If The Avengers was written by Terry Pratchett and directed by Kevin Smith, you might end up in the same dimension as Exponential Apocalypse: Dead Presidents. Or not. Eirik Gumeny’s sequel to Exponential Apocalypse is a weird, wild ride through post-post apocalyptic America. And it’s dead funny.
In the not too distant future, the world has ended. Again. In the Exponential Apocalypse world, the end of the world seems to come once a year, just like Christmas. Combatting the inevitable apocalypses are the staff of the Secaucus Holiday Inn, a motley crew including a Norse god, Queen Victoria clone and a psychic squirrel. The gang track down a rogue presidential clone intent on ending the world, fighting their way through porno stores and pirate gangs to save the world and drink a little on the way. As the press release puts it, “Exponential Apocalypse: Dead Presidents is the only science-fiction comedy novel that puts the “doody” in “doomsday” and the “ha” in “worldwide annihilation.”
The characters of Exponential Apocalypse: Dead Presidents make the most boring tax accountant look like a kooky eccentric. Despite his long blonde hair and rugged good looks, Thor has the mentality of a teenage boy, obsessed with breasts, food and his inability to get laid. Queen Victoria XXX is a corset wearing tough-gal hell-bent on revenge. And for kicks Gumeny brings in a guy from Dunkin’ Donuts. Why not? The sharp banter between these characters is the book’s strength; the story reads like a television script with punchy dialogue.
Gumeny revels in breaking down pop culture references and mythology. From Jurassic Park to Mad Max, nothing is sacred. It’s a book for nerds; the more you know about science-fiction the more you’ll enjoy this book. There are many moments where I found myself laughing out loud at chapters like:
What can you get a Wookie for Christmas when he already owns a comb?
Or pearls of wisdom like:
As the saying goes, when a mad scientist’s doomsday machine closes a door, it cracks a neighboring wall in two.
The humour goes from all out poop jokes to racy slapstick to Monty Python-esque piles of bodies. It’s not a book for the kids; there’s a few too many smutty jokes and swear words. But when the humour is on top form it’s hilarious.
The novel includes a creative number of monsters, who are usually very angry with lasers strapped to their backs. Gumeny divulges the history of the apocalypse using some brilliant digressions, including revising 20th century history through the brownie recipe from Hell. I’d like to see more of these rambling descriptions, because it reminded me of the way Terry Pratchett digresses into the history of the Discworld.
The novel is a short read, with short chapters and a fast paced plot. Eirik Gumeny is a talented writer with a gift for comedy. If you’re in need of some laughs and appreciate the quirky humour of Terry Pratchett, Joss Whedon or Futurama, you’ll enjoy Exponential Apocalypse: Dead Presidents.
Radiant Attack interviewed Eirik Gumeny on the release of the first Exponential Apocalypse book. You can read the interview here.