Hey everybody I’ve got a guest poster!
I know, I’m as shocked as you but it’s true.
He’s a fellow Booktrope author and an all around good guy. He’s got a new book out this month and he’s here to
do my bidding entertain y’all while I’m out in the yard battling spiders. Stick around after the post for information on his new book Zeus is Dead.
Let’s all welcome Michael Munz!
So when I landed on Tiffany Pitts’s lawn, freshly flung from the official Zeus Is Dead Launch Tour Catapult™, she graciously said she was more than happy to have me guest post. “Great!” I said. “What would you like me to do?”
“Wax my car!”
“Er, I meant for the guest post.”
“Look, Michael, have you seen The Karate Kid or not?”
“But I heard wax-on, wax-off can make you go blind! Can’t I just write something instead?”
She regarded me a moment, and sighed. “Give me a list of the top ten most hilarious books you’ve ever read.”
“No problem!” I said.
“WITHOUT mentioning anything by Douglas Adams, Dave Barry, or Terry Pratchett.”
“…You’re bitter about that no-car-waxing thing, aren’t you?”
So I acquiesced, with the caveat that I might also include some books I haven’t read yet, but plan to as soon as I’m able. So here we go, in no particular order (because I’m peculiar like that):
The Mall of Cthulhu (Seamus Cooper)
This one almost had me with the title alone when I passed it on a display at the end of an aisle at the bookstore. It got me to pick it up, and the back cover description did the rest. A short version: A barista with a folklore degree and the FBI agent he saved from a nest of college vampires ten years ago must prevent a cult from awakening the Old Ones and turning an unsuspecting shopping center into The Mall of Cthulhu. Comedy and Lovecraft, mixed well.
The Princess Bride (William Goldman)
This is, of course, the abridged version of S. Morgenstern’s classic novel*, which William Goldman published before we all knew it to be a classic movie. While Goldman’s introduction and framing is a bit slow, once he gets to “retelling” the story, it’s quite excellent. It also features the “Zoo of Death,” which didn’t make it to the film.
*This does not actually exist. Go ahead, ask for it in the bookstore and see how they react…
The Order of the Stick (Rich Burlew)
This one’s actually a webcomic, but it’s an excellent comedic fantasy saga. While the idea of stick figure characters may sound simple, it’s a style choice that works great for the story, and the art is really detailed in its way. It began as a D&D-themed comic that swiftly grew a storyline, which soon bloomed into an epic. The characters are rich, the storyline is intriguing and complex, and, what’s best, it’s really funny! OOTS also leans against the 4th wall in a way that influenced my writing in my own comedic fantasy novel, Zeus Is Dead: A Monstrously Inconvenient Adventure. (Wasn’t that a subtle plug? But seriously, give OOTS a look! It’s well worth it.)
When You Are Engulfed In Flames (David Sedaris)
This one goes in the category of books that gave me a chuckle. I’m told this isn’t the funniest of Sedaris’s books, but so far it’s the only one I’ve read. It’s a charming collection of essays. Sedaris’s writing has a very easygoing voice that calls to mind lazy Sunday mornings.
Seinlanguage (Jerry Seinfeld)
Okay, so admittedly I’m reaching way back in time for this one, because I read it in the mid-nineties. (You take away my Adams, Barry, and Pratchett and it turns out my comedy-reading experience isn’t as wide as my non-comedic reading.) The only thing I remember about this book is Seinfeld’s statement that a date is like a job interview that could end in sex.
Good Omens (Neil Gaiman …and Terry Pratchett)
Aha! A loophole! I can mention books written by Neil Gaiman! (Where’s your messiah NOW, Tiffany?!) An imaginative and hilarious story about the apocalypse that almost wasn’t, then was, then wasn’t…or was? (I won’t say where it ends up without spoiling the plot, after all.) It’s also got a demon named Crowley…
Calvin & Hobbes (Bill Watterson)
The whole freaking collection. I can’t pick just one book, though the 10th anniversary collection with Watterson’s commentary is especially fun to read for writer fans like me. Oh, and if you’ve never heard of Calvin & Hobbes, which is one of the best comic strips ever, then for crying out loud, fix that!
Mogworld (Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw)
And now we’re into the first of the “comedy books I really want to read” section. I only know of Croshaw via his “Zero Punctuation” video game reviews on TheEscapist.com. He flings the snark, in witty fashion, the way a monkey on crack might fling…um, other stuff. But then Jonathan Charles Bruce dropped his name in a review of my own writing, and low and behold, I find out he’s got a book, too. So I’m curious.
Year Zero (Robert H. Reed)
This one I literally just heard about this week. Aliens love Earth’s music, copy it to spread it around the galaxy (without our knowing), and then realize they owe Earth zillions of dollars in royalty payments.
Guards! Guards! (Terry Pratchett)
Now, technically, Tiffany said only that I couldn’t list Pratchett among the books I’ve read, so I’m taking shelter in that one, especially because this is the book people always try to hit me in the head with upon hearing that I haven’t read it. Seriously, I’m getting permanent welts.
Special Mention Bonus 11th Item!
Double Blind (Tiffany Pitts)
I didn’t think I should put this on the main list for fear of appearing as if I were just buttering up my kind, wise, and talented host, but I do have to mention it, as this novel is the only one I’ve encountered with a cat as one of the point-of-view characters. It’s a risky concept, but one she pulls off beautifully, capturing the, ah, enlightened self-interest and animalistic viewpoint you’d expect from a cat in a way that’s both fitting and hilarious. Seriously, check it out.
…I mean, after you try Zeus Is Dead.
Hey, I’m not a saint.
More hilarity awaits you in the new book Zeus Is Dead, A Monstrously Inconvenient Adventure!
ABOUT MICHAEL G. MUNZ
An award-winning writer of speculative fiction, Michael G. Munz was born in Pennsylvania but moved to Washington State in 1977 at the age of three. Unable to escape the state’s gravity, he has spent most of his life there and studied writing at the University of Washington.
Michael developed his creative bug in college, writing and filming four exceedingly amateur films before setting his sights on becoming a novelist. Driving this goal is the desire to tell entertaining stories that give to others the same pleasure as other writers have given to him. He enjoys writing tales that combine the modern world with the futuristic or fantastic.
Michael has traveled to three continents and has an interest in Celtic and Classical mythology. He also possesses what most “normal” people would likely deem far too much familiarity with a wide range of geek culture, though Michael prefers the term geek-bard: a jack of all geek-trades, but master of none—except possibly Farscape and Twin Peaks.
Michael dwells in Seattle where he continues his quest to write the most entertaining novel known to humankind and find a really fantastic clam linguine.
Find out more about him at michaelgmunz.com. While there, it wouldn’t hurt to get a FREE copy of Mythed Connections, the spiritual prequel to Zeus is Dead.