Sunday, February 25, 2007

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High Praise for DOCTOR BRAIN

If you'd like to buy a copy of From the Notebooks of Doctor Brain, please go to your local independent bookstore. If they don't have it, ask them to get it. If they can't, click here.


BLOG T.O. SUNDAY BOOK REVIEW: “...a major accomplishment that is laugh out loud funny... This is the most revolutionary work of SF since William Gibson’s Neuromancer. Faust has invented a whole new genre of writing and rendered it in some of best prose in any genre. He’s basically given birth to the future. And it’s one good looking baby.... Although it’s only February, I’m confident in saying that the best SF book of the 2007 - maybe the best book of the year-- has already been published.”

SUNQIST BLOG: The best book of the year, which has been out for something like four days at this point, is From the Notebooks of Doctor Brain, by Minister Faust ... [whose] first book, The Coyote Kings of the Space-Age Bachelor Pad... was also excellent. This is an amazing book.... It works on about six different levels... incredibly important....”

From Karen Sullivan of Sunqist: Reading this book was like standing on the edge of history.... In fifty years, they’re either going to be teaching this book in high schools, or banning this book in high schools. Reading Doctor Brain is what I imagine reading Animal Farm or Catch-22 was like for people when those books came out, before anybody knew anything about them.”

VUE WEEKLY: “The humour is only bait-deep—Doctor Brain, both the book and character, is a blisteringly merciless send-up of modern mental-health manipulation.”

THE EDMONTON JOURNAL: “Tough political message underlies comedy about a Doctor Phil for the superhuman.... a wicked sense of humour, not to mention a satirist’s sharp eye for the (under)cutting detail, the small touches in parody that announce his tale is after bigger game than it might seem at first to be.... [L]ots of laughs, but after all the fun and games, readers will note that beneath the bravura comedy there’s a tough political message about our real-world circumstances. ... [M]arvellously askew bunch of characters ... a parallel world that has all too much in common with our own. And the climax beautifully skewers both narrator and reader... highly entertaining and sneakily politically provocative.”

STATIC MULTIMEDIA.COM: From the Notebooks of Doctor Brain showcases Faust’s keen ability to apply humour to traditional genre conventions and delve into pop culture, making it a hilarious, sure-fire page turner.”

THE EDMONTON SUN: Doctor Brain is a wildly imaginative superhero parody ... the satire expands to cover the entire planet.”

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (STARRED REVIEW):[S]harp satire of caped crusaders hides a deeper critique of individual treatment versus social injustice.... Faust's well-aimed jabs spare no super sacred cows nor many pop idols and psychobabbling media stars. Underneath the humor, careful readers will find uncomfortable parallels to real-world urban tragedies in the novel's 'July 16 Attacks,' where Faust gives a double meaning to the 'Crisis of Infinite Dearths.'"

ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH: “Faust comes up with a plot that is simple on the surface and brilliantly complex in its layers... murder, complex conspiracies and lover's quarrels... [r]acism, consumerism, hero worship and even 9/11 get the Faustian treatment in this over-the-top but always dead-on satire of our times.”

BOOKLIST: ”[An] excellent superhero comedy as well as an unsettling satire.”

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: “Entertaining... saavy.”

BOOKPAGE: “[M]ight be one of the most entertaining books to cross your path this year.... Faust is an original writer with a passionate interest in people—be they crazy or “normal”—and his pulpy satire takes accurate swings at our me-first society and the pop culture idols who have floated to the top.”

SCIFI.COM: “[Minister Faust’s] insane fecundity and jazzy verbal dexterity, his sheer brio and exuberance...reminds me of Ishmael Reed or Steve Aylett... plenty of moments in this novel where I laughed out loud.”

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

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The Continuing Relevance of Cheikh Anta Diop

The Daily Observer (Banjul), wrote on February 7, 2007:

“At the World Black Festival of Arts and Culture, held in Dakar, Senegal, in 1966, Cheikh Anta Diop, with W.E.B. Dubois, was honoured as ‘the writer who had exerted the greatest influence on African people in the twentieth century’.

“The African continent's fight against colonialism engendered both the ‘warrior-nationalist’, demanding political independence, and the 'scholar-activist', retrieving the stolen 'family China'. And Diop's intellectual oeuvre establishes him as the ‘scholar-activist’ par excellence. He compared imperialism with the prehistoric hunter, who killed his prey spiritually and culturally, before eliminating it physically. And we see evidence of this insight in the way that European imperialism had walled up itself behind a facade of falsifications and misconceptions about African history, and then proceeded to devalue and disparage our cultural heritage. And relying on this intellectual sleight-of-hand, it concocted a self-serving hierarchy of cultures, which placed the European on top and the African at the bottom.

“It was against this background of cultural spoliation, that Cheikh Anta, and others, committed themselves to ‘the project of restitution of the authentic history of Africa and the reconciliation of African civilizations with history... in order to construct a body of modern human sciences, in order to renovate African culture.’

“He envisaged an Africa where Egypto-Ethiopian antiquity will play the same role that Greco-Latin antiquity plays in the west. Believing , as he did, that we can never have any profound understanding of modern African history, without a proper apprehension of Egyptian antiquity. And that this historical anchor of modern Africa gives it a cultural unity that can be the basis for a federated multinational state. An idea still struggling to be born.

“It was also mainly his work that exposed the immeasurable debt that Greek civilisation owed to Egypt, in the Sciences, Arts, Philosophy and Theology. So when we talk about the importation of foreign ideas into Africa, Diop would have immediately pointed out our category error, because these so-called foreign ideas are simply making their return journey home. ‘Modern technologies and sciences come from Europe/US, just as the sciences and technologies of antiquity streamed from the Nile Valley to the rest of the world, particularly to Greece.’

“His books were largely responsible for, at least, the partial re-orientation of attitudes about the place of African people in history, in scholarly circles around the world. The scientific rigour of his method made him temperamentally unsuited to the coy sensibilities of the Negritude movement; and ‘Negritudisms’ such as ‘emotion is Negro and reason Greek’ (Senghore) and ‘those who explored neither the seas nor the sky’ (Cesaire), were anathema to his ears.

“He was born in Diourbel, Senegal, in 1923, and died on this day, 7 February, in 1986. He was a true Prometheus of our time, and we've come to understand ourselves a bit better thanks to his books. May his inspiration carry us through the ‘crooked timbre’ of history.”

Thursday, February 01, 2007

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DOCTOR BRAIN BOOK LAUNCH TONIGHT! Assemble!


After two and a half years, I finally have a new novel out! It's called From the Notebooks of Doctor Brain, and it’s a self-help book for superheroes. Well, okay, not really, it’s a satire about psychology and office politics. Well, okay, not really... it’s actually about the Bush administration. Check out below to find out what critics and writers are saying.



When: Friday, Feb. 2, 7:30 pm at Audrey's Books, 10702 Jasper Avenue, Edmonton, (780) 423-3487



PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (STARRED REVIEW): “[S]harp satire of caped crusaders hides a deeper critique of individual treatment versus social injustice.... Faust's well-aimed jabs spare no super sacred cows nor many pop idols and psychobabbling media stars. Underneath the humor, careful readers will find uncomfortable parallels to real-world urban tragedies in the novel's 'July 16 Attacks,' where Faust gives a double meaning to the 'Crisis of Infinite Dearths.'"



BOOKLIST: ”[An] excellent superhero comedy as well as an unsettling satire.”



ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: “Entertaining... saavy.”



BOOKPAGE: “[M]ight be one of the most entertaining books to cross your path this year.... Faust is an original writer with a passionate interest in people—be they crazy or “normal”—and his pulpy satire takes accurate swings at our me-first society and the pop culture idols who have floated to the top.”



SCIFI.COM: “[Minister Faust’s] insane fecundity and jazzy verbal dexterity, his sheer brio and exuberance... reminds me of Ishmael Reed or Steve Aylett... plenty of moments in this novel where I laughed out loud.”



ROBERT J. SAWYER, Hugo Award-winning author of Hominids: “Minister Faust does it again: an outlandish, outrageous tour de force by the most innovative prose stylist in the field, bar none. From the Notebooks of Doctor Brain is a super-powered novel, a high-speed romp that should leap right onto the bestsellers’ list.”



EDEN ROBINSON, Giller Award-nominated author of Monkey Beach: “Minister Faust’s gleefully surreal approach to storylines, wonderful wordplay and offbeat, faster-than-speeding-bullet wit, make From the Notebooks of Doctor Brain a marvellous read.”



ERNEST DICKERSON, Director, Juice, Never Die Alone, The Wire: “Minister Faust is Samuel Delaney, Harlan Ellison and Ishmael Reed all rolled into one. His writing is biting, insightful and hugely entertaining.”



And get this! Hugo Chavez, the President of Venezuela himself, did not proclaim in front of the General Assembly of the United freakin' Nations:


“FROM THE NOTEBOOKS OF DOCTOR BRAIN is a superhero satire savagely skewering self-help books, pop-psychology, corporate media, the cult of celebrity, ‘reality TV,’ and the mad-dogs in power who style themselves the heroes of our age while destroying the very freedom they claim to champion.


“FROM THE NOTEBOOKS OF DOCTOR BRAIN may not help you solve your problems... but it may bring you closer to knowing who’s causing them.”