Tag Archives: columnists

Monica Duncan, Professional Bad News Breaker

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Hey 3.5 readers.

Proud to announce that there is a new columnist for the Bookshelf Battle Blog.  Also, because the millennials are all about diversity and shit, this columnist has a vagina, so, yeah that’s cool.  We don’t have many of those around here.

We promise not to sexually harass her around the office.  We aren’t into any crazy Matt Lauer shit so it should be fine.

Anyway, Monica is a professional breaker of bad news.  Do you have something very difficult to say?  Can’t do it yourself?  Don’t worry.  Monica will do it for you…or in her column, she’ll tell you how.  Telling people about some heinous, life altering for the worse shit, is what Monica does best…or you know, she at least does it….so that’s better than we can do.

Please give her a warm welcome, 3.5 readers.

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Ask the Alien – 3/08/15 – Book Covers, Star Wars, Elvis, and Lost Items

Alien Jones, whose real name is unpronounceable by humans, hails from a world, the name of which he isn’t allowed to tell us as his emperor fears humans will find a way to infiltrate it and permeate its airwaves with reality television. He claims Earth is considered by literally every known planet to be “the armpit of the universe” and is now on a mission to raise our world’s collective level of knowledge one question at a time.

Alien Jones, Intergalactic Correspondent for the Bookshelf Battle

Alien Jones, Intergalactic Correspondent for the Bookshelf Battle

Greetings, Losers of Earth.  I, Alien Jones, have returned to the greatest blog your home world has to offer, the Bookshelf Battle.  Don’t be fooled by its lack of readership.  The universe is full of treasures known by the likes of only 3.5 individuals.

Enough with the pleasantries.  Let us make haste with…THE FIRST QUESTION!

T.J. Siebeneck, a scribe of science fiction, fantasy, and horror, is the author of the novel, Seraphim of Prey: Harbinger. Read more about it on his website.

Though I personally have not conducted an examination of his brain wave patterns, it is a safe assumption that his intelligence levels are higher than those of the  average human, as he has sought my advice vis a vis his book cover.

He asks:

“Alien Jones, which book cover should I use for my book?

http://www.crowdspring.com/print-design/project/2386414_paranormal-fantasy-horror-novel/

Sir, you have come to the right alien.  If there are two subjects that I am fully versed in, they are 1) horror and 2) visual design.

You want to talk horror?  Try waking up to the grim visage of my government mandated life mate before it has consumed its morning nutrition cube.

As for visual design, my species provided your planet with those books where you stare at the pages until a hidden design appears.  We thought it would be a good way to make mankind dumber but alas, we were too late.

You are wise for seeking the assistance of professional artists in the creation of your book cover.  You could write a manuscript that makes Shakespeare’s collective works look like a pile of puke but if the cover looks like it was scribbled on Microsoft Paint by a three year old, few will purchase it.  I doubt even Bookshelf Q. Battler’s beloved Aunt Gertie would be interested.

Luckily, you appear to have a plethora of fine covers to chose from, any one of which would convey the message to potential readers, “Hey, I am an author who is actually working to make a fine product for you.”  At the end of the day, that’s what readers want to know before they spend their hard earned money…money that will eventually be rendered useless when the Molaklaxons invade your world and replace your economy with a fish based bartering system.

Ooops.  I’ve said too much.

Before I provide my advice, a question.  What is your angle with this novel?  Is it horror/fantasy?  If I enjoyed The Hunger Games but wanted some scares mixed in, would I be interested in your work?  Or, is your book super scary, as in when I read it, will I be so frightened that I will vent my gankis glands in terror?

With those questions in mind, I narrow my suggestions to the following:

1)  Nellista’s offerings with a crow on either a blue or red insignia.  Go with this if your book is more horror/fantasy.

2)  The one with what appears to be a ghostly woman.  Go with this if your book is meant to make readers lose control of their bowels in terror.

While I am never wrong about anything, the choice is ultimately yours, and if you are happy with your selection, you can’t go wrong.  Go with the option your gut is leaning towards.

Good luck with your writing career.  The Bookshelf Battle has provided you with 3.5 readers.  Now you just need to recruit 999,996.5 more.  And make it snappy.

NEXT QUESTION!

Mei-Mei is the author of Jedi by Knight: A Nerdy Girl Blog.  Star Wars and other assorted geekery from the perspective of a female of your species.  She inquires:

Hello Alien Jones! Have you seen Star Wars? Of course you have, that’s not my actual question. My actual question is, are any of the aliens in Star Wars based off your species? And if so, have you sued George Lucas over this yet?

As discussed in last week’s column, my species is born with an intrinsic knowledge of every movie ever made.  Lucky for us, because I’m not sure how anyone without ingrained knowledge of the Star Wars films gets to see them these days.  George Lucas has been rather stingy when it comes to allowing them to be accessed through digital download and yet, that’s how most films are viewed on your world.  Perhaps now that these films are owned by the conglomerate headed by a cartoon mouse this wrong will be righted.

First, allow me to educate you on the true story behind your favorite film franchise.  Many years ago, Emperor Palpamere of the Coruzon System imposed a three cent tax on all poultry imports, commensurate with normal inflation rates.  A cult of imbeciles who believed, most erroneously, that they had the power to move objects with their minds, staged a rebellion by tossing a stink bomb into an unsecured air conditioning vent leading to the emperor’s office.

Naturally, George Lucas, an alien from the Coruzon System, decided to exaggerate the tale for profit and Hollywood success.  Palpamere became Palpatine, the three cent poultry tax became claims of intergalactic oppression, the cult of idiots who thought they had telekinetic powers (but could not even bend a spoon) turned into the Jedi Knights, and the stink bomb in the air conditioner became a one in a million torpedo shot into the Death Star vent.

And yes, Palpamere’s assistant, Administrator Vandrer, did suffer from a severe form of asthma that required him to carry a small respirator box under his shirt, but he never wore a black helmet, nor a special suit, and frankly, his voice was rather high pitched.  Mr. Lucas indeed took some liberties.

Now, to dispense with your main question.  Are any Star Wars aliens based on my species?

As discussed in my introductory column, my species was once the number one abductor of humans in the name of scientific probing experimentation.  Officially, my world’s government abandoned the practice a thousand years ago when we reached the full extent of what probing the human nether regions could teach us (which was very little).  Unofficially, there are some alien weirdoes who believe that human probing is a fun way to spend a Saturday night.

As a result of the many humans coming forward to discuss their alien abductions (only to be laughed off as nuts, much to my emperor’s relief), humans have developed a tendency to describe my species whenever aliens are the topic of discussion.  Small, skinny, expressionless, emotionless, large craniums, almond shaped eyes – that’s us alright.

I would argue the Kaminoans of Attack of the Clones are loosely based on my species.  Lucas used similar facial features, but made them tall and gave them long necks.  Consult Wookiepedia for more information.

And thank me for my dedication, for as a scientist, it brings me great displeasure to use the word “Wookiepedia.”

Why didn’t we sue?  1)  As often discussed, my emperor doesn’t want humans to find out where we are and that prevents filing a lawsuit (you have to list your address on the court papers) and 2)  My world has banned “lawyer” as an occupation and therefore, most matters of great import move rapidly and with great gusto.

Other Star Wars aliens vs. their real counterparts:

  • Ewoks – There is a planet ruled by the Moktwai, a species that may appear as if they are cute and cuddly teddy bears but in fact, they rule with an iron fist.  No one has crossed them and lived to tell the tale.
  • Gungans – Based on the Fengwins, who are, ironically, some of the universe’s finest scholars.  “Meesa” is not a word in their vocabulary.
  • Wookies – The Weknars, aliens once considered human until their ruler banned all shaving razors.
  • Hutts – The Quetts, aliens once considered humans until their ruler banned all vegetables, proclaimed cheese stuffed crust pizza to be the national food, and banned all programs but reality television.

FINAL QUESTIONS

Kim Maggenis of the Whimsy blog asks:

Esteemed Alien Jones, my question is about missing things: Do you have Elvis? What is your take on the Bermuda Triangle? And where do all the missing socks go?

I like it when humans are inquisitive.  Most humans are content to stare at the television and stuff their cake holes with potato chips all day, never bothering to inquire about the world they live in.

Side note: potato chips were introduced to your world as part of a Molaklaxon plot to turn humans into slower, larger targets.  But I digress.

Elvis was an alien prince who came to Earth for awhile to sew his royal oats.  When his father passed away, he faked his own death with an outlandish story about a demise on the toilet bowl, then returned to his home world to rule.  Yes, that means Elvis is now actually, “the King.”

King Elvis, Home Planet Undisclosed at the King's Request

King Elvis, Home Planet Undisclosed at the King’s Request

The Bermuda Triangle is the work of the Fabbernauts.  They don’t mean any harm, they just really love to play shuffleboard.  They usually drop off the stolen vessels and sailors in an alternate but pleasant dimension, minus any and all shuffleboard equipment they find.

Where do all the socks go?  Gnomes.  Many moons ago on your planet, after the time of the dinosaur but before the reign of humanity, there was an intermediary period during which gnomes ruled all they surveyed.  They are peeved to no longer be in control, but their diminutive size means their only option for revenge is to make humans believe they have early warning signs of Alzheimer’s by stealing random objects.  Gnomes are stealthy and easily avoid detection while committing their crimes.

Every gnome tribe has selected a different object they routinely steal from all Earth homes.  These objects are, in no particular order:

  • Socks – As you’ve already mentioned.
  • Gloves – You buy a new pair after every snow storm, yet when next year’s storm rolls around, your closet will only have a bunch of left handed or right handed gloves.  Why?  It’s not like you were one handed last year and suddenly grew a hand this year.  It’s not like you spent a great deal of time moonwalking through the snow last year doing a one-gloved Michael Jackson impersonation.  Thieving gnomes are the only logical answer.
  • Snow hats – They take these as well.  You’ll buy a new one after every storm anyway.
  • Phone charger plugs and/or cords – They actually get a kickback from Apple for this.
  • Sunglasses – There is one village of very stylish, Hollywood-esque looking gnomes.
  • Regular eyeglasses – You take them off at night, go to sleep, and they are nowhere to be found in the morning.  As you rip your bed and night stand apart, gnomes hide in the woodwork and laugh with glee.
  • Keys – Same thing, except they usually manage to hide them on a day when you absolutely can’t be late for something.
  • Mobile Phones – Apple and the gnomes actually got together to create “Find My iPhone.”  The gnomes move your phone and have a chuckle while you look for it.  Apple gets business because humans resign themselves to the fact that their phones will be constantly lost so they view the “Find my iPhone” feature as a must have.

Thank you for your questions, inferior humans.  Please continue to help me in my quest to make your world a smarter place, or at the very least, one that is not the laughing stock of the Milky Way.  That’s right.  Martians exist.  And they a) are smarter than you and b) hate reality TV.  Mars is a scripted television only planet.

Alien Jones is the Intergalactic Correspondent for the Bookshelf Battle.  Do you have a question for the Esteemed Brainy One?  Submit it to Bookshelf Q. Battler via a tweet to @bookshelfbattle,  leave it in the comment section on this site, or drop it off on the Bookshelf Battle Google + page.  If he likes your question, he might promote your book, blog, or other project while giving his answer. 

Submit your questions by midnight Friday each week for a chance to be featured in his Sunday column.  And if you don’t like his response, just let him know and he’ll file it into the recycling bin of his monolithic super computer.

Alien Image Courtesy of “Marauder” on openclipart.org

Elvis Face Image Courtesy of “luchapress” on openclipart.org

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