersen
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Mehso-so

I recently watched Space: 1999 in its entirety and can safely say that I am not a fan. So why did I read this? In part because I WANT to like the show, more because it promised to be a horror story set in space (a subgenre I absolutely adore), and mostly because I got the book for free. And, honestly, it was pretty solid, really only losing its way in the rushed, closing chapters. Well written overall, completely accessible even to non-fans.

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braddsibbersen
Haunting Museums | John Schuster
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Mehso-so

Despite the sole name on the cover several people contributed chapters to this book, and seeing as the one who tackled the Tsavo Lions segment doesn't know what some common words mean (or how to write at an adult level), and another one thinks the Beatles were American, it's kind of hard to take seriously as a source of factual information. Fun bathroom read, but if you're writing a research paper you'll want to give it a hard pass.

3 likes1 stack add
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braddsibbersen
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Mehso-so

I liked this comic strip as a kid, and I thought it might be interesting to go back and read through the point where it transitioned from a silly, jokey strip to a dramatic strip about smug, unlikable people dying of cancer and committing suicide. The transition was planned for months so I expected a clever, smooth, well-executed segue. Instead, we get a bunch of kids who are still attending high school in 1990 somehow graduating in 1988.

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braddsibbersen
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Mehso-so

It got awful reviews, but I'm glad the Morbius movie happened because it resulted in this, which simplified collecting these comics for me. I now own nearly every original appearance of the Marvel Comics monster characters, excluding, annoyingly, only the big one, Dracula. His stuff was collected in three huge hardcovers, but only the first is still in print. 🤬

Oh yeah, the review: Old Morbius comics are terrible. LOL

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braddsibbersen
Resurrexit | Leona C. Ross
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Mehso-so

I once stumbled across an online discussion of this book in which one of the participants claimed to be the author. She said she wished she'd had more experience when she'd written it and seemed disappointed with the result. It's, well, pretty absurd, and is definitely the victim of a "and then... and then..." plot, but it makes up for this by being completely rat-bastard insane from start to finish. Absolutely recommended... for the right reader.

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braddsibbersen
Resurrexit | Leona C. Ross
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"His scream was stifled by a mouthful of humus as he disappeared from sight, becoming posthumous."

Ha ha ha ha! Classic.

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braddsibbersen
Resurrexit | Leona C. Ross
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"The man in the coffee in St. Peter's Cemetery..."

Ah, Leisure Books. You never fail to entertain, one way or another.

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braddsibbersen
It | Stephen King

A "Something Wicked This Way Comes" post reminded me how much I like "kids on bikes vs. supernatural evil" books. I've read "It", of course, "Summer of Night", "Boy's Life", "Shadowshow" by Brad Strickland, and Thomas Tessier's "Phantom". I'm also familiar with (but haven't read) Brain Keene's "Ghoul". Anyone know of any more I can add to this list?

#it #summerofnight #strangerthings

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braddsibbersen
In Mad We Trust | Sergio Aragons
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Pickpick

Mad Magazine works best when you're about 12 years old, and the material really doesn't age well. EXCEPT for Sergio Aragones, whose captionless cartoons remain brilliant and insightful, and are so jam-packed with detail... Really, it's amazing. I always grab these little Mad paperbacks when I see them... but only if they're entirely dedicated to Sergio.

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braddsibbersen
The Abyss | Jere Cunningham
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Panpan

Only after I received this in the mail did I realize I'd read one of this guy's books before... and hated it. It's a scenario I like - ancient evil descends on a small town with a large cast of characters (Stephen King is rather good at this) - but it's a clumsy mixture of the kind-of-clever and just plain dumb, and the style alternates between clunky, brilliant, and overwritten, sometimes all in the same sentence.

#horror

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braddsibbersen
The Abyss | Jere Cunningham
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It's downright embarrassing how hard this opening is trying to evoke "The Haunting of Hill House". And failing.

#horror

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braddsibbersen
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Mehso-so

Two standouts: "A Mountain Walked" by Caitlin R. Kiernan (I swear she's channeling Algernon Blackwood here) and "A Quirk of the Mistral" by Jonathan Thomas. Most of the rest of this is utterly forgettable. Still, I got it at the Dollar Tree before their recent, brutal price hike so I can't complain. Two great stories for $1 is a bargain no matter how you slice it.

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braddsibbersen
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Mehso-so

Marvel Comics really does the whole "exploiting our back catalog" thing right. The Liberty Legion only appeared in two storylines ever, and nobody cared, and yet here it all is, collected, with supplemental material, in frigging HARDCOVER yet. Rival publisher DC, meanwhile, has whole swathes of legitimately popular comic books it hasn't bothered to reprint at all. I guess they prefer leaving stacks and stacks of free money on the table.

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braddsibbersen
The Haunted Planet | Tony Tallarico, D. J. Arneson
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Pickpick

With the caveat that this book is aimed at very young children... it's really good. I read one of co-author D.J. Arneson's books in grade school ("Strange Monster Stories") and it freaked me out then and actually kind of holds up as an adult (I still have it). His approach is really weird and imaginative, often coming at old horror tropes from crazy new angles, and he's not afraid to go for the nasty, cynical ending, despite the intended audience.

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braddsibbersen
Complete Shorter Fiction | Edward Heron-Allen
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Pickpick

Been poking through this one for weeks, mostly because I'd read some of the stories before but couldn't remember which ones. I bought this volume primarily for "The Cheetah Girl", which is obscenely rare and damn near impossible to find. It's also obscene in the literal sense, and it's no wonder it wasn't widely published when first written. It's pretty daring and tasteless even by modern standards. Back then, EHA probably would've been strung up.

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braddsibbersen
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Pickpick

Twenty-five years after buying my first Planet of the Apes movie novelization, on a whim, I finally got around to reading them all. This one, at least, was pretty solid, much better than the halfassed film it's based on. Apparently my copy used to belong to a guy named "Jim Flack", who wrote his name on the inside covers, the fore edge, and the first page. Relax, Jim, no one wants to steal your beat-up Planet of the Apes paperback.

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braddsibbersen
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Bailedbailed

Not to be confused with the Mystery of Treasure Island. I'd like to say that if you think you want to read this then you'd probably enjoy it, but in all honesty it's pretty terrible, obviously a rushed hack job, full of inconsistencies and typos ("the Brandy bunch"). Might as well be a generic story template with the Brady character's names cut-and-pasted in.

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braddsibbersen
Edge of Time | Donald A. Wollheim, David Grinnell
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Pickpick

Scientists create a miniature, self-contained universe and it... leaks, I guess? Regardless, I like sci-fi that starts out grounded in our current day-to-day and slowly eases the reader into the more fantastical elements, and that's exactly what we have here. It's smart and thought-provoking and barely feels dated at all despite its 1958 publication date. Absolutely recommended.

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braddsibbersen
Year of Consent | Kendell Foster Crossen
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Pickpick

The sci-fi elements are impressively prescient (the government and corporations control the masses by constantly monitoring and learning everything about us, read: they're essentially Facebook and Google), but the aesthetic is pure Mad Men and the resultant juxtaposition is pretty amusing. At its core it's basically a less aggressively hopeless (and therefore more believable) 1984, with a suspense / thriller climax. I liked it.

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braddsibbersen
Playback: A Novel | Raymond Chandler
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Pickpick

Sometimes these later Chandler novels almost read like parodies of themselves, but this was enjoyable enough, if a bit straightforward. Hoping this dose of his clever wordplay and wicked dialogue will help inform the sci-fi noir I'm currently working on.

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braddsibbersen
Mehso-so

Wasn't familiar with this story so I gave it a quick read via my Kindle app. Typical ACD Sherlock Holmes, which is to say neither bad nor especially engaging. Holmes really is a jerk to Watson much of the time, isn't he?

AmandaBlaze I never got into traditional Holmes, maybe because my Dad was so fanatical about it. I did like Laurie King's version, though. 5mo
braddsibbersen I generally find other authors' takes on the character more interesting. Literally read this story on a whim, in part because it was so short. 5mo
1 like2 comments
review
braddsibbersen
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Mehso-so

Since I already posted the dust cover, here's the inner cover, which is also quite beautiful. Too bad the stories inside don't measure up. The author gets Holmes just about right (Sherlock Holmes is easy to write, hard to write well), but the cases themselves are unengaging and easy to solve (and I say this as someone who has trouble with Encyclopedia Brown mysteries). Pretty disappointed with this one.

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braddsibbersen
Hook Jaw: Archive | Ken Armstrong, Pat Mils
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Mehso-so

A nugget of Jawsploitation most Americans have probably never even heard of. Originally a segment in a British comic magazine for kids, it was so gory and over-the-top that Parliament reputedly stepped in and put a stop to it. Definitely delivers what it promises, though it does get kind of repetitive after a while.

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braddsibbersen
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Pickpick

Some might find this kind of dry, and it certainly isn't as engagingly populist as, say, James Randi's Flim-Flam!, but the author keeps the tone conversational and never gets overly technical. Personally, I love this stuff. Debunk, I say, debunk away!

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braddsibbersen
Welcome to Mad Science U | Brad D. Sibbersen
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Just received the proof of my Victorian vampire thriller! Not exactly my first rodeo, but it's still so exciting when you hold that first physical copy in your hands! #writerlife #vampires #gaslamp #horror

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braddsibbersen
The War That Time Forgot | DC Comics, Inc, Robert Kanigher
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Panpan

Is it really possible to be disappointed by a comic book about dinosaurs fighting army guys? Sadly, the answer is yes. The characters are unlikable and annoying, and the writer exhibits several bizarre, distracting idiosyncrasies, like constantly placing "random" words and phrases "in quotes" for "no reason". Out of 37 stories, two or three were okay and one was just so weird it succeeded in spite of itself. #dinosaurs #dccomics

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braddsibbersen
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Mehso-so

Equal parts amazing (the attack on New York) and silly (the lead character's absurd "mission" and how it ultimately plays out). I never would've given it a chance if I hadn't stumbled across the hardcover at the Dollar Tree(!), and while I'm not sorry I read it I certainly won't seek out Baxter's other Wells sequel (to The Time Machine). Worth a look for the curious, but I found it entirely too uneven. #sciencefiction

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braddsibbersen
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Not sure why, but I find this to be one of the most aesthetically pleasing books I have ever owned.

4 likes1 stack add