Noomi realized that none of her confreres (literally: criminal brothers) from the Alternaut Academy had acknowledged her presence, but, before she could become indignant, a tall, lean man with a clipboard walked into the room. “My name is Sergeant R. Lee Ermey,” the man shouted. Over his crisp white shirt, he was wearing a red vest. He did not seem happy about it. “I will be giving you your vest assignments.,” he told the new recruits. Then, he started bellowing names off the clipboard.
Noomi thought of herself as a practical, down-to-earth, fairy tale and global-warming disbelieving kind of gal; she had to be to make it through the male-dominated Alternaut Academy. Yet, standing in this nondescript room with all of these nondescript men, she found herself…tingling with anticipation. She hadn’t been this excited since Moulder Skully, who had played Jack Ryan in the TV series, came to her high school to talk about safe Home Universe Generator™ surfing! If Rod Blagorsopodd, her high school sweetheart, had excited her half as much, she might have married him. But, ahh, let us not spoil her proud moment with such sad memories – reality will do it soon enough.
“Rapier, Noomi!” Sergeant Ermey finally bellowed. Noomi stepped forward, and was handed a yellow vest.
Noomi looked at the garment with dismay. “No, wait,” she protested, “there must – this has to be a…a mistake!”
Sergeant Ermey looked at her like she was something icky that had just adhered to the underside of his ballet slippers. “We don’t make mistakes,” he told her.
“But…but…but…” Noomi sputtered.
“We’re like that hat,” Sergeant Ermey calmly continued. “You know, the one that assigns kids to their houses in that magic story? We don’t make mistakes.”
“That’s crazy!” Noomi, finding her outrage, shouted. “I was first in my class at the Alternaut Academy! My investigative skills were praised by every instructor I had! I have a letter of recommendation from Barbara
Brundtland-Govanni that all but demands that I be given a knighthood! Or, at least, a Nebula Award! I…I…I…” Noomi trailed off when she realized that the other newbies
had started giggling.
“You finished?” Sergeant Ermey asked, sanguine.
“Uhh…yeah,” Noomi, humiliated, answered.
“Then, step back, please,” Sergeant Ermey ordered her.
Noomi stepped back.
“Rivera, Geraldo!” Sergeant Ermey bellowed.
It is almost impossible to turn on the television today and not shake your head at how absurd the world has gotten. People are famous for doing nothing. Athletes make more money than the President. Corporations are people. The list goes on and on. It is enough to boggle the mind. Now imagine all of that absurdity multiplied by an infinite number of universes and the absurdity quotient for any rational mind threatens to be dangerously high. Fortunately, Ira Nayman has done his utmost to contain the absurdity into a tidy little book apologetically titled, Welcome to the Universe – Sorry for the Inconvenience.The book follows the adventures of Noomi Rapier, aspiring Agent of the Transdimensional Authority as she and her new partner follow the trail of a clever villain intent on personal entertainment.
Welcome to the Universe follows the grand tradition of Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. The humor certainly leans toward the absurd and there are enough pop culture references, both current and obscure, to bring a smile to anyone’s face. The writing is clever and mixed up just enough to make the book something special. The main characters are the two points of consistency in a topsy-turvy multiverse and you can’t help but root for Noomi.
If I had any complaint with this book it was the ending. I wanted a little more…something, but it is hard to put my finger on it. It almost felt like the author ran out of pages and called it a day.
All things said and done, I really, really, really, really, really liked the book, and that is five reallys, so you know I mean it.
You can buy the book from Amazon HERE.
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