Thursday, June 30, 2011

Felix and the Sacred Thor! Flying Toasters and More....

Twisted Tale #1
LET IT SOAR!  It's another outrageous edition of Twisted Tales Thursday at Bitsy Bling Books and I've got James Steele and his bizarro series book, Felix and the Sacred Thor.

James Steele is an author in Ohio.  He was born and educated before the computer age, but after the age of Schoolhouse Rock, and therefore still knows his multiplication tables.  Since joining the workforce he
has resisted committing suicide for the last ten years.  Writing tends to quiet the urge.  He has been published in the Magazine of Bizarro Fiction (issue 3), Different Worlds Different Skins v.2, Roar v.3, and Planet Magazine.  His bizarre action/comedy novel, “Felix and theSacred Thor,” is published through Eraserhead Press.


The Magazine of Bizarro Fiction (Issue Three)
The novel's landing page:
Publisher Site:  Eraserhead Press  

Felix and the Sacred ThorFelix and the Sacred Thor
Author James Steele

Felix might not quite fit this description, but he's trying. After retrieving the most powerful weapon in the world from the Sacred Horse and proving himself a pervert of the purest heart, he sets upon an epic quest to destroy the kamikaze alien invaders poised to eliminate the entire human race.Invaders have implanted themselves in the college graduates standing in unemployment lines-the very backbone of the nation's economy. They've positioned themselves in the city's grease transmission system, without which America will starve to death in minutes. They threaten the digital children, who cannot survive without their Internet connections. They even threaten Bob. College taught Felix how to please a horse. It didn't prepare him for the challenge of using an upgradeable horse dildo as a weapon to free himself from his tyrannical bosses at work and become a warrior for humanity.

didn't like itit was okliked itreally liked itit was amazing (my current rating) Review: If Salvador Dali were to comment on the meaningless of a college degree he might be inspired to paint a flying toaster getting whacked by a horse dildo. Steele makes excellent use of the literary device, non sequitur, in his comedic quest to save humanity in Felix and the Sacred Thor. This is not just a story about sex toys, but a commentary on modernism, social culture, education and the pursuit of greater things. And yes, the dirty underbelly of the retail world where receipts are optional and no customer should be allowed to borrow scissors. In between laughs, I was thinking about what humanity is really doing. Are they going through the motions of the mundane, or is anyone really using their strengths for a greater good. Deep, I know. Another aspect that I enjoyed was the use of objects and twisting the meaning that has already been assigned to said object. A dildo is a sex toy until you make (use) it for something else. In this case, a weapon to save the world. It's amazing how quickly when new meaning is applied, the taboo of the object dissolves. In the end, words are just letters put together in a certain order. The power comes from what we impose on it, the meaning we give it, and realizing each person possesses the power to change it can be mind blowing.

James swears he's a 'normal' guy, but I'm not so sure.  I'm a fair person, so I decided to ask him some question to prove to the world he is more than just a pervert.  Here's what he said.  I'll let you guys be the judge!

Q: What authors would you bring to a knife fight?  Why?
A: George Orwell and Philip K. Dick.  Orwell takes the time to bring his readers into the world, describing how it works and why everything is the way it is.  Philip...  He doesn’t bother explaining anything.  He just drops readers into his madness and expects them to make heads or tails of everything on their own.  I don’t think their knife fight would last long though.  As soon as they touched they’d cancel each other out and fizzle into vapor.

Q: Given all the major appliances to choose from, why toasters?
A: I was very fond of the After Dark screensavers as a kid, so I know that’s where the visual for flying toasters came from.  I’m not sure what inspired me to drop that in the story. A deleted chapter found Felix, the main character, fighting a hoard of ninjas suspended on wires that reached up to heaven, and every time he defeated one, a toaster crawled out of its body and resumed the attack. It was a totally random development and I wasn’t sure whether or not to pursue it.  But I liked the visual surprise, so I ran with the toaster idea.  Eventually the story found a great way to justify it.

Q: What is the worst and best job you’ve had?
A: I’m still working at my best and worst job.  Retail sucks, but it’s done a very good job keeping me fed over the years.

Q: What do you think is the number one major crisis our generation faces? 
A: Our over-reliance on computers, especially in the classroom.  Technology is great, but it’s gotten to the point where we’re not teaching our kids how to think for themselves.  Because computers pretty much do their math, spelling and research for them, they never learn how to take what they have and put it together to make it work.  They learn to use what’s already done for them, not how to innovate their own solutions.  It’s probably always been like this to some extent, but computers have made it more explicit.  This scares me.

Q: During a job interview, if a manager asked you what three adjectives best described you, what would they be? 
A: Three c’s:  concise, committed, coherent. I’m often told I explain things very well, and that’s the writer in me leaking into the real world.  It’s something I’ve been building for years and it’s extremely valuable in all aspects of life.  Everyone should strive to make themselves clear, and that’s another thing technology is killing.

Q: Okay, if a close friend asked you what three adjectives best described you would they be different from the ones above?  If so, what are they?
A: I think they’d replace “committed” with “Spartan” because I own next to nothing.  My room is bare bones basic and I still sleep on a mattress on the floor. My computer desk is hand-me-down, as is my dresser.  I like owning very little. Means it’s less to carry next time I have to move.  I have a great start on living like an artist!
* Contains adult humorous content
I have 3 signed paperback copies of Felix and the Sacred Thor.  
That means THREE winners!
JUNE 30 - JULY 9
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1 comment :

  1. Absolutely wonderful!
    Keep it coming!! :)
    I'm always here to support you.