Scide Splitters: Unidentified Funny Objects 2 edited by Alex Shvartsman

If done well, an anthology is like a box of chocolates filled with a variety of delectable confections. Granted, there are bound to be a few flavors you are not partial to, but on the whole, the selection is delightful. When not done so well, you end up with something a little more like Monty Python’s Whizzo Chocolates, getting a mouthful of Crunchy Frog or Cockroach Cluster….

Scide Splitters: The Goliath Stone by Larry Niven & Matthew Joseph Harrington

Larry Niven has a long history of successful collaborative fiction and The Goliath Stone is no exception. I expect, however, the reception of this novel will be mixed because the authors dared blaspheme one of today’s most sacred cows, but more on that later. Niven’s partner this time is Matthew Joseph Harrington whose work so […]

Scide Splitters: The Humans by Matt Haig

Horace Walpole, the eighteenth century British writer and politician, once wrote, “The world is a comedy to those that think; a tragedy to those that feel.” It is a truth that makes writing humorous fiction rather tricky. Not enough emotional attachment and readers will complain that they don’t “care” about the characters. Too much and […]

Scide Splitters: Bill, the Galactic Hero by Harry Harrison

I was first enticed to read Bill, the Galactic Hero, Harry Harrison’s darkly humorous take on military SF and space opera, by the funny illustration on the cover of the book (see right).  I was a teenager, late golden age, and had already learned that covers often made promises they couldn’t keep.  I didn’t really […]

The Ghost of Towel Day Yet to Come: A True Story (sort of)

WHOOSH… A vaguely familiar sound woke me and I sat up in bed.  “What’s that noise?” I asked. “It’s a deadline,” said a translucent Douglas Adams, who for some reason was sitting in a chair drinking tea in my bedroom. “Are you sure?” “I should know,” he said. I dropped back to my pillow and […]

Scide Splitters: The Flying Sorcerers by David Gerrold & Larry Niven

One of the challenges of being a fan of humorous science fiction is finding enough quality material to satisfy the appetite, so it is always a pleasure when I find an older book that I’ve overlooked for one reason or another. I only recently came to realize that The Flying Sorcerers by David Gerrold and […]

Scide Splitters: Shh! It’s a Secret by Daniel M. Kimmel

First contact stories are among the most fertile ground for science fiction humor. They make excellent vehicles for looking in the mirror for a good laugh. In his first novel, Shh! It’s a Secret, Daniel Kimmel holds that mirror up to Hollywood in a way that is simultaneously warm-hearted and funny. Having spent over twenty-five […]

Scide Splitters: Doughnut by Tom Holt

Known more for his works of comic fantasy, Tom Holt serves up humorous science fiction in his latest novel, Doughnut. This move toward SF seems to be a growing trend for Holt, although, since the science in this and his other recent SF comedy, Blonde Bombshell, are playfully implausible, it could be argued that he […]

Scide Splitters: Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Dark comedy is one of the more perverse pleasures in reading. For starters, you are invariably laughing at great misfortune, very often at events that, if they were not in a comedy, would register a ten on the Richter scale of human tragedy. And if that were not enough to label you a bit of […]