European Review of Speculative Fiction

Andor Bochenkov

Title: Space Academy Dropouts

Author: CT Phipps

 The Germans call all-encompassing worldbuilding “gestalt.” While we may intellectually cling to the notions of plot, characters, and setting, what most science fiction readers want gestalt above all else. Luckily, we have CT Phipps who writes the same damned book over and over, only with completely different details, characters, plot, outcomes, etc. But always he delivers the exact same bat-shit bonkers over the top mix of irony, meta-awareness, post modern wit, social critique, satire, trope inversion, and did I mention sarcasm? Think Moorcock and the Eternal Champion only with 16,427% more snark, less swords but probably an equal amount of sex and violence.

With Space Academy Dropouts Phipps brings us more of the same but also better than the same. Because his Eternal Champion is the Eternal Chaos of Utopian Hypocrisy merged with the Eternal Irony of Modern Existence in a Post-Capitalist Dystopia. Bottom Line: this could be a train wreck of horrendous whiney screeds that make PETA and the Vegan/Crossfit/MLM crusaders you loathe seem nice. But nooooo. CT Phipps once again proves himself the Grandmaster of Fun-filled Disaster by adding more sex, sarcasm, wicked jokes, violence, cruelty, well timed awkwardness, and just enough social awareness to make this more Deadpool than Dead Poets Society, but with Dead or Alive playing in the backdrop 24/7.

Probably there’s a plot but why do you care? Really, you read CT Phipps for ambience and immersion, to be dragged like a dead horse across the hallucinatory terrain of his weirdo worlds filled with the most offensive yet logical yet meta-awarely incomprehensible examples of cognitive dissonance characters doing screwball things in a screwball way when not screwing or balling or otherwise (wink, wink) yet again making us think of sex. Also, there’s some obvious point to the pointlessly hilarious text pointing out all things we point to as both pointless and poignant. Point taken?

Will I continue to rad and review the novels in Phipps’ Eternal Snark of the Spotless Metanarrative Series? Yes and also yes. But probably yes. Because how can you resist anyone or anything that made the Smurfs Jewish mind reading paramours? Now multiply that by chapter after chapter and verse or plot reversals, trope inversions, sexual perversions, mental diversions, intellectual discursions, and likely somewhere not yet seen, a talking sturgeon. Bottom line: the guy’s got game. TL;DR – f&^%ing read this already.