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Aliens, Minibikes, And Other Staples Of Suburbia [Paperback]

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Item description for Aliens, Minibikes, And Other Staples Of Suburbia by M. F. Korn...

Welcome to the America of your childhood fantasies. When traveling carnivals came and left seemingly overnight, when the fish your father caught was related to dinosaurs, and when that strange animal you found in the ditch obviously was a space alien.

In this collection of stories, return to the land of innocence and imagination. Prepare to laugh, to be scared senseless, and above all, to remember what it was like when a simple towel around your neck made you the greatest superhero of them all.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   124
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.5" Width: 5.5" Height: 0.29"
Weight:   0.37 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Mar 30, 2004
Publisher   Silver Lake Publishing
ISBN  1931095183  
ISBN13  9781931095181  

Availability  0 units.

More About M. F. Korn

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1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Contemporary

Reviews - What do customers think about Aliens, Minibikes, And Other Staples Of Suburbia?

A reader passing along a review from NECROFILE  Aug 13, 2002
Personal aside author information, then review:

About MF Korn,author of twelve novels and 240 stories published:

Three of MF Korn's books, CONFESSIONS OF A GHOUL AND OTHER STORIES, and ALIENS, MINIBIKES AND OTHER STAPLES OF SUBURBIA, and also SKIMMING THE GUMBO NUCLEAR were mentioned in The Year's Best Fantasy & Horror: Fifteenth Annual Collection. CONFESSIONS OF A GHOUL AND OTHER STORIES was mentioned in The Mammoth Book Of Best New Horror edited by Stephen Jones. RACHMANINOFF'S GHOST was also mentioned in The Mammoth Book Of Best New Horror edited the following year.

(Here is Necropsy review below)

Forget the Beef Clara-Where's the Plot Line?
by Tony Fonseca

Korn, M. F. Aliens, Minibikes, and Other Staples of Suburbia. Morton, PA: Silver Lake Publishing, 2001. 110 p.
Childhood fears have always made good horror fare. Fictions that play upon these, our earliest and pehaps most universal anxieties, are rife with grotesque creations of the collective unconscious of children: they are populated with evil clowns (Stephen King's It), eerie elementary schools (Dan Simmons' Summer of Night), and muderous imaginary friends (the magician of Brandon Massey's Thunderland). With his new collection, Aliens, Minibikes, and Other Staples of Suburbia, M. F. Korn attempts to play upon a different type of childhood fear-the fear of being consumed by the greyness of suburban life, especially for teen ages boys.

Although Aliens, Minibikes, and Other Staples contains nine diverse stories, the collection is a thinly disguised vehicle for its title piece, "Aliens and Minibikes," a short novella about a group of misfit boys who discover a dog-like stranded alien while hunting for golf balls, and later adopt the alien as a pet. Unfortunately, "Aliens and Minibikes" takes up about two-thirds of the collection, while more interesting tales about freak show carnivals that kidnap children to make them into future "carnies" and fishermen who land 150 million year old reptilian fish are not developed beyond the raw conception stage.

In fact, the best three tales, or I should call them ideas or story boards, are the first three in the collection: "The Spectral Carnival Show," "How Soothing Are My Anachronisms," and "Catch of the Century." Each of these tales is potentially more unsettling and grotesque than "Aliens and Minibikes," but each reads more like an outline for a story than a complete story. Korn presents readers with interesting scenarios, such a gift shop where one can purchase anachronistic paraphenalia such as a video of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address or a photo of Christ hanging at Calvary, but he fails to flesh out these ideas with a developing plot line or even interesting characterizations. Although clever musings can be entertaining and even valuable, they cannot in and of themselves be the basis for decent literature. A good story needs time to develop, and time seems to be something that Korn did not put into eight of the nine tales in this collection.

The one truly fleshed out piece, "Aliens and Minibikes," is less eerie than it is introspective, as it is concerned with growing up in the suburbs during the 1970s. Its main character, Kern, is a misunderstood teen whose sense of reality is informed as much by television and popular culture as it is by the world of his Sherwood Forrest neighborhood (there actually is such a neighborhood in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the city where most of Korn's works are set). Kern and his friends discover a smallish injured alien creature one afternoon, and the story tells of their attempts to incorporate this newfound knowledge of the cosmos into their realities. Where a more seasoned writer like King would have created a tale concerned with the boys' need to protect their new knowledge and perhaps nurse the creature back to health, Korn makes the mistake of allowing his plot to move too quickly, so that soon the boys' fathers and older brothers are involved in the "what to do about the alien" plot. This is where "Aliens and Minibikes" completely falls apart. Korn's adults see the alien creature and even recognize its otherworldliness, and then go right about their lives as if they'd just seen a stray cat. To say this makes absolutely no sense would be a gross understatement.

Reading Aliens, Minibikes, and Other Staples of Suburbia, I get the impression that Korn could write an interesting story-if he were to take the time to think out the implications of his fictional realities and were to follow the winding trails that his fictional worlds necessitate that his characters travel along. However, these stories seem to have been composed in haste, as if their writer couldn't get them out of his head and into a word processor fast enough, and as if their writer simply wanted to call them finished, despite the fact that they were in no way polished or complete. I would personally like to see Korn take the three first tales of this collection and flesh them out into longer pieces, complete with characters, a plot line, rising and falling action, a climax....the whole literary bit. Experimental fiction can work, and can even be quite good, but even literary mainstays John Barth and Donald Barthelme, and in the genre Nancy Kilpatrick and Kathe Koja, had to master the form of the story before they chose to break with that form. This may be something that Korn, a writer who really has yet to find his voice, will have to learn in time.
Blurbs  May 28, 2002
"While reading, you'll be picked up and dropped straight into your own history while visiting various, imaginary neighborhoods...It's nostalgia at its finest."
--Sherry Decker, from the Introduction

"M. F. Korn's richly detailed, highly idiosyncratic portraits of America call to mind a Bradbury on magic mushrooms...he's a Norman Rockwell speaking in tongues with a voodoo doll in one hand and a flaming paintbrush in the other." --Jeffrey Thomas, author of Punktown


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