Monday, June 10, 2013

Caution: These Books Are Too Hot To Handle

by Stephen J. Gertz

Cover art by Lou Marchetti.

Stories that scorch the visual word form and Exner's areas, the reading centers of the brain…Plots that burn…Books that ignite the senses, singe the eyes, sear the emotions.

These are the tomes that try men's souls, too heated to hold…

Cover art by Robert Stanley.

…too torrid to read without flame-retardant underwear.

Summer reading that sunburns...

…Infernos in print...

…Romantic rotisseries.

Books that inflame family and friends...

...cry Hell from Mountain of Fire and Miracles publishing, "a full gospel ministry devoted to the Revival of Apostolic Signs and Holy Ghost fireworks"...

...and commit arson on unsuspecting readers.

The books about off-duty firemen with fire in the pants,

and flaming fly balls that light up the outfield.

The hypothetically explosive books that generate anomalously high energy under certain specific reading conditions that cannot be replicated outside of a library...

or strip joint.

The books about sordid dens where hot wax was made to melt turntables and heat up the ears,

...and made again.

These are the books you read with oven mitts.

And this is the refried title with sizzle lost, a title whose pilot light has extinguished with temperature falling to absolute zero.

It's a title to forever retire, an appellation to entomb in a deep freeze,  a cliché now


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