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"Sharyn McCrumb is a born storyteller."; *Mary Higgins ClarkWINNER OF THE EDGAR AWARD!;;;;;;;;"Sharyn McCrumb has few equals and no superiors among today's novelists."; *San Diego Union-TribuneFor one fateful weekend, the annual science fiction and fantasy convention, Rubicon, has all but taken over a usually ordinary hotel. Now the halls are alive with Trekkies, tech nerd"Sharyn McCrumb is a born storyteller."; *Mary Higgins ClarkWINNER OF THE EDGAR AWARD!;;;;;;;;"Sharyn McCrumb has few equals and no superiors among today's novelists."; *San Diego Union-TribuneFor one fateful weekend, the annual science fiction and fantasy convention, Rubicon, has all but taken over a usually ordinary hotel. Now the halls are alive with Trekkies, tech nerds, and fantasy gamers in their Viking finery; *all of them eager to hail their hero, bestselling fantasy author Appin Dungannon: a diminutive despot whose towering ego more than compensates for his 5' 1" height . . . and whose gleeful disdain for his fawning fans is legendary.Hurling insults and furniture with equal abandon, the terrible, tiny author proceeds to alienate ersatz aliens and make-believe warriors at warp speed. But somewhere between the costume contest and the exhibition Dungeons & Dragons game, Dungannon gets done in. While die-hard fans of Dungannon's seemingly endless sword-and-sorcery series wonder how they'll go on and hucksters wonder how much they can get for the dead man's autograph, a hapless cop wonders, Who would want to kill Appin Dungannon? But the real question, as the harried convention organizers know, is Who wouldn't ?"I loved BIMBOS OF THE DEATH SUN . . . Beautifully observed, funny, nicely constructed, even compassionate."; *Robert Silverberg...

Title : Bimbos of the Death Sun
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780345412157
Format Type : Mass Market Paperback
Number of Pages : 224 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Bimbos of the Death Sun Reviews

  • Mike (the Paladin)
    2018-12-09 05:42

    Originally posted 2009 updated 2016"These" (Jay Omega 1 &2) are presented as satire or spoof. I do realize that, I didn't miss it...really. Even though I enjoy fantasy and science fiction I do possess at least a modicum of intelligence, you know just enough for basic reasoning. So as mentioned I did get that the books are meant to be a burlesque. I am however disappointed in this/them. If you like them happily it's a free country. The writer is however (at least in my humble opinion) capable of better, much better.There is some humor here and a (sort of) murder mystery. There are also a truck load of caricatures and stereotypes, cruel ones at that. In what I assume is an attempt at parody we go to a science Fiction convention where we are all assured that "we" (the readers of the mystery genre I suppose) are far superior to these pathetic examples of humanity...fairly jarring if you happen to enjoy science fiction yourself. I hope that McCrumb wasn't trying for the insulting and condescending tone that seems to permeate this book. I'm not sure why it's "okay" to look down on those who enjoy imaginative pass times. It seems that along with those who are over weight and a few other groups science fiction/fantasy fans are fair game for the kind of humor that if aimed at most any other group would not be tolerated. Also it seems that (at least if this book is to be believed) most of these poor benighted people are also over weight and socially inept (possibly even "unwashed" and "smelly"). We are also treated to the picture of over weight and desperate women who will "settle" for the pimply unwashed denizens of science fiction fandom. It seems that publishers, editors, film makers, and fan paraphernalia manufactures are happy to make money off these people but still feel free to look down on them.This is one of 2 books by McCrumb that are apparently an attempt to "poke fun" at science fiction fandom. (The other is Zombies of the Gene Pool. They are "Jay Omega 1 and 2.)While I find her understanding of those fans weak in both books this is by far the most...insensitive. This book's attitude was also a little surprising to me in another way, as I grew up in Eastern Tennessee and I've read a few of her other books where she does a fair job of showing Appalachian mountain culture and folklore at least somewhat accurately. While I wouldn't say I was a fan of her other work (I suspect that they might appeal more to readers who like heavier romance elements) I hadn't found them too bad. I looked these 2 up after learning of their existence, and was disappointed.The humor that is here is of a lower negative type and the "mystery" is basic and not really the "star" of the show. If you already look down (at least somewhat) on those who enjoy science fiction (and especially those that may attend "fan conventions") then this might be a book you want to read. I have in my somewhat eclectic reading life read from many different literary genres, that includes a great many science fiction and fantasy volumes. I frankly fail to see how mystery novels are all that superior. By the way, no I'm not missing that these are meant to be humorous. I just don't find the humor all that funny and I do find it...questionable. In other words, this book falls short on so many levels "for me". I was really disappointed with it and can not recommend it.

  • Shane
    2018-12-09 02:42

    I had heard that this was pretty funny and I think I have the actual book laying around here somewhere. It's set at a Con and I've been to many sci-fi/fantasy conventions, (though it's been a while since I had the entire experience of staying overnight) So I thought I would enjoy it a lot. Unfortunately it was terrible and the only reason I finished it was because it was short (5 cds) and it let me vicariously live at a Con for a week or so.The story was REALLY dated and every time the narrator said, "Put the disk in the IBM-PC" I flinched. Basically she seemed to enjoy educating the reader on "new" computer technology, including a precursor to e-mail and to fandom in general. Everything was written like it was a big surprise and she was sure you had never heard of anything like it before. Considering the main audience for the book was probably fans, it doesn't seem to make sense. This seemed more like a book written about fandom from an outsider's perspective and even the main character was an author who knew nothing about fandom (and then was able to be a Dungeon Master without knowing the rules until a couple hours before the game). Other than the "hey I know exactly the kind of person they're talking about" there's not much thrill to it. The mystery seemed rather amateurish and the characterizations of the fans were never positive. Really Con people (or fans) are the only group of people that I've been around who didn't disappoint me once I got to know them.

  • Travis
    2018-11-18 04:40

    Great idea, awful book.A murder mystery set at a science fiction convention. Brilliant!Unfortunately, McCrumb spends so much time letting us know what sad, pathetic geeks sci-fi fans are, and how her ( or her stand in, a woman who spends the whole book in a Mrs. Peel catsuit) is so much cooler than that and has her life together etc, etc that she doesn't have any energy to make sure the mystery is actually good or makes sense.It feels tacked on and almost an after thought to her dumping on anybody that attends sci-fi conventions.After reading this I couldn't help but wonder if she either got picked on in high school for reading 'Lord of the rings' or just that the only research she did was to spend ten minutes in the hotel lobby where a convention was being held.Shame as this could have been a very fun and funny setting for a mystery novel.Waste of a good title too.

  • Trin
    2018-12-10 23:01

    {I'm going to discuss both this book, and its sequel,Zombies of the Gene Pool, in one review. Fair warning. *g*}Two fandom-set mysteries. The first takes place at a con, and with its wacky con shenanigans is generally more fun than the second, which involves a small fan reunion in Tennessee. Neither one of the mysteries is particularly mysterious (which is odd because McCrumb is nominally a mystery writer), but the books are generally amusing, quick reads. Enjoyable—if you don't think about them. Think about them at all, and you start to realize that McCrumb is really rather contemptuous toward fans and fandom. According to her, everyone involved in sci-fi/fantasy fandom is a socially-incompetent loser who will never amount to much, has poor personal hygiene, and is probably a virgin. Even if you become a successful genre author, you will never garner respect or attain happiness. Fannishness is, apparently, something you are supposed to grow out of when you finally lose that extra weight and find a boy/girlfriend. McCrumb's attitude certainly makes me wonder who she thinks she's writing these books for. It isn't for genre fans.The sequel isn't actually any more bitter and nasty than the original, in spite of what I'd heard; however, both books contain the same kind of sloppiness. The main character is an engineer named Dr. James Owens Mega; the pen name under which he writes is Jay Omega. He's referred to interchangeably in both books (in the 3rd person omniscient narration, no less) as James, Mega, Jay, Jay Omega, and even Dr. Jay Omega—in other words, his nom de plume with his real world title. That kind of thing drives me nuts. There's also an instance of McCrumb stating that Character A doesn't know Character B's name at the top of a page, and then at the bottom of that same page, A casually calling B by her name. Oh, and another character thinking of a death as a murder and then a few pages later having to be convinced that it was indeed a murder and not accidental death. You know what is needed, here? A GOOD BETA.So, I found these books both enjoyable and incredibly infuriating. I honestly can't make a recommendation about whether I think other people should read them or not.

  • Tanya Spackman
    2018-11-30 03:54

    I have very mixed feelings about the book. I can't decide whether I like it or hate it. It's a clever premise. It is a murder mystery set at a science fiction convention. The title of the book (and it's a great title) is also the title of a book written by a minor author invited to the con; he is our protagonist. However, the author's agent/editor/girlfriend seems to be voice of this book's author, Sharon Mccrumb. And she's annoying.And this is where my mixed feelings mostly come in. She seems to have a very cliche view of con-goers, incredibly judgmental about what losers they all are. The geeks are all superficially characterized. At the same time, I had to admit I'd met con-goers like those portrayed. Thus I was constantly bouncing back and forth between offense and laughter.As for the tale itself, I liked the premise. It was a fairly interesting read (I don't normally read murder mysteries), and they way the killer was brought to light at the end (through a Dungeons and Dragons game) was a great idea. Unfortunately, the events at the very end of the game when the murderer is revealed led me to roll my eyes. I didn't buy it. I think that the suspension of disbelief was lost because of the weak characterization. We as readers had not been given a deep enough understanding of the murderer - or any of the characters, for that matter - to accept what was then told us about what he did and his motivation.So... mixed feelings. Clever premise, fairly good read, but weak characterization, which damages the entire story.

  • Libby
    2018-12-14 05:04

    A painfully funny indictment of fandom via murder mystery at a fantasy/sci-fi convention. Though the computer technology in the book is 20 years old, its incisive satire remains spot-on, if not more so, since fandom hasn't really changed, it's just gotten bigger.Still, for all that this is an Edgar winner, it's not particularly interesting as a mystery. The killer and motive are painfully obvious, the conceit by which the killer is caught makes little sense, especially given the protagonist's lack of experience in the SF/fantasy/gaming world, and Sassy Girl Friday's knowledge is hugely underutilized. There's also a marked mean-spiritedness in the way the female convention attendees are portrayed (i.e., fat, trashy, or both), which is sadly ironic, given the way the author attempts to mock the rampant misogyny in speculative literature, only to fall prey to it herself.For all its flaws, the book is still a great deal of fun- just don't read it if you're looking for a good mystery or feminist critique of pop culture.

  • Jeffrey
    2018-12-10 04:05

    Pseudo science fiction mystery set at a science fiction convention that looks and sounds like Lunacon set in New York. Very funny if you are a convention goer as she skewers effectively many of the persons who do attends the convention. Very inventive, really capture some of the flavor of the conventions. Not sure if you are not a fan whether you will connect as well, and its notmuch of a mystery

  • David Monroe
    2018-12-04 05:53

    This book is a lot of fun. A Facebook friend just reminded me about it and I'm really glad she did. This has a special place in my heart. On our second date, the woman who would become my wife (also, eventually, my ex) gave me her copy of BotDS to read. After I read it, I knew our sensibilities and interests were in synch. It was a lot harder in the pre-high speed internet days, to ferret out fellow Geeks.BotDS is a really fun, charming and witty "Whodunit" by Sharyn McCrumb. It combines a serious murder mystery with the scariest world of all -- fandom.James Owen Mega is just an ordinary guy, a professor of electrical engineering at Virginia Tech. What very few people realize is that he is also Jay Omega, one-time SF author -- and that's exactly how Jay wants it. His novel was a serious, hard SF story, but by the time the second-rate publishing house got through with it, it was saddled with a Frank Frazetta-esque cover and the title Bimbos of the Death Sun. Though he attempts to bury his shame, his girlfriend books him as a guest at Rubicon, a local SF convention. There, they meet the troublesome Appin Dungannon, author of a Conan-like series of novels and owner of an incredibly short fuse and colossal ego. Some time between the costume contest and the celebrity D&D game, however, Dungannon is murdered, and Jay and his girlfriend, Marion, do a little investigating of their own.

  • Sarah Sammis
    2018-11-19 03:52

    Parody is hard to write and yet lots of people try their hands at it. Bimbos of the Death Sun purports to be a murder-mystery parody of a sci-fi/fantasy convention. All the stereotypes are there: the obese and desperate women, the pimply geeky fan-boys who forget to eat, the gamers who can't face reality and of course the obnoxious author who is appalling and yet loved by all. In a word: boring!At the heart of the story is the newly published engineering professor who is too embarrassed by his success to admit it. He's so unlike any science professor I've ever met to be a complete distraction and detraction from the book. He's supposed to be the likeable character in the book but he's so two-dimensional and so far removed from reality that I didn't care what he did, said, thought or felt.Finally at just past the halfway point of this train wreck of a book there is a murder. It comes so late in the book that there isn't any time to give it a good investigation or to even make it a coherent piece of the plot. There is more time spent on the description of the role playing game at the end of the book than to the resolution of the mystery. If I want to read transcribed games, I'll suffer through Weis and Hickman!

  • K. O'Bibliophile
    2018-12-05 22:49

    80's sci-fi/fantasy con murder mystery.Yes, you read that right. But the awesomeness of this book isn't from the murder--that doesn't even occur until halfway through. Instead, it's the look at the state of fandom in the 1980s.The story follows engineering professor and sci-fi author Jay Omega, author of the well-written but unfortunately-titled "Bimbos of the Death Sun." If you're in any sort of "fandom" now, you'll recognize with glee a lot of the things that Omega is seeing for the first time: "fandom," cosplaying, BNFs ("Big Name Fans") the general reputation of con-goers as unwashed geeks... And then there's the stuff that's changed. Before the internet, there were 'zines. Lots of 'zines. And don't forget the advanced floppy disks that you can see in the computer room!Anyone with experience in fandom will love this. It's a light read and quite humorous...and if you haven't been to a convention before, this is still a good guide.Just something to keep it mind: it is set in, and was written in, the 1980s. It's not a modern take on old-school fandom. It's still wonderful, but I wouldn't want you to have the wrong idea.

  • Terri
    2018-12-10 23:10

    I have read this novel a few times, and I just reread it this week. It's interesting to me how my perspective on this book has changed over time. When I first read it, I was well entrenched in science fiction culture, and mostly amused by the idea of some outsider stumbling onto a murder mystery at a SF con. Now, as someone who has moved past the con scene, I find myself more sympathetic to the heroine, Marion and her position. McCrumb got a lot of fannish outrage when she wrote these books and my current edition includes a forward by her talking about the fact that they were meant as both a loving send-up and a warning to fandom. I think they succeed on both counts.The mystery in the first one is far less interesting than the setting, IMO. I'd only recommend this book to people who have been part of SF culture. Also, just to be clear, it was written in 1987, so there is quite a lot that is dated now.

  • Kristin
    2018-11-26 01:40

    A light, fun, and entertaining murder mystery set at a fantasy convention that melded both genres quite nicely. Definitely not a "serious" read. Having been to scifi conventions, I could totally picture the setting and the cast of characters. If you haven't had the experience of a scifi or fantasy convention, it's pretty much like the book. The tongue in cheek references, character portrayals, activities, hucksters room were pretty spot on. Now this was written when computers were just starting to go mainstream, so the book is dated a bit technology wise, but not a detraction in my opinion. If you need a book for vacation, a plane ride, or have some waiting ahead of you, this would be a great pick. Read and be entertained.

  • Bill
    2018-12-01 00:05

    This was a lot of fun. Sharyn McCrumb is best known for her Appalachian novels, but this little departure won her the Edgar award for best original paperpack mystery. It also pissed off a lot of stuffy Science Fiction fans and the Trekkie ilk. It's a pretty funny murder mystery set at a weekend fantasy convention, complete with jabs towards fanzines, role-playing, geeks,and a Harlan Ellison-esque star author. A good afternoon waster.

  • Lindig
    2018-12-10 02:10

    Thoroughly enjoyed it but only because I got most of the in-jokes. The mystery is only so-so but the pro/fan/con descriptions were very funny (1980s so you have to have a little age on you). The totally obnoxious GOH is recognizable immediately (and she confirmed his identity to me at a reading where I introduced her). The sequel, Zombies of the Gene Pool, is forgettable.This book merits a place in my Permanent Library only because McCrumb did a nice inscription to me.

  • Pamela
    2018-12-09 23:43

    This certainly wins for "funniest title" of any book I've read this year. Actually, I can't even say the title inside my head without giggling out loud, which makes me seem rather mad (but, as you all know, we are all mad here). We have a shelf-talker program at my library where staff members pick out favorites and place a special bookmark in them and voila! Instant display!My friend Shannon is a geek/nerd like me. However, she also has vastly more con experience and life experience in general. I noticed a rather oddly-titled book with her bookmark in it. "Bimbos .. of the Death ... Sun?" I read. Obviously, I had to take it. She told me that it was actually an Edgar Award winner that was set at a con ... in the 1980s. This book is literally older than me. Now, some of that shows in the fandoms of the time, and most definitely in the technology, but while I found this to be overall enjoyable, I felt uncomfortable with Sharyn McCrumb's portrayal of women in geekdom. But first! A synopsis!It's con-time at this US hotel, something that utterly flabbergasts a visiting Scottish folk singer. He finds himself in elevators with elves and Trekkies. Who ARE these people? What planet are they from? More to the point, what planet aren't they from?It's time for Rubicon to begin, and attendees are eagerly awaiting the arrival of the star of the show, famously irascible author Appin Dungannon, creator of a much-beloved and long-running swords-and-sorcery epic book series. Con organizers are frantically attempting to cater to Dungannon's every bizarre whim, and in the middle of all of this is a rather bemused Dr. James Mega, professor of electrical engineering. He's also the author of a new fantasy book called Bimbos of the Death Sun, which is his manuscript of hard sci-fi with a mammary-licious cover. He is, naturally, mortified, but his girlfriend, Marion, pushes him to just roll with it, sell some books, and be JAY OMEGA, FANTASY AUTHOR for one weekend. Omega, who speaks the language of ones and zeroes, of floppy discs and top-of-the-line IBM computers (LOLOLOLOL), doesn't get this whole fantasy convention thing at all. Marion, however, is a professor of folk lore, so she gets where these people are coming from. She is also the only female character in the entire book who's allowed to be attractive. But more on that later.We get a rather cheeky account of What Happens At Cons (or, more precisely, How Cons Worked in the 1980s: hint: think lots and lots and lots of DoD) and the story nips along rather nicely. The murder doesn't actually happen until quite late in the book, and anyone with one-fourth of a brain will figure it out immediately.That's why I don't really understand why this won an Edgar Award. It's amusing, to be sure. Were the entries in 1987 so bad that they picked this, a murder mystery with no mystery? Were the committee members hypnotized by the concept of cons, which really didn't enter the public consciousness as legitimate pop culture events until quite recently? I just don't think it's really Edgar-ish. Edgar-y? Whatever.Since becoming a full-time librarian, I've learned that it is okay--nay, it is totally rockin' awesome--to be a geek! No shame! And if people do make fun of you, you can mock them with Doctor Who quotes or something. Who cares? I'm definitely not a hard-core member of any particular fandom, and I don't cosplay (mostly because a) I am cheap and b) I can't sew and c) I live in a shoebox), but it's really fun to interact with other geeks and nerds. Plus, whenever I go to a con, I'm stunned at the level of intricacy put into cosplays. It's really impressive. And the best part? People are, on the whole, really, really nice. It is kind of like being on another planet. Nerdelgeuse-5 or something.That's not to say that cons are all bronies and unicorns. Lots of cons have had to really crack down on sexual harassment and tell people how to act like humans (but we have to have those rules in a lot of places, so). Just because you are dressed like Slave Leia does not mean that people can grope you, catcall you, or slut shame you. And some people do hypersexualize their cosplays, but I find that more amusing than anything. They can do whatever.The other cool thing about modern cosplay is that it's much more inclusive of all body types than I expected. THIS IS AWESOME, people! I see fans of all shapes and sizes rocking their cosplays or Star Wars t-shirts or whatever and they are totally confident in themselves because they are doing something they love. The con I go to, C2E2, feels pretty darn body-positive. And that's where Bimbos of the Death Sun lost me. Okay, yeah, it was written a longish time ago when people weren't exactly polite about talking about weight, and everyone had to Somersize and do WW and all that jazz in leotard thongs and scrunchie socks. These were dark times, my friends. But McCrumb does not let up on the stereotypes. All the girls who go to cons are either boobtacularly hot (the minority) or sad and fat (the majority). These sad fat girls, who are generally compared in size to animals like tapirs or elephants (charming!), use cons as a way to have sex with loser nerds. They are like black widows, stalking unsuspecting nerd-man prey. The only "cool girl nerd" in the book is Jay's girlfriend, who *used to be* fat and ugly but then GOT HOT.Similarly, all the dudes there are only conversant in DoD or Klingon and are so desperate to have the sexytimes that they'll do it with anyone. So, tl; dr it's a funny look at fandom, but has serious issues in the fat-shaming department. Proceed with caution.

  • Angelia Sparrow
    2018-11-24 06:08

    It doesn't hold up 30 years later. It's a slice of time, neatly preserved, but fan activity has changed. Although I personally know two examples (if not more) of every character in the book.

  • M.Q. Barber
    2018-12-05 23:43

    This well-crafted comedy is both hilarious and forgettable. It's not the sort of story that gives you a soul-deep connection with the characters, and the references are incredibly dated for younger readers (if you don't know what a floppy disk is, or why a computer would need one, or that they come in different sizes, you're probably too young to appreciate the humor), but I zipped through this book in a single afternoon and laughed my ass off.Our hero, an engineering professor, has fallen accidentally-on-purpose into being a sf author. Attending his first con, he is naturally utterly bewildered by the natives.Our heroine, the hero's girlfriend and a folklore professor, still feels the sting of her young adulthood journey into fandom and, as such, offers the somewhat pitying condescension of someone who's smug about having "escaped" from Plato's cave.Our antagonist, a famous author whose books are beloved in the epic fantasy fandom, is the sort who detests his audience and behaves like an entitled ass -- so it's no wonder that he has only scathing things to say about fans and that someone eventually murders the poor bastard.(That's not a spoiler, btw; the back of the book blurb will tell you the guy gets killed, though it doesn't happen for a good long while in this sff-mystery-ethnography of geek culture circa 1987.)For modern readers, the thing to remember is that 1987 was a different country. It's not 2014. Geeks don't rule the Earth. The Internet is not keeping us continuously connected to people who love what we love. Cons -- even little regional cons like the one in this book -- are about the only way to stay connected outside fanzines, and cramming every last second with enough wild geekery to last months is your major objective for the weekend.Some of the author's observations on the culture are painful skewerings of the worst aspects of fandom cranked to eleven, but plenty of them -- even the painful ones -- are right on the mark for the time period, and they fit the voices delivering them.The humor is spot-on. The mystery is easily unraveled, but the reveal is fun to read anyhow (especially if you're a DM who likes to torment your players or a player who has been so tormented).If you ever spent the weekend running around a hotel in costume, crashing on couches and floors, staying up until sunrise debating the merits of different editions of D&D or Heinlein's group marriages ... this book's for you.In closing: The Dragonrider was robbed! Curse you, Appin Dungannon!

  • Sara
    2018-12-17 04:59

    Jay Omega is an engineering professor turned author whose heavy-on-the-science novel, Bimbos of the Death Sun, gets him a guest author position at a sci-fi convention. No one seems to know who Omega is, and no one's read his book, but everyone is there to see Appin Dungannon, legendary author of a science fiction series who hates his die-hard fans, which only makes them love him more. Partway through the convention, Dungannon ends up murdered and an investigation ensues while trying to keep the convention on track.I started this novel thinking it was a mystery - after all, Dungannon's murder is featured on the back of the book's plot summary - but the murder doesn't take place until over half the book is over, and the mystery aspect was lacking. Instead, the majority of the novel focused on all the happenings at the convention and its craziness. Although this novel was originally published more than two decades ago, the descriptions of the convention and all the fans still seemed to resonate in the present day. Some of the technology references are now dated, but the personalities continue. The author did a great job of capturing fandom at its best (or worst) and how insane it seems to an outsider. There were a lot of characters in here - far too many for me to properly keep track of (especially considering how short the book was) - but, for the most part, that didn't matter. The narration switched around between a whole mess of characters, and I found everyone to be rather entertaining because of their different approaches to the convention. I feel like parts could have been better described or fleshed out, but for a quick, light read, it was fine. The actual mystery to the story, as mentioned above, was rather lacking. Then again, I don't think this was meant to be a mystery novel so much as a satire of fandom and conventions; in that regard, it definitely succeeded. I'm not sure what the point of some of the random, minor characters was or why the readers are occasionally treated to certain viewpoints, but this isn't the kind of novel you're probably meant to think about in depth, just read and take at its face value. Not a bad way to pass a few hours!

  • Carly
    2018-12-13 21:53

    **edited 01/27/14I picked this up because I fell in love with the title--"Bimbos of the Death Sun" is just so very, very perfect. I've read one of McCrumb's Appalachian books, and thought that she would treat her subject, the world of science fiction and fantasy conventions, with respect and humanity.I was so very, very wrong. The book is somewhat cute and definitely funny, but it is also very cruel.I've never been to a "con"(convention), so I can't actually attest to the accuracy--and since the book is quite dated and was written about the time I was born, I suspect no one who went to one in the last twenty years or so can either. Fandom is an interesting and (as far as I can tell) relatively recent phenomenon, and I can see why McCrumb would be fascinated by it. However, she is clearly writing from the perspective of an outsider: she portrays the fantasy authors as jaded and nasty, the female con goers are desperate, oversexualised, and man-mad, and the men (or rather, boys) are pimpled, obese, awkward outcasts, desperate for approval and to become authors themselves. Obese characters are repeatedly mocked as "weighing more than an average calf," but women of this variety are still prized because cons are filled with desperate engineers--McCrumb calls them "losers,...runty little nerds, fat intellectuals,[and] misfits," who are happy to find anything at all female, no matter how overweight and plain--because clearly men only pick women based on traditional superficial beauty. The main characters, the ones we are supposed to empathize with, are themselves outsiders and rather bemused by the excesses of the fans....Due to my disapproval of GR's new and highly subjective review deletion policy, I am no longer posting full reviews here.The rest of this review can be found on Booklikes.

  • Barb
    2018-11-27 03:47

    Pretty silly but still fun look at Sci-fi convention and murder."For one fateful weekend, the annual science fiction and fantasy convention, Rubicon, has all but taken over a usually ordinary hotel. Now the halls are alive with Trekkies, tech nerds, and fantasy gamers in their Viking finery--all of them eager to hail their hero, bestselling fantasy author Appin Dungannon: a diminutive despot whose towering ego more than compensates for his 5' 1" height . . . and whose gleeful disdain for his fawning fans is legendary. Hurling insults and furniture with equal abandon, the terrible, tiny author proceeds to alienate ersatz aliens and make-believe warriors at warp speed. But somewhere between the costume contest and the exhibition Dungeons & Dragons game, Dungannon gets done in. While die-hard fans of Dungannon's seemingly endless sword-and-sorcery series wonder how they'll go on and hucksters wonder how much they can get for the dead man's autograph, a hapless cop wonders, Who would want to kill Appin Dungannon? But the real question, as the harried convention organizers know, is Who wouldn't?"--P.[4] of cover

  • Angela
    2018-12-12 21:55

    For one fateful weekend, the annual science fiction and fantasy convention, Rubicon, has all but taken over a usually ordinary hotel. Now the halls are alive with Trekkies, tech nerds, and fantasy gamers in their Viking finery -- all of them eager to hail their hero, bestselling fantasy author Appin Dungannon: a diminutive despot whose towering ego more than compensates for his 5' 1" height . . . and whose gleeful disdain for his fawning fans is legendary.Hurling insults and furniture with equal abandon, the terrible, tiny author proceeds to alienate ersatz aliens and make-believe warriors at warp speed. But somewhere between the costume contest and the exhibition Dungeons & Dragons game, Dungannon gets done in. While die-hard fans of Dungannon's seemingly endless sword-and-sorcery series wonder how they'll go on and hucksters wonder how much they can get for the dead man's autograph, a hapless cop wonders, "Who would want to kill Appin Dungannon?" But the real question, as the harried convention organizers know, is "Who wouldn't?" (plot synopsis courtesy of Barnes & Noble)Fun punchy whodunnit set at a science fiction convention. Who knew geeks could be so nefarious?

  • Jeane
    2018-11-25 01:58

    This book was okay, I mean it's not like it was ever supposed to be taken as a serious book anyway, just a kind-of-fun-read for between my homework assignments (one of my professors actually loaned it to me!). I liked the Scifi/Fantasy convention aspect which was the setting of the book because I LOVE conventions like that, and I loved all the geek talk but this book was from the 80s so some of it was very old school (not a negative aspect of the book, just an observation). I really liked the sassy feminist English teacher who had to show her boyfriend how to run a D& D game. But then there is that one thing that you can't let go of and it nearly ruins a book for you, and that is the authors description of an obese female convention goer who is just trying to get laid so she can spend the weekend in a hotel room without paying for it! I'm like really!?! Well whatever, it was never supposed to be taken as a serious book to begin with so I will let it go...

  • Msjodi777
    2018-12-05 23:45

    Not exactly sure what I expected from this book, but I must admit, it wasn't what I got. I thought this would be a good sci-fi book, instead it is a murder mystery which takes place at a science-fiction/fantasy convention. I said it was a murder mystery, and it is, but it is also laugh out loud funny. Within the first 5 minutes, someone reads a button that says: "Reality is a crutch for those who can't handle science fiction." I laughed so hard I had to back the book up so I could hear what came after reading the button. All in all an excellent book. The narrator, Ruth Ann Phimister, was new to me, but she did a great job. I am however, going to wait before reading the second book in this series, want to space the two out so I don't run out of them so quickly. Highly recommend this one. Definitely 5 stars. <><

  • Simon Mcleish
    2018-12-01 01:08

    Originally published on my blog here in October 2001.Whether or not you have ever attended a science fiction convention, this comic crime novel will be hilariously funny. Engineering professor Dr J.O. Mega has written a hard science fiction novel under the name Jay Omega, and so is able to attend local con Rubicon as a guest author. The other guest, far better known, is Appin Dungannon, author of the lengthy Runewind series and, to fans, almost as well known for his violently difficult behaviour as for his pretty dreadful sword and sorcery epic. When Dungannon is murdered, Mega helps solve the crime for which just about every con attendant is a suspect, but the real enjoyment of the novel is its accurate yet reasonably sympathetic portrayal of the con itself.

  • jennifer
    2018-11-25 22:02

    Dr. Jay Omega is an engineering professor who wrote a hard sci-fi novel that explains some of his theories. His publisher re-titled the book as Bimbos of the Death sun, slapped a lurid cover on, and now Omega finds he and his girlfriend at a fantasycon for the weekend where he's expected to give a lecture, judge some horrible fanfiction. lead a D&D game, sell some books and help the police with a murder investigation.I've never read fantasy, unless you count Harry Potter, and I don't read science fiction or play wargames. Doesn't matter, this is a fun book. I was happy enough with the cast of misfit characters who think they're Norse warriors or Vulcans that I forgot to be on the lookout for a murder. This is a 1988 Edgar Allan Poe award winner and it really hasn't aged that much. The computer stuff has changed, but a hotel of outcasts enjoying the company of their own is timeless.

  • David
    2018-12-06 03:52

    This is a murder mystery that takes place at a sci-fi con, but it's really a skewering of fan culture, as sharp and hilarious and spot-on as William Shatner's famous "Get a life!" SNL skit. If you've never been to a con and haven't met the sort of characters who populate this novel, you'll probably find it silly and possibly unbelievable, but if you have been to cons, then you'll recognize these people. This is a rather old book, but things haven't really changed much in the past twenty-odd years.

  • Marvin
    2018-12-07 04:57

    Bimbos of The Death Sun is a lightweight who-dunnit that is saved by its clever parody of the sci-fi/fantasy convention scene. Having been to a few of these in my younger...cough, cough!...less mature days I can vouch that much of the satire in this novel is very close to the truth. McCrumb makes it quite humorous. Unfortunately the mystery part of the book is not all that interesting. I did find using a Dungeons & Dragons game to unmask the killer to be an amusing set-up. If you are looking for a light, funny read, you will not be disappointed.

  • Kathleen
    2018-12-16 22:53

    This is a pretty silly book, as may be evident from the title. It's a murder mystery set at a science fiction convention (McCrumb seems to like to set her mysteries at large gatherings with plenty of people who don't know each other and are only there for reasons she seems to consider silly). Her portrayal of science fiction fans verges on patronizing, and I got the impression that she didn't like them very much.

  • Jason
    2018-12-10 23:52

    I had high hopes for this based on the name and the brief description on the jacket: a murder mystery set at a science fiction convention. The book came up a little short though--too judgemental of the costumed fans and far too unsatisfying as a whodunit. While I'm not a snob about genre fiction by any means, it's probably true that readers of literary fiction (particulary postmodernism) have a difficult time picking up a standard mystery novel without expecting much, much more.

  • Roger Kean
    2018-11-27 03:55

    Apart from the disconnect of being give detailed high-end technical info on how to copy floppy disks, this amazingly funny book is as relevant today as it was in the 1980s. Goodreads is full of reviews for it, detailing the story line, but the attendees at a Fantasy Con in (I think Washington DC) are cruelly and accurately described in all their awful nerdyness. Throw in a murder mystery, solved by the least likely character and you have an entertaining read likely to raise out-loud laughs.