Hello and welcome back to the Friday Fiction Feature! Tabatha back again with part two of “That’s it I’m done with this job!” Today we have options for your more active fleeing academic. We know how it is, you are ready to burn your school/office/building down and run away, but that doesn’t mean you’re ready to just retire. So with the help of these books you can be ready to grab your cutlass, your magnifying glass, or your pocketful of explosives, and leave in a blaze/explosion/subtle prank of glory.
The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists by Gideon Defoe
Our first “I’m free! I’m free!” opportunity is also the most obvious. Who among us hasn’t been tempted to reduce all your office machines to a pile of plastic and silicone and become a pirate? Well dear readers we have the answer, you can pursue a lifelong (or possibly career-long) dream of fleeing to the high seas for romance and adventure and scurvy…wait, ignore that last bit…where was I, oh yes, excitement and scientific study! Who says you have to leave your academic interests behind? With The Pirates you can have it all (except scurvy) and a research paper to boot!
Not since Moby-Dick… No, not since Treasure Island… Actually, not since Jonah and the Whale has there been a sea saga to rival The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists, featuring the greatest sea-faring hero of all time, the immortal Pirate Captain, who, although he lives for months at a time at sea, somehow manages to keep his beard silky and in good condition.
Worried that his pirates are growing bored with a life of winking at pretty native ladies and trying to stick enough jellyfish together to make a bouncy castle, the Pirate Captain decides it’s high time to spearhead an adventure.
While searching for some major pirate booty, he mistakenly attacks the young Charles Darwin’s Beagle and then leads his ragtag crew from the exotic Galapagos Islands to the fog-filled streets of Victorian London. There they encounter grisly murder, vanishing ladies, radioactive elephants, and the Holy Ghost himself. And that’s not even the half of it.
Rex Libris, Volume I: I, Librarian (Rex Libris #1-5) by by James Turner
Now some of us want danger, excitement, a monster or two to kill (who doesn’t), but aren’t really into the hard sciences. I for one would love to battle the forces of the damned (provided they aren’t very well armed), but I couldn’t come up with the formula for the undead-killing chemical solution to save my life. So, for those of you in the same boat as me, don’t worry, you don’t need to be able to work an allotrope to kill a monster with multiple forms if you can follow in the footsteps of Rex Libris, librarian extraordinaire.
The astonishing story of the incomparable Rex Libris, Head Librarian at Middleton Public Library, and his unending struggle against the forces of ignorance and darkness. Rex travels to the farthest reaches of the galaxy in search of overdue books. Wearing his super thick bottle glasses, and armed with an arsenal of high technology weapons, he strikes fear into recalcitrant borrowers, and can take on virtually any foe from zombies to renegade literary characters. In this first collection of Librarian adventures, Rex must confront the powerful Space Warlord Vaglox and retrieve the overdue Principia Mathematica while an energy manifestation of blood thirsty Vandals attempt to burn down Middleton Library, and all within, to the ground.
The Extraordinary and Unusual Adventures of Horatio Lyle (Horatio Lyle #1) by Catherine Webb
These are some very nice options, certainly, but perhaps you are looking for less structure in your days. If you are escaping deadlines and department meetings, showing up to open the library on time may no longer be your cup of tea. Maybe you fancy an exciting life with Extraordinary and Unusual Adventures working freelance; traveling, choosing who you work for… Oooh, just think about that for a while: choosing your own boss in a job that lets you keep explosives on hand fill your pockets with things that explode…
In Victorian London at the height of the industrial revolution, Horatio Lyle is a former volunteer law enforcement officer with a passion for science and invention. He’s also an occasional, but reluctant, sleuth. The truth is that he’d rather be in his lab tinkering with dangerous chemicals and odd machinery than running around the cobbled streets of London trying to track down stolen goods. But when his government calls, Horatio swaps his microscope for a magnifying glass, fills his pockets with things that explode, and goes forth to unravel a mystery of a singularly extraordinary nature. Thrown together with a reformed—in other words “caught”—pickpocket named Tess, and a rebellious young gentleman named Thomas, Lyle and his faithful hound, Tate, find themselves pursuing an ancient Chinese plate, a conspiracy that reaches to the highest levels of polite society, and a dangerous enemy who may not even be human. Solving the crime will be hard enough—surviving would be a bonus.
Welcome to Tranquility, Vol. 1 by Gail Simone & Neil Googe
But, maybe I’m wrong, maybe you all prefer the idea of a quiet move away from the office. Get away from all the meetings, from all the students, and from all the minor catastrophes of students, technology, and rogue fires set by the rest of the faculty when they leave. If so, we’ve still got the answer! (See, readers, I told you we know everything!) Now whether you want to go just to mingle or are a costumed crusader yourself, we recommend Tranquility for a nice, calm retirement secure in the knowledge that the next door neighbors can single-handedly take down world-conquering villains, to say nothing of burglars (though admittedly, they do so with a cane these days).
Tranquility is a small town like any other, except for one difference: It’s the place where super-powered beings go to retire from crimefighting. But when the town is turned upside down by a murder, it becomes evident that everything isn’t as quaint as it seems!
Pest Control by Bill Fitzhugh
Just remember, dear readers, to be careful in your new professions. Sure you may start out with the best of intentions, but as Bob the exterminator learns in Pest Control, the best laid plans of mice and cockroaches often end on sticky paper.
Bob Dillon can’t get a break. A down-on-his-luck exterminator, all he wants is his own truck with a big fiberglass bug on top — and success with his radical new, environmentally friendly pest-killing technique. So Bob decides to advertise.
Unfortunately, one of his flyers falls into the wrong hands. Marcel, a shady Frenchman, needs an assassin to handle a million-dollar hit, and he figures that Bob Dillon is his man. Through no fault — or participation — of his own, this unwitting pest controller from Queens has become a major player in the dangerous world of contract murder.
And now Bob’s running for his life through the wormiest sections of the Big Apple — one step ahead of a Bolivian executioner, a homicidal transvestite dwarf, meatheaded CIA agents, cabbies packing serious heat … and the world’s number-one hit man, who might just turn out to be the best friend Bob’s got.