Bimbos of the Death Sun [NOOK Book]

Overview

Ostensibly a mystery novel complete with a murder and an array of suspects with plausible motives, Bimbos of the Death Sun won an Edgar Award in 1988 for Best Original Paperback Mystery. While we follow the plot eagerly, curious to know who killed famed novelist Appin Dungannon and why, the fact is that what happens in this novel is in some ways much less important than where it happens. Bimbos of the Death Sun is not a mystery that just so happens to also be science fiction and fantasy; it's a novel about a ...
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Bimbos of the Death Sun

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Overview

Ostensibly a mystery novel complete with a murder and an array of suspects with plausible motives, Bimbos of the Death Sun won an Edgar Award in 1988 for Best Original Paperback Mystery. While we follow the plot eagerly, curious to know who killed famed novelist Appin Dungannon and why, the fact is that what happens in this novel is in some ways much less important than where it happens. Bimbos of the Death Sun is not a mystery that just so happens to also be science fiction and fantasy; it's a novel about a particular American subculture as well in which Trekkies and Dungeon Masters convene--complete with their hobbit costumes and the like--to buy and sell memorabilia.

The novel is in fact a parody of that culture and as such, it has garnered ambivalent reviews from the science fiction and fantasy community that it caricatures. The perspective of the novel is decidedly that of an outsider, a protagonist named James Owen Mega, who--under the pseudonym Jay Omega--has published a science fiction novel named Bimbos Under the Death Sun. Omega, however, is no science fiction fanatic, nor does he frequent conventions. He and his girlfriend, Dr. Marion Farley, are both professors at a local university, and Omega wrote the novel in his spare time as a fictionalized account of his real-life scientific research. The reader then experiences the convention's peculiarities and surprises along with other bewildered and amazed professors.

It could be said that the pair represent two different approaches to the pageantry and obsession that swirl around them. Omega, as guest author and conference V.I.P., tries to tread lightly around the customs and peculiarities of the sci-fi aficionados in an effort not to offend but also to avoid becoming too involved. Marion, the professor of comparative literature, casts a more critical eye on the proceedings, giving the touted big-shots and the aspiring authors little in the way of credibility.

McCrumb tempers the satire with her choice of protagonists; by informing us that Marion actually teaches a course on science fiction and fantasy at the local university, McCrumb is sure to acknowledge that science fiction is a legitimate literary genre in her eyes. Like any other legitimate literary genre then, it has its noteworthy practitioners (Tolkein, Asimov) as well as its charlatans (Appin, Dungannon). Her target, McCrumb wants us to know, is not the works themselves but rather the obsessive culture that springs up around the works. By making the shy, bookish Jay Omega her sympathetic protagonist, McCrumb is also making it clear that her target is not simply the socially maladroit. The whole satire is directed at those who have made these escapist fantasies a true-to-life obsession.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Award-winning novelist Sharyn McCrumb is best known for her Ballad novels, a series of fictionalized accounts of the history and culture of the Appalachian region of the United States. The Ballad novels include the works The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter; If I Ever Return, Pretty Peggy-O; She Walks These Hills; and most recently The Ballad of Frankie Silver. In 1997, McCrumb won the Outstanding Contribution to Appalachian Literature award. The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, as was If I Ever Return, Pretty Peggy-O.

A graduate of the University of North Carolina and Virginia Tech, McCrumb taught journalism before turning her attention to writing fiction as a full time endeavor. McCrumb has won many awards for her mystery novels, including an Edgar for 1988's Bimbos of the Death Sun. In that work she satirized the science fiction and fantasy community as well as in the work's sequel, Zombies of the Mutant Gene Pool. Her novels have been translated into over ten languages.
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940013927711
  • Publisher: RosettaBooks
  • Publication date: 7/1/2010
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 212
  • Sales rank: 327,439
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Award-winning novelist Sharyn McCrumb is best known for her Ballad novels, a series of fictionalized accounts of the history and culture of the Appalachian region of the United States. The Ballad novels include the works The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter; If I Ever Return, Pretty Peggy-O; She Walks These Hills; and most recently The Ballad of Frankie Silver. In 1997, McCrumb won the Outstanding Contribution to Appalachian Literature award. The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, as was If I Ever Return, Pretty Peggy-O.

A graduate of the University of North Carolina and Virginia Tech, McCrumb taught journalism before turning her attention to writing fiction as a full time endeavor. McCrumb has won many awards for her mystery novels, including an Edgar for 1988's Bimbos of the Death Sun. In that work she satirized the science fiction and fantasy community as well as in the work's sequel, Zombies of the Mutant Gene Pool. Her novels have been translated into over ten languages.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 11 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(7)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

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1 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2013

    Hmmm...

    Interesting cover...

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 28, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Fun Tribute to The World of Geeks and Nerds

    I actually read this book years ago when it first came out, so I decided to grab a Nook copy and reread it after a recent discussion of the book. Since it is set in my hometown (and the convention reminds me SO much of cons I attended in my back yard for a time), I have a soft spot for the novel. The basic plot is that an author whose work is adored by a multitude of fans is murdered at the con. The author was not the most likeable character, and it is clear why someone would want to kill him. Who is the issue. The plot thickens as another author (a professor who just happened to write a book about a theory, and have it released as a SF novel that became an instant hit) finds himself trying to help solve the murder. There's murder. There's mayhem. There are crazy fans, and crazy authors as well. And it is just a whole lot of fun. I highly recommend this book and its sequel ZOMBIES OF THE GENE POOL.

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  • Posted September 28, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great Fun

    McCrumb's mystery is a fun romp. :) Lots of gentle (and not so gentle) skewering of sci fi-fantasy fandom. The sequel, "Zombies of the Gene Pool," is just as good, though it reads a tad dated. Hopefully, McCrumb will pen a few more titles in this series.

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  • Posted March 7, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Fun Read

    As someone who has been (still is) part of the gaming community, I love this book. It is slightly dated at this point (80s), but the stereotypes hold true. And they are stereotypes. Not all gamers are like the ones portrayed in this book, but those characters do exist. Heck I was one of them for awhile. If you are a gamer and you can't laugh at yourself you may want to skip it.

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  • Posted August 14, 2010

    Don't Let The Title Fool You

    More than a mystery; the book reveals the quirky ins-and-outs of Sci-Fi conventions, Fantasy role play and D & D. While the mystery's plot is a bit dated (first published in the 1980s), the cast of fledgling novelists, cranky gamers, elves and clerics more than makes up for archaic computer intrigue. If you are not a fan of fantasy and sci-fi, then this book IS FOR YOU. It may just make you want to become one!

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  • Posted July 25, 2010

    LOL

    This book is a little dated now. If you have ever been to a con, you will enjoy this "mystery".

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2006

    A treat, again after 19 years

    I read 'Bimbos' on a recommendation about 20 years ago. It was (still is) tongue-in-cheek scathing, sardonic satire and laugh-out-loud funny. A book that has stood the test of time. Why is it that the better humorous novels (in any genre) still resonate after decades while the 'serious' books of the same genre and era generally seem stilted and pedantic? I digress, 'Bimbos' is still a treat--congats on the new edition. I have the 1988 TSR paperback, so cleverly illustrated by Jeff Easley. A prized possession.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2010

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