Bimbos of the Death Sun

by Sharyn McCrumb | Mystery & Thrillers |
ISBN: 034541215x Global Overview for this book
Registered by TinkEsq of Akron, Ohio USA on 3/26/2005
Buy from one of these Booksellers: | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Amazon IT |
15 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by TinkEsq from Akron, Ohio USA on Saturday, March 26, 2005
I'm usually not a big mystery fan, nor do I judge books by their covers, but when I saw this title I just couldn't pass it up!

7/27/05 - I enjoyed this book. The story was pretty straightforward and, surprisingly, the "mystery" wasn't front and center...the murder doesn't even happen until more than halfway through the book! I think anyone who has ever been to a "con" will find a good laugh with some of the activities that are described.

7/30/05 - mailing to GoryDetails (trade)

Journal Entry 2 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Tuesday, August 02, 2005
Bimbos of the Death Sun arrived safely in today's mail; many thanks! I'd had this on my wishlist for a while - the concept of a mystery at an SF&F convention was too good to miss!

Journal Entry 3 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Sunday, February 26, 2006
[Making a stab at catching up on my long-overdue book reviews...]

I read this last fall and adored it, but have let it languish in the to-be-reviewed stack for far too long. I'm not sure how entertaining this book would be to anyone who was NOT a fan of SF/fantasy conventions, but for those of us who are it's hilarious! Affectionate yet revealing, it presents a very recognizable picture of a typical con, including the fun, games, highs, lows, and occasional backbiting - though, luckily, I think that few if any cons have had actual murders committed on site!

The setup: Dr. James Owens Mega, an engineering professor, has written a "fictionalized exercise in pure reason concerning the effects of sunspot activity in relation to polymer acrylic on capacitive interaction among high-frequency microcomponents in thick film circuits." The book was bought by an SF publisher and promptly re-titled Bimbos of the Death Sun, complete with cover art depicting "a female bodybuilder in a fur bikini sprawled in front of a computer terminal, clutching the leg of a white-coated man holding a clipboard". Dr. Mega, bemused and a bit frightened at this, is beginning to doubt whether his pen name "Jay Omega" will be enough to disguise his work from any potentially ridicule-minded grad students - but he's agreed to attend the SF convention "Rubicon" {snerk!} to publicize the book.

Jay's friend/love-interest Marion, who teaches SF in the university's English department, not only encouraged him in writing his book but is about to serve as his guide and translator in the world of SF conventions... This makes a nice device for explaining things to non-fan readers, but I still think few of them will really appreciate the book - though it might tempt some of them to attend an actual con!

The tone is light and sarcastic - much like that of most of the fans - with the occasional burst of eerily intense naivete, and a few outright nutcases (some benign, some - like Appin Dungannon, the author everyone loves to hate - malignant). There's a live-action role-playing game, dueling authors, costume events, a wandering troubador who got into the convention hotel by mistake but finds himself drafted as an itinerant bard, and dozens of Klingons and elves and hobbits and storm troopers... in short, a typical con. [Marion even shows up wearing a button with a calligraphied quip on it; the button booths - and the often marvelous wit that gets demonstrated on the captions - are a popular part of every con I've been to.]

Bits of the book are dated - it was published in '88, so some of the tech elements are a bit behind the times. Even so, it holds up pretty well; the description of the online fanzines of the day as "chain letters for disturbed children" matches a good many of the blogs and message boards out there today! And genre criticism is still the same; at one point Marion is showing examples of the worst of the SF and fantasy genres to Jay and mentions some of Dungannon's "Tratyn Runewind" books as representative - "They're not fiction, they're wet dreams." [She also one-ups Dungannon at dinner by mentioning "an excellent book on Celtic lore" - and when Dungannon demands to know which of his books she means, she says she's talking about Marion Zimmer Bradley's The Mists of Avalon. {snerk!}]

There are several other significant characters, some of them fans who clearly do most of their living vicariously; one "had discovered that reading is as close as you can come to teleporting." While the book does present the many "un-pretty" folk of all descriptions who seem to make up the majority of fans, she's not unsympathetic, and manages to convey the joy of an eccentric minority who have found others of their kind. I remember the joys of that!

The actual mystery and its solution are only marginally interesting, though they provide a shadow of a plot around which to hang the fun parts of the book. I admit I got a kick out of the motive, though I would have been happier with a different killer and resolution - but as I've said, those were minor aspects of the book. Overall I enjoyed it thoroughly, laughed out loud a lot, and recommend it to gamers and fantasy fans - and those who would like to understand them. Thanks for sharing this, TinkEsq!

Journal Entry 4 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Saturday, July 15, 2006
I'm offering this for a bookray (see forum post here).

Bookray/ring instructions:

When you receive the book, please journal it, and PM the next person in line for their address so you'll have it ready when you've finished the book.
Note: even if you've sent books to that person before, please PM them before mailing this one, to confirm that the address is correct and that they're able to take on a bookring book at this time.
Try and read the book promptly - ideally, within a month of receiving it. (If you expect to take longer, you can request to be put at the end of the list. If you find you're swamped with other books when the person before you contacts you about the bookring, you can ask to be skipped, and then let me know whether you'd like to be moved down the list or dropped entirely. If you receive the book and find it's taking longer than you'd planned to get through it, I'd appreciate an update in its journal entries or on your profile, just to let me and the other participants know you haven't forgotten it.)

When you're ready to pass the book along, please make another journal entry containing your comments about the book and stating where you've sent it, and set the book's status code to "traveling". [If you find that you're having problems contacting the next person in line, or don't think you can manage to mail the book to whoever I've placed next on the list, please let me know; I'll be glad to try to work something out.]


Participants, in mailing order:

colebear [Florida]
katintheboots [California]
LyekkaMarengo [Pennsylvania]
southernfryed [South Carolina]
stinalyn [New Mexico]
caligula03 [California]
kiyoitsukikage [Poland]
bilbi [France]
amberC [Australia]

Journal Entry 5 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Controlled release:

I'm sending Bimbos of the Death Sun to BCer colebear in Florida, to kick off the bookray; hope you enjoy it!

Journal Entry 6 by colebear from Jacksonville, Florida USA on Saturday, August 05, 2006
Just picked this up out of my mailbox. It looks like a fun, quick read so I should be able to move it along pretty quickly. I've just PMed katintheboots for an address.

Journal Entry 7 by colebear from Jacksonville, Florida USA on Wednesday, August 16, 2006
I finished reading this Monday night, but as I've been in Jury Duty all week, I haven't been able to send it on it's journey. I'll be shipping it off to katintheboots in the morning since court doesn't reconvene until 11:00am.

This book was a lot of fun as I recognized a lot of the 'Fans'. I've had friends like this for years and even though I've never gone to a Con myself, I've heard tons of stories. The tech is a little dated and I was disappointed that I was able to figure out 'who-done-it', but over all, I'd recommend Bimbos of the Death Sun to others.

Thanks for including me in the ring, GoryDetails.

Journal Entry 8 by katintheboots on Monday, August 21, 2006
I currently have four books going, but this one arrived today, and I can always use a fifth! Actually, bookrays go to the permanent top of my pile until they're finished, so the rest are officially on hold for now, and they obviously weren't holding my interest anyway, as I'd creeped up beyond my usual concurrent reading limits.

And there's a sequel! So says the back advert page. Zombies of the Gene Pool! I'm hooked on the title alone. If I like this one (and I plan to, as I usually adore McCrumb), I'll definitely have to go hunt that one down.

I'll PM the next person in line for an address as soon as I post this.

Journal Entry 9 by katintheboots on Thursday, August 24, 2006
I enjoyed this book, enough that I will seek out the sequel, though I have to say that I'm not really sure why it won an Edgar. My enjoyment did not stem so much from the mystery (which is really rather late in coming anyway), as I figured out the who and the why without trouble, but from the portrayl of the con and its participants. I've only been to either academic conferences or Comic Con (you have to go to Comic Con at least once if you live in San Diego), so not a broad spectrum of experience, but certain personalities exist everywhere there are gamers, and so I was amused. (Not a gamer myself, but have friends and former roomies that are.)

At any rate, it was a very quick read, and a fun one too, so nothing to complain about. LyekkaMarengo sent me her address, so I'll get this back in the mail within the week.

Journal Entry 10 by katintheboots on Monday, August 28, 2006
I put this one in the mail for LyekkaMarengo this evening. It was actually about $1 cheaper to send this via first class as opposed to media mail, so it should be there in a few days.

Journal Entry 11 by LyekkaMarengo from Warriors Mark, Pennsylvania USA on Thursday, September 14, 2006
Sorry about the delay in journaling this, it was sort of misplaced in cleaning for company. Two other rings first, then I'm on it.

Journal Entry 12 by LyekkaMarengo from Warriors Mark, Pennsylvania USA on Wednesday, September 27, 2006
This was fun read and as Gory said it's a little dated in tech department but you don't really notice that with everything going on. I liked in the author's note that she mentioned that the true identity of Appin seems to be an intense matter of discussion and seems to change as the years go by. I did like the fact that the main character was actually a scientist who accidently wrote sci-fi. Being in the science field myself it was nice to see a science geek get some good press. However I think Dr. Mega spent most of the convention very, very confused. McCrumb did seem to actually like and respect her convention attendee's while gently making a point that all of this really is just a diversion. The solution to the murder was quite a good one and I enjoyed that the book wrapped up so nicely.

Mailing on to sourthernfryed in Lexington, SC today.

Journal Entry 13 by wingSouthernfryedwing from Lexington, South Carolina USA on Friday, October 06, 2006
I just returned home from a week in Las Vegas to a pile of mail which included 2 other bookrings. I will get to this one as quickly as possible as I am looking forward to reading it.

Journal Entry 14 by wingSouthernfryedwing from Lexington, South Carolina USA on Friday, October 13, 2006
I am not a Fantasy or Science Fiction fan and I did not care much about this book. However, it did get more interesting after the murder.

This book is now on its way to Stinalynin NM.

Journal Entry 15 by stinalyn from Fort Collins, Colorado USA on Saturday, November 04, 2006
This was waiting for me when I returned from Las Cruces, and I am thoroughly enjoying it so far. I've only been to a few f/sf cons (I'm more of a mystery fan), but I do plead guilty to serving Romulan ale at my wedding reception. ::hangs head in nerdy shame::

Journal Entry 16 by stinalyn from Fort Collins, Colorado USA on Friday, November 10, 2006
I really enjoyed reading this. Yeah, the technology was dated, but it made for a neat trip down memory lane. I joined the wonderful world of BBSes in 1988, so what McCrumb described was familiar territory for me. And no, the mystery wasn't terribly mystifying or important, but that wasn't the point of the book. I already have a copy of Zombies of the Gene Pool and am looking forward to reading it.

I've PMed caligula03 but not received any response yet. The PM system is always giving me fits, so I'll try posting in the forums and see if I fare any better there.

Journal Entry 17 by caligula03 from Hayward, California USA on Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Book is here.

Journal Entry 18 by caligula03 from Hayward, California USA on Wednesday, January 03, 2007
I'm glad the book is as short as it is because it was painful to read. I've been to Cons and while the antics described in the book do go on the people who participate aren't this 2D. Also Jay Omega wasn't at all believable as a character. I can't believe his book would be as successful as it was if he were so clueless about the science fiction genre. Then there's the murder to spice things up but it ends up being just as boring and drawn out as the rest of the story.

Journal Entry 19 by caligula03 at on Saturday, January 06, 2007

Released 11 yrs ago (1/16/2007 UTC) at



Mailing to kiyoitsukikage.

Journal Entry 20 by kiyoitsukikage from Brixton, Greater London United Kingdom on Tuesday, January 23, 2007
it's arrived, thanks!

Journal Entry 21 by kiyoitsukikage from Brixton, Greater London United Kingdom on Monday, March 05, 2007
The book was a quick and nice read :) I have to say that the murderer has been obvious but still.. It was an interesting one, depicting quite a few "personality types" of con attenders :D And it takes place in another era - in terms of computer time! ;)

Journal Entry 22 by bilbi from Chambéry, Rhône-Alpes France on Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Received today ! What a crazy name for a book !!!! I'm looking forward to reading it. Just a few pages to read before meeting these bimbos ;-)

Thanks for sharing \o/

Journal Entry 23 by bilbi from Chambéry, Rhône-Alpes France on Friday, March 30, 2007
I've never been to a SF con and I'm not sure to go after reading this book ;-)

It was a very entertaining book and the characters were just so nice - apart from the murderer that goes without saying...

You seem to like convention GoryDetails ;-o

Happy BC to you all !

Journal Entry 24 by wingamberCwing from Darwin, Northern Territory Australia on Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Arrived safely today. Love the title.

Journal Entry 25 by wingamberCwing from Darwin, Northern Territory Australia on Thursday, May 03, 2007
This was a light, fun read. I haven't had the opportunity to attend a 'con' but it sounds like it could be interesting. Everyone else has said all and more than I could say. I'll just add that I still love the title and it sure got a few weird looks when I was reading it at work.

Journal Entry 26 by wingamberCwing at on Monday, May 07, 2007

Released 11 yrs ago (5/6/2007 UTC) at



Into the bookbag it goes.

Journal Entry 27 by luckaye from Logan City, Queensland Australia on Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Looks like a fun read :)

Journal Entry 28 by luckaye at on Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Released 11 yrs ago (6/13/2007 UTC) at



a RABCK for Leeny

Journal Entry 29 by leeny37 from Melbourne, Victoria Australia on Wednesday, June 20, 2007
This is one of several books that I received from luckaye today. Thank you! :) And I agree with the others, the title is just a crack-up! I don't know much about SF/Fantasy conventions, but I'll see how I go with this book!

Journal Entry 30 by leeny37 from Melbourne, Victoria Australia on Thursday, August 09, 2007
I still think the title is absolutely brilliant but nothing else really works for me. I did get a few chuckles here and there at the start, but otherwise, most of the humour is lost on me -- I just didn't get it. I do read science fiction and fantasy, but I'm strictly a Pratchett girl and haven't branched out that far just yet; although there are books on Mt. TBR waiting for me! I haven't been to any conventions either so there's nothing for me to look back on and think, OH GAWD, that's just sooooo like that one time...! I'm sure this book will find another appreciative reader, it just wasn't me.

Released 11 yrs ago (8/14/2007 UTC) at Royal Melbourne Hotel @ Bourke Street in Melbourne CBD, Meet-up -- Controlled Releases



Bringing this to meet-up tonight.

Journal Entry 32 by silvermoonwyrm from Corio, Victoria Australia on Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Snagged this at meetup last month. Really enjoyed it, but put it straight on to my Mt JustBR so I could attend to my toppling MT TBR, and completely forgot to journal it. Bringing back to meetup tonight to let it continue on it's way.

Journal Entry 33 by woosang from Campbelltown, New South Wales Australia on Monday, October 08, 2007
Nabbed this to save it from the Flash mob. I have the hard copy of books 1 and 2 and thought this would be better for postage than a thick hard back.

Picked up from the table of Temptation At the 2007 Bookcrossing convention.

Journal Entry 34 by woosang from Campbelltown, New South Wales Australia on Friday, November 02, 2007
I would place this with cosy mysteries in that it is a light and easy read. I thought basing it in a Sci-Fi COnvention was a novel place for e murder and I did like the wat the murderer was caught.

Now to get around to reading the second book. Zombies of the Gene pool

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