The best books that shove a sharp stick up the arse end of perceived reality

Gideon Masters Author Of Lucifer's Child
By Gideon Masters

Who am I?

Born in the era of the space race and The Sky at Night I was entranced by the moon shots, and avidly read sci-fi and fantasy. An atheist, I became fascinated with world religions, largely due to my increased interest in quantum physics. Which seemed, with its explosion of light and energy from the void, to validate intelligent design. I discovered Gnosticism along the way, and found that it mirrored some of my own conjectures: That a creator may be flawed, misguided, or malevolent, and may not be the most powerful entity, or even the devil, in a pseudo underworld, with an unknown, all-powerful, entity beyond.

I wrote...

Lucifer's Child

By Gideon Masters,

Book cover of Lucifer's Child

What is my book about?

"Expert bodyguard required. High possibility of Death. Leave for foreign parts within the week. Three months or less. Dependent on ability to survive. £75,000.”

John read the psycho ad with incredulity. Against all reason, he found himself considering the prospect: He met the criteria: Thirty years a cop. He was an “expert”. Foreign parts? Who cares! Six-month prognosis? Time enough! Early death? No issue! She would remember the man of action he'd always been, not a cancerous and feeble cripple. £75,000 would nicely replenish the savings he'd taken from Helen, chasing non existent cures. He was in..! And so, the irrevocable chain of events were ignited, that would, ultimately, resurrect and rebuild John's psyche, and thrust him to the forefront of the salvation of humanity.

The books I picked & why

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Nine Princes in Amber: The Chronicles of Amber

By Roger Zelazny,

Book cover of Nine Princes in Amber: The Chronicles of Amber

Why this book?

Amber is the first shadow of a pattern drawn in the blood of its creator. A magical place of colourful and princely characters, full of plots, and intrigue. Endless shadow worlds of Amber, ripple out through infinity, stamping the multifaceted order of existence into all-encompassing oblivion. The courts of chaos (primal  embryonic birth-place of the creator) span the void. Unstable, violent, full of chimeric royalty, intent on destroying the pattern, and re-establishing the dominance of existence. Earth shadow culture and technology, are imortant to the princely magician Corwin (pretender to Amber's throne) in his war aginst chaos...

Despite its complexity, Zelazny manages to lace his dreamscape with copious quantities of wise-cracking humour, and somehow, creates a mesmerising world that expands the senses yet, is easy bedtime reading.

The Dancers at the End of Time

By Michael Moorcock,

Book cover of The Dancers at the End of Time

Why this book?

Love this madcap romp into the ultimate future of humanity. A few humans with rings of power that tap the energy of stars, to nano manipulate environments and desires. Paradoxically, they are unempathetically innocent, decadent, and unconsciously cruel. They collect unsuspecting time travellers and aliens to place in their environmental menageries, for the display and amusement, and, hopefully, green-eyed jealousy, of their contemporaries. Prim Amelia Underwood, plucked from her mundane, strait-laced, Victorian existence, wins the heart of her captor and gains her rings. Unhinged by what she has experienced, her own realised imagination is horrifically spectacular, beyond anything the inhabitants can conjure, or compete with. And her adventures, back and forth through time, begin. Manipulated by the enigmatic imposter Lord Jagged.

The Once and Future King

By T. H. White,

Book cover of The Once and Future King

Why this book?

Who wouldn't want a serious dark age romance to open in horror, and then slip into the Disney landscape of the sword in the stone, before delivering a legendary and literary masterpiece? Make no mistake, this is a serious book from start to finish, capturing the full magical significance of the Arthurian legend, in a spellbinding story of incest, intrigue, plot, and counterplot, set against a heart-rending love triangle, and delivering a coup de grace ending, that is full of both despair and hope, for the future of England and humankind.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

By Douglas Adams,

Book cover of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Why this book?

Everyone should read this book. No matter the knowledge we gain, our planet and our perceptions remain small. Despite being a light read, this highly entertaining and humorous book subtly expands our perception of reality, and undermines our prejudices and narrow-minded thinking. It turns existence inside out, with a lateral objectivity that consistently challenges inhibited thought. 

Jumping through spatial dimensions with the maximum improbability drive, powered by an improbably nice cup of tea, served by a manically depressed robot. 

An omniscient computer that delivers the answer to life the universe and everything, that is so simple it cannot be understood, except by a lady in a cafe, in Rickmansworth; who gets to tell no one, because the earth is destroyed to make way for an intergalactic by-pass, at the same time as she reaches her understanding. 

This all upsets the mice greatly.


By Frank Herbert,

Book cover of Dune

Why this book?

We are small people on a small planet, but our imaginations are vast. A fact wonderfully manifested in this book by Frank Herbert. This story is populated with galactic civilisations who have explored every technological, cultural, philosophical, and spiritual backwater. Yet, still there is war, cruelty, and obsession with power. Evolution is in a cul de sac. A God's presence is required to achieve the next ascendant step into a stable future. The prophetic, genetically bred product, of Ben Geserit witches, Paul Atreides, could be that God. But he would lose his humanity and enslave theirs. Typically, every faction both fears, and wants to control, the power of any would be God. This is the dilemma (our dilemma) of human progression. Perhaps humanity should be careful what it wishes for. 

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