Thursday, February 03, 2011

Imaginary Jesus 

Matt Mikalatos (Author), George Barna (Contributor)
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Wow.  That was different.  And I mean that in a good way.  I grabbed this for free when the Kindle copy was FREE (quick, check - it might still be).  This hallucinatory Pilgrim's Progress was really insightful, challenging and genuinely funny.  As Publisher's Weekly put it:

The Apostle Peter punches Jesus in the face, then chases him out of a coffee shop. And that's just chapter 0. In this quirky tale the publisher describes as not-quite-true, former missionary and comic book store clerk Mikalatos disguises his critique of Christian life in an action-based quest to find the real Jesus. It's A Christmas Carol meets Oz, but instead of ghosts and tin men, it's a talking donkey, a motorcycle rider, and Mikalatos himself. The cast of characters drags the reader through the streets of Seattle and ancient Judea to introduce a host of fake Jesuses: Magic 8 Ball Jesus, Harley Jesus, even Liberal Social Services Jesus. They're constructs of the human mind. People invent a Jesus for one specific reason and then discard him when they don't need him anymore, says one of the Jesuses (the one with an expensive suit). Peter teaches Mikalatos that he must quiet falsehoods and mold a deeper relationship with the living, historical Jesus. Mixing questions of suffering and free will with a nexus of weirdness, Mikalatos throws Christian fiction into the world of Comic-Con and Star Wars. His silly quest is startling, contemporary, meaningful, and occasionally exhausting when the reader is puzzled. 

Really, man - check it out.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

by Mark Twain

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a book by Mark Twain, first published in England in December 1884 and in the United States in February 1885. Considered as one of the Great American Novels, the work is among the first in major American literature to be written in the vernacular, characterized by local color regionalism. It is told in the first person by Huckleberry "Huck" Finn, a friend of Tom Sawyer and narrator of two other Twain novels (Tom Sawyer Abroad and Tom Sawyer, Detective).

Okay, this is all Rachel Held Evans fault (Huck Finn, the Constitution, and the Bible) - at least it's why I downloaded this to my Kindle.  Glad I did - it is a classic - worth the price of admission.  Ranks up there with Uncle Tom's Cabin as great classics I've read on the Kindle (for FREE!).

“  You can't pray a lie—I found that out. ”  (Huckleberry, tormented in conscience over helping a slave runaway).

“ "Cuss the doctor!  What do we k'yer for HIM?  Hain't we got all the fools in town on our side?  And ain't that a big enough majority in any town?" ”  (says the "king")

Star Trek S.C.E.: Woundsby Ilsa J. BickKeith R. A. DeCandidoTerri OsborneCory RushtonOrdover
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The Dominion War has been over for a year, but its legacy lives on. Commander Sonya Gomez, former Starship Enterprise™ engineer, and her crack Starfleet Corps of Engineers team on the U.S.S. da Vinci find themselves dealing with many permutations of that legacy.
Two mysterious murders on the da Vinci lead to the Gamma Quadrant and a Dominion base. A pre-warp planet occupied by the Dominion still has scars from both sides of that conflict. Plus Gomez, computer expert Soloman, and Security Chief Corsi are haunted by demons from their past.
But the greatest threat of all comes from a visit to Deep Space 9™. A fissure has opened up between realities, endangering the very existence of the Bajoran system -- and also stranding Doctors Lense and Bashir on a war-torn planet from which they may never escape.

Hey! I like these books - yes, maybe I'm just over-marinating my brain in things Trek, but these are nice episodic stories from the SCE.  It's like finding a new Star Trek series.  There's enough connection to the other shows and films that it really feels like a canonical entry into the overall literature of things Trek.