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Gunning for the Buddha Paperback – July 1, 2004


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Prime (July 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1930997728
  • ISBN-13: 978-1930997721
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,351,195 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Jasper's style is all over the place in his first collection—the influence of such established SF authors as John Kessel (who provides an introduction), Tim Powers and Andy Duncan is manifest—but readers curious to see the growth of a writer one story at a time will be rewarded. The title tale involves time travel with an atmospheric twist. Black comedy marks "A Feast at the Manor," with its desperate dieters, and "Goddamn Redneck Surfer Zombies," about a small beach community dealing with a seasonal influx of the undead. Less successful are "Unplugged," about outmoded cyber cowboys, and "Working the Game," in which a downtrodden worker finally realizes there's no way to beat the system. "Explosions" and the three tales that follow explore the repercussions when humans attempt to make a place for the alien Wannoshay after their space ship crashes on Earth. The last four entries are the most memorable, the standout being the evocative and vivid "Natural Order," which Jasper calls in his afterword "the best story I've ever written in ten hours." (Apr.)

More About the Author

Michael Jasper loves to explore the places where the normal meets the strange. In pursuit of this fascination, he has written and published ten novels, over sixty short stories, and a digital comic with artist Niki Smith.

In the past he attempted bartending, teaching junior high, painting houses, being a secret shopper, working construction, and many more jobs; he prefers fiction writing. For his day job, he works as a technical writer.

He lives with his family in North Carolina, and his website is michaeljasper.net.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 8, 2005
Format: Paperback
The title story in this first print collection by Mr. Jasper is a tale of youth, chaos, time travel and the struggle of the individual to take control of their life and destiny. The protagonist, a young woman with a felony past (along with an international group of other young people) travels time lines and road ways to moments of heightened social discord. It is the woman's goal, the groups' goal, at these moments of chaos, to control the situation and thus lend order to their own chaotic lives. Along the way, lone individuals pretending to enlightenment spread their own form of reconciliation; Buddhas and shamen, medicine men and Jesus figures. This story, filled with rich detail, vivid imagery and historical situation, carries in it not only fast cars and blazing guns, but moments of loss, struggle and enlightenment--bridges we all must cross in our lives.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jim C. Hines on May 31, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I read a few of these stories when they were first published, and enjoyed them all. I had a story in the anthology where "Goddamn Redneck Surfer Zombies" first appeared, and I remember feeling incredibly envious when I read Mike Jasper's contribution. He makes the rather off-the-wall premise plausible and fun, then brings the story together with a punch of genuine emotion.

Overall, the stories in this collection range from good to great. The book includes four tales of the Wannoshay, the alien species Mike Jasper has written and developed over the years. The Wannoshay are fascinating in and of themselves, but what makes these tales more powerful is the way Jasper uses the Wannoshay to explore and illuminate his human characters. He takes an unflinching look at both the beauty and ugliness of human nature. I only hope some publisher will eventually pay him to give the Wannoshay their own novel.

"The Disillusionist" is by far my favorite story. Jasper remarks in his comments that he was going for a Gaimanesque villain, and I think he nailed it. The Disillusionist is a wonderful character, as is the nameless protagonist who sets off to bring him in. The Disillusionist is basically a travelling showman with the ability to strip away the lies of our lives, and I loved watching his act, as well as the resulting chaos.

I would love to talk about every story, but I don't know how much space Amazon will give me. In brief, Jasper writes strong stories with a sense of gritty realism. His characters feel genuine, and while some stories have happier endings than others, those endings always feel true to the story.

As a writer, I also enjoyed reading the commentary in which Jasper talks about how the various stories came about, and his thoughts on each one. It adds a nice personal touch to the collection.
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By Cornboy on July 17, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition
Michael Jasper's dedicated years to his craft and it shows in the breadth and variety of work here, from tongue-in-cheek zombie to provocative science fiction. Jasper's a worthy successor to his influences such as John Kessel.
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