Out Of This World
by Ann Wesley Hardin, paranormal (2006)
Ellora's Cave, $5.95, ISBN 1-4199-0641-0


Once upon a time, there is a ruler of a distant planet who has clearly too much time on her hands. Queen Win from Planet Who Knows Where asks Probabilist Anthros to place two infants of their race in Earth to test the humans' theory on fate and destiny. If the two guinea pig babies grow up and fall in love, it's, of course, fate. Not the result of hormonal kick-in or anything, of course. Poor Anthros is ordered to watch these two babies carefully as they grow up. He must make sure that those two do not grow up to "mate with a human", upon which Anthros must tell Queen Win at once. I wonder what the Queen will do. Hop into some hyperspace superfast spacecraft to the location of the guinea pig about to be mated with a mere homo sapiens and zap the homo sapiens in question into pixie dust, I suppose. Anthros will at least have the perks of watching the babies grow up and take showers and all without fearing that some intergalactic pedophile-buster organization will show up at his doorstep.

Cut to present day, where we meet our hero, Arnie Simpson, who's a MENSA member and proud of it. I guess he has never heard those jokes being bandied about behind his back. Of course, wait until you realize that his passion in life is to investigate UFOs. And when you realize that he is an alien, the MENSA jokes write themselves so beautifully that I get a tear in my eye. Poor Arnie chaffs at his life because he feels that he is surrounded by fools so he is in despair about the limitations of the human intellect. You know, I feel that MENSA only got to keep Arnie after they beat off the Scientologists bloody with their brain-shaped glowsticks in a war of attrition for poor Arnie's soul.

Then into his life walks Dr Ava Ward who is so beautiful with her white hair that Arnie, for the first time, pays attention to a woman. Of course, he claims that he's only interested in her brain - not in a Night Of The Living Dead way, of course - and he is sure that she is an alien. If he isn't an alien, he'd be that sad loser living in his parents' basement and eating stale pizza while dreaming of being kidnapped by naked Amazonian cheerleaders from a distant planet for an anal probe. Ana, like Arnie, is a hilariously uptight snob when it comes to the limitations of human intellect and the weakness in human character so needless to say, Ava and Arnie in a union of body and soul are comparable to the merging of MENSA and Scientology in one beautiful mushroom-shaped nuclear explosion. We will all live in unimaginable bliss and enlightenment thereafter or we will live a horrible life of having nothing but L Ron Hubbard books to read and movies constantly starring John Travolta, Tom Cruise, and Katie Holmes to watch.

As Arnie becomes increasingly convinced that she's an alien and he wants to - and I quote - "bounce all over her", she too practically gets an orgasm when she realizes that he's a genius. On page 12, I come across this gem:

She and Arnie giggled like two nutty kids.

That is probably the most beautiful sentence ever written in a book, I tell you, because that sentence encapsulates everything about this story in such an awesomely precise and accurate manner. Arnie and Ava aren't just hot for each other, they are united in their disdain for the humans around them, their best compliment for each other would be that they are too amazing to be mere humans. Arnie calls his penis "Saturn Five" and I don't think I will read an astronomy article for a while without bursting into laughter since the phrase "within minutes Saturn Five launched majestically" will never be the same again.

Arnie is worried that he can't get it up for her because she is too awesome that all he wants to do is to bask in worship of her superhuman alienosity (if there is such a word). Ava takes out a "jelly cock" (Ms Hardin's words, not mine, and it's a toy, just to make this clear, not one that is attached to any part of her body - although if it is this story would be awesome beyond belief, I tell you), sighing about how geeks usually like her perfect body (I wonder why) but this particular geek can't even finish a footsie session with her. Of course, when they do get together, Saturn Five shoots right off the orbit and Arnie wants every man in this world to know that the secret to eternal bliss is to date a proctologist like Dr Ava.

There is a misunderstanding in this story, but it's an awesome one, I tell you, because it arises from Arnie's mistaken belief that Ava cannot immediately sense what an awesome demi-human he is when it comes to intellect and therefore clearly she is not worthy of him anymore. And this misunderstanding sees him telling his sphincter that Ava is no longer theirs. I have no choice but to bow down to the freaking awesomeness of this story. I know, "awesome" is such a trite word overused by annoying Valley girls but there are no other word I can think of to describe this book.

As you can surely tell by now, this book is not for you if you are not looking for a wacky over-the-top sex romp. Is this book sexy? Actually, yes. The love scenes are quite hot just as they are so irreverent that I find myself laughing and fanning myself at the same time. I love the fact that Ava is such a cool ice queen always in control and poor Arnie, his Saturn Five, and disappointed sphincter are reduced to being an extremely snobby "I am the GOD BRAIN!" geek-alien-entity who has to chase after her with his tongue hanging out.

But best of all is how the entire premise of this story, the characters... how everything about Out Of This World, really, is so hilarious, ridiculous, and over-the-top yet at the same time so freaking brilliant that it's almost like a homage to Blackadder in how the jokes come together in a so vulgar and absurd manner yet this coming together all make perfect sense. I know, I know, I'm not making sense here, so let me try again. At first glance, everything about this story seems absurd and over-the-top, but these elements of absurdity actually fit together very nicely to give a fiendishly comical story that has me rolling in laughter without becoming outright too cheesy or campy. Even the romantic moments, irreverently absurd and farcical as some of them may be, actually work. The humor is more, shall I say, Tim Burton than Conan the Barbarian. The only way this book would have been even more freaking A would be if our two lovebirds reveal towards the end that their true forms are like those "Ack! Ack! Ack!" aliens from Tim Burton's Mars Attack! movie and they smooch as they get lifted in a triangular shaft of light into some mothership, right before Earth explodes in a spectacular kaboom.

But this book is still awesome nonetheless without the "Ack! Ack! Ack!" thing.

Rating: 94


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