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Barry J. House lives in Southern England, with his wife, two children and three cats. He has been a fan of genre fiction from the moment he first saw the film, Forbidden Planet, on TV as an infant.
Barry’s horror and dark SF stories have appeared in various magazines, including Hub Magazine, New Voices in Fiction, The Horror Express, Whispers of Wickedness, Trail of Indiscretion and Black Petals.
Barry has a comedy SF novella, titled ‘I Was Probed by Aliens and Lived to Tell the Tale!’ currently available to buy.
He also has 2 chapbooks available from Ghostwriter Publications: a small collection titled 'Matinee' and a novelette titled 'The Cupboard in Room 9.'
on Feb. 28, 2011 :
While quite amusing and interesting, it's not exactly my cup of tea. I found the main character too annoying, to care much about what happens to him.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
on June 08, 2010 :
I hadn’t read any of this author’s work before, so I thought I’d begin with something light-hearted.
The star of this ostentatious title is William Brown, an ordinary bloke who is abducted by an alien from Tau Ceti 42. Although hideous in appearance, the xenomorph goes by the name of John Smith, and turns out to be polite, slightly indignant and affectingly naive with a passion for reruns of the earth show “I Love Lucy”. The two become friends, and he takes our protagonist on an adventure across the galaxy.
This is a strong novella that wrings a giggle out of every SF staple and abduction cliche. There are bawdy misunderstandings (such as the shaking of an alien’s “hand” that turns out to be a much more intimate appendage), gross-outs and comedy of manners. And as you’ve probably guessed from the title and cover, the aliens have an unhealthy and inexplicable obsession with anal probes. I was going to post a paragraph as an example, but was too spoiled for choice and couldn’t decide. Which says it all, really.
The dialogue is crisp, and there’s plenty of slapstick buffoonery, including the accidental destruction of an entire planet. Even the minor characters bring something to the party. My favourite was a pompous, megalomaniac brain that achieved its glory in a spelling test that lasted thousands of years during which its opponents died of boredom. Neurotic baddies – especially those that are completely unaware of their own absurdity – are always good for laughs.
With its “Which Ray Gun?” magazine and irreverent banter, this is SF very much in the vein of Red Dwarf. The raw science takes a back seat to the gags, and while some of them are pretty obvious, they’re well-timed and relentless.
My only complaint is the language of our narrator. I suspect his slang is used to contrast with the comically well spoken alien, and to inject a distinctly English flavour. Although this worked overall, the overuse of “bloody” seemed unecessary and somewhat intrusive after a while.
But despite this, the pace never lags, and an amusing set of appendices rounds it all off very nicely. Throw in a strong sense of otherworld place, some adept greyscale artwork and a wry smidge of politics, and you’ve got a perfectly entertaining way to spend an hour or so.
(reviewed 23 days after purchase)
on May 25, 2010 :
This book made my long train journey a lot more enjoyable, very very good.
(reviewed 12 days after purchase)