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the pathetic caverns - books by author - William Browning Spencer

eclectic reviews and opinions

Spencer, William Browning

Resumé With Monsters

Zod Wallop

Spencer's Resumé With Monsters was probably my favorite of the science fiction/fantasy novels that I read in '96, so when my friend Aaron said that Zod Wallop was even better, I was eager to read it, but tried not to expect too much, especially when he opined that they were similar enough that one's favorite might just be the one read first.

The two novels do share substantial common thematic ground — both deal with people who may be insane, or who may be dealing with an intrusion of the horrific and otherworldly (and distinctly Lovecraftian) into their lives. Both explore a duality between mundane and monstrous realities. And both have novelists as their main characters.

I did, in fact, like "resumé" better, probably in part because like the Dilbert comic strip and Douglas Copeland's Microserfs, it has some unsettling accurate insights into the coporate culture of the sort of high-technology where I hang my professional hat. But I still liked Zod Wallop an awful lot. It's a little gentler and more whimsical, with a more varied cast of characters. And I've always had a weakness for stories about objects — especially books — that might have the power to reshape reality in a literal way.

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