Bimbos of the Death Sun

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RosettaBooks, Jul 1, 2010 - Fiction - 212 pages
8 Reviews

Ostensibly a mystery novel, Bimbos of the Death Sun won an Edgar Award in 1988 for Best Original Paperback Mystery. While we follow the plot eagerly, 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.

It could be said that Jay Omega and his girlfriend, Dr. Marion Farley, 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.


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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ThothJ - LibraryThing

Hilariously funny! If you are sci-fi or fantasy fan and enjoy attending cons as much as I do, then this mystery will be doubly funny. Anyone who knows ANYTHING about science fiction will easy ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - page.fault - LibraryThing

I 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 ... Read full review


First Page
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Last Page

Chapter 9

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About the author (2010)

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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