Thomm Quackenbush, author

Christian R. Bonawandt

Good Job

The Good

It is an action packed tale with your typical two-dimensional characters interacting for some unforeseeable reason. Fans of science fiction have sucked on this concept for years and will likely find something to love about this piece.

The Bad

The unique aspects of the story disintegrate in about four seconds, leaving the writer to spray out random names and enhance his character with newfound abilities. Didn't I tell you he had cybernetic ears? Well, he does, so deal with it. That may have been something you would like to have contributed in the beginning of the story.

The Review

Meet Mr. Stendhal Macross. He's your typical gun-for-hire in a fantastic future. Well, maybe "fantastic" is a loose term considering that Mr. Macross has not held a job in months. It may have something to do with his personality or maybe it's his reputation. Let's just say something bad happened on Arbok -- we really don't know what -- but likely many people died. You would think this would help our killer get a job, but instead we find our hero heading to a bar in order to get some freelance work.

"The Ornery Aardvark was a good bar with a purposely retarded name to keep normal patrons out. It was a place where hitmen, assassins, and mercenaries came to meet and do business. Stendhal had been issued his two jobs while sitting in one of the booths. Those were prearranged meetings. Stendhal was hoping to be approached or hear some news. To do that, he reluctantly planted his ass at the bar."

Aardvarks, while not known for their drinking ability or their orneriness, would likely make a poor subject matter for naming a bar. The author, while acknowledging this thought was a bad one, still decided to include it within the piece. This, on some level, represents humor and that level is somewhere in the tenth grade.

That is not to say that the name of the bar is the only problem. This whole concept has an air of familiarity to it. This tale of cliché continues as murderers and villains alike spread their stories of violence and debauchery. This makes no sense if anyone has a police record since they'd be confessing to their crime. Alas, as we all know, cops don't go into tough bars or bad sections of town.

Let us return our judgmental glare onto Mr. Stendhal Macross, who is what you would expect him to be.

"The Human slid onto a stool closer to Stendhal, then leaned in real close as though whispering a secret. Stendhal dropped the red-laser targeting beam directly between the braggart's eyes.
'How tough does this make you?'
The Human went back to his stool. A 9mm that close to someone's forehead could have that effect. It wasn't the most powerful of calibers, but it was reliable. Besides, there's something about having that red beam on your skin that makes a person's bowels loose, and his balls shrink."

The concept of a tough guy with a gun is so terribly original. Perhaps in the next installment, we can introduce a wise cracking Danny Glover-like character one day away from retirement. Maybe a beautiful woman with ties to the underground will turn to our hero to have him rescue her from a life of crime.

At this point, right before I contemplated just letting this story go, the author throws this little curveball into the tale.

"'Stories are fine, but philosophy is for the educated, and the educated are my source of income,' Stendhal said. He turned back around, not totally sure why, and nearly spilled his beer. 'So unless someone has a job I'm done with the standup routines.'"

Just the type of philosophy you would expect from a drunken assassin. From here there's more bad dialogue, a strange alien creature, our hero develops random powers and finds himself a job.

It's just complete crap.

Your Moment of Insanity

"I have something to brag about," threw in a Laramian -- a double-jointed biped with vestigial tentacles on its head that would bioluminesce according to its mood. Laramians were a scarce race, and generally kept to themselves. They were also brutal anarchists."

Your Musical Moment Provided By My Diet Pill

You gotta move. You gotta prove yourself you're one of the best, lady killer.

Stevehen J. Warren is a trained professional in dealing with the crap society churns out. If possible, do not attempt to engage any crap you may find. He mocks it so you don't have to.

If you have a movie, picture, website, friend, game, book, fan fiction, or toilet you would like me to see, or crap all over, please inform your friendly webmaster and include your name and the name of the crappee. The numbers are open and we have trained professionals waiting to receive your call.

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Works by Thomm Quackenbush


Find What You Love and Let It Kill You by Thomm Quackenbush
Pagan Standard Times: Essays on the Craft by Thomm Quackenbush
A Creature Was Stirring: A Twisted Christmas Anthology by Thomm Quackenbush
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At Double Dragon