The Sign of the Mute Medusa – Ian Wallace

So yeah, the title sounds more like the name of a pub Frodo and his little buddies would go to. What really got me hooked was the tagline: “Time, Space, Sex, Danger, Suspense.” Now that’s my kind of book! On the cover, we have a green dude and green chick who are more than ready for a little time, space, sex, danger, and most certainly suspense, if you know what I mean. These two are so worried about catching the space clap from each other that they’re already covered in latex from head to toe. I’ve been a little paranoid with dodgy chicks and double wrapped, but this is a tad extreme!

Anyways, these two Galactic Detectives are summoned to the planet Turquoise to help solve the disappearance of a couple pretty big deals in high society. They are given no instructions or background to the case as that would help them solve crimes better somehow. I tried that plan one semester and it didn’t work out for this guy. Got 3 D’s and an F, not bad, I guess I passed.

So this planet Turquoise isn’t really living up to its name. It’s this industrial wasteland where mining and industry has turned the seas to acid, the atmosphere to poisonous gas, and killed all life beyond the domed cities. Which reminds me of a super underrated movie, Bio-Dome. Pauly Shore is a beauty and I’m totally going to watch that later tonight.

Anyways, these geniuses policework involves interviewing literally everyone and immediately befriending each suspect. Time was listed as #1 in the tagline because you’re going to need one hell of a lot of time to power through these interviews. The conversations are non-stop and give you zilch for insight. They interview one person who eventually tells them to talk to someone else. That convo lasts 10 pages. It takes so god damn long to move anywhere that there never is any real suspense. So mark down #5 on the tagline as total bullshit.

After another dozen interviews, and my eyeballs glazing over, they discover that the planet has this weird ass sexual dynamic. Alright, here we go! Females are infertile so they are unable to marry the men, who instead marry these telepathic ghosts who can give birth. Females are Mistresses and the standard relationship is this bonkers love triangle. Luckily, both of my hands are infertile, so I don’t have to worry about any drama in my personal love triangle.

Anyways, so there’s sex in the tagline, but it never actually happens in the book. I got my pencil ready to underline the fuck scenes and they never happen. What kind of false advertising is this? Get me in the tagline, oh boy, talk about love triangles with ghosts, yaaah buddy, then stop right there? C’mon, don’t do me like that bro.

As for item #3 in the tagline, death, there was a death threat once. Councilors in towns of 1,500 get death threats. If you’re a detective for the entire fucking galaxy, and you’re not getting death threats, then you’re probably not doing your job right buddy. Really, the only danger these two faced was dangerous situations that they willingly placed themselves in. Oh shit, the culprit is going to send us back in time to get rid of us, we might as well help them out by going to the time machine.

Oh right, there’s a beyond confusing element of time travel called uptiming. I’m no Stevie Hawking, but I’m a smart dude, ignore the 3 D’s and an F from earlier, but I was totally lost at how this worked. Plus, the author loves to use “vanish” when people leave the room. If characters are literally vanishing into time you probably shouldn’t use “vanish” if buddy goes to take a dump.

To power through and finish the book, I created a game where I took a shot of sambuca (yeah, don’t razz me, it’s all I had, I did light a couple on fire which was pretty rad) whenever the author had a new adjective for green. I think he might have been doing the same because by the time I read “greeny green” I barfed so hard I popped a blood vessel I my eye. True story.

Anyways, that’s all I got. Adios amigos!


Used copies of The Sign of the Mute Medusa are available on Amazon.

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