Tilper Manaday frequently lurks the USENET newsgroup alt.thinking.hurts and has alledgedly been sighted in
both Milton, Washington and Norman, Oklahoma. He otherwise remains a Salinger-like figure. with deep concerns about his trash cans.
||A review by Georges T. Dodds
OK, I know, you can't help but like a book with a title like Terrapin, or Captain Megaloman and his Trusty Sidekick Squidley Save
the World Once Again. I suppose you could describe as absurdist this tale of an unemployed engineer who discovers a machine capable
of selectively teleporting items or bits of matter all over the world and even the universe. Along with his sidekick, a reclusive
obese billionaire with a pathological fear of women, he uses it to clean up and disarm the Earth, eliminate drug addiction (at
least locally), set straight a televangelist and, of course, set off a number of amusing if odd consequences. It's also a bit of a
humorous polemic against the state of Western civilisation, its disregard for the environment and the incompetence of its security
specialists -- and it is fairly entertaining in a mind-candy sort of way.
While the alien overseers ending is a bit weak, what ultimately makes Terrapin readable, as opposed to a number of
other "micro-press" offerings, is that:
All in all, Terrapin, or Captain Megaloman and his Trusty Sidekick Squidley Save
the World Once Again is neither a candidate for the Gong show, nor a likely replacement to Terry Pratchett, but somewhere
hovering above two smirks out of five.
- the characters, if built from a number of indolent bachelor/couch potato/nerd
clichés are oddball enough to be, from a male perspective, entertaining. Some women might simply identify the main characters
as "losers" and miss some of the humour,
- Tilper Manaday doesn't try to drag a 1000-page book out of a limited number of gags,
and by extension doesn't try to set up a sequel, and
- the writing, while unremarkable and more inspired by Homer Simpson
than his classical namesake, is clear and free of obvious first-timer verbiage and adjective-stuffing.
Copyright © 2002 by Georges T. Dodds
Georges Dodds is a research scientist in vegetable crop physiology, who for close to 25 years has read and collected close to 2000 titles of predominantly pre-1950 science-fiction and fantasy, both in English and French. He writes columns on early imaginative literature for WARP, the newsletter/fanzine of the Montreal Science Fiction and Fantasy Association and maintains a site reflecting his tastes in imaginative literature.