Tag Archives: comedy

The Abduction Chronicles Is An Unusual Ufology Tale With Zany Vaudeville Overtones


Review by: KEN KORCZAK

Most books involving the difficult subject of UFO abduction are frightening, dour, and deadly serious as the author struggles to deal with the agony of a life shattered and eschatological shock.

But not his one.

The author keeps his tongue firmly implanted in cheek. He not only evinces an attitude of whimsy and fun, but displays a sense of humor that’s downright cornball throughout his narrative.

Elitists and snobs might even use the term “lowbrow comedy.”

Thomas L. Hay

I have a feeling that would be okay with the author, a man from a small town in Missouri who has enjoyed a long and classic all-American life of hard work, military service, love, relationships and basic middle-class success – but a life that from childhood which has been shot through with the intrusion of the UFO phenomenon.

THOMAS L. HAY plays it coy with his readers. How much of this tale is true and authentic and how much is sensationalized and fictionalized? That’s the deal he has struck with his audience. You’ll never really know for sure. If you become irritated with Mr. Hay’s unrelenting attitude of playful whimsy and rapid-fire wisecracking as you read – well, I suppose you can always stop reading any time you want to.

It all makes for an usual offering in the realm of UFO literature. I have feeling that some readers will think that Mr. Hay has broken the mold in a successful way, while others will think this is just broken.

Here’s my meta-observation: I have the impression that Thomas Hay is a person who may have experience encountered some kind of genuine UFO/alien phenomenon during his life. The first chapters telling of his childhood growing up in a small Midwestern town have a certain ring of authenticity about them. When he tells of an abduction experience as a teenager, I get a strong intuitive impression that this might have been something that really happened to him – but it almost doesn’t really matter.

The Author is a veteran of the U.S. Navy

With THE ABDUCTION CHRONICLES, Thomas Hay is not trying to convince anyone of anything one way or the other. Completely without pretension or phoniness, the author has cobbled together a kind of farcical vaudeville version of a close-encounters tale with a strong dash of soap opera melodrama — and then finished out with elements of science fiction thriller overtones.

The book works best for me when the author stays close to the plausible effects the UFO abduction phenomenon has on life, work and relationships – but when he ventures into large portions of the narrative that are clearly fictional, it too often devolves into pure zany farce – perhaps purely for the sake of having some fun with a topic that is all too often handled with such too much morbid seriousness.

It’s almost as if the author us saying; “Hey, lighten up everybody. If you really are being abducted by aliens you might as well have a good laugh about it. Roll with it. Life goes on!”



Ken Korczak is a former newspaper reporter, government information officer, served as an advocate for homeless people as a VISTA Volunteer, and taught journalism at the University of North Dakota for five years. He is the author of: BIRD BRAIN GENIUS

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Gillian Will Attempts to Put Wyoming on the Map (correctly) in this serialized novel of political intrigue, comedy and romance

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Review by: KEN KORCZAK

Keep in mind I’ve read only the first “Episode” of this 13-part series which the author bills as, “a serial novel for people who like to watch TV.” Each offering is about 20 pages – the first is free, and so writer GILLIAN WILL is really putting her writing chops on the line by trying to make the first installment so compelling you’ll want to pay hard cash money for the next.

Part of me wants to think: “Has this what it’s gotten down to? Writers are so desperate to compete with the Boob Tube today that they’re employing marketing gimmicks to ensure readers that books can be just as fun, easy – and mindless? – as television?”

But that’s the way I think when I am a cynical reviewer in a bad mood (which is almost all the time).

I’m in an okay mood today, however, so I’ll give all the credit in the world to GILLIAN WILL for attempting to innovate, find new audiences for books and, who knows, create a new niche market or genre of literature.

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Gillian Will

Whatever the case, it gets down to judging the book not by its cover or sales scheme, but on the literature itself. On that score, I issue high praise, indeed. I found the first installment of THE STATE OF WYOMING to be refreshingly well written – smart, with perky and punchy prose, effortless character development and a plot that gets going fast.

The premise is also a winner for guys like me who are addicted political wonks. It involves a mythical federal government program called “The Fifty States” which is basically an empty bureaucratic shell staffed by one person for each state – and their actual job or function is so vague even the program’s director would have trouble explaining the purpose of the operation to Congress – or to the American people, for that matter.

The viewpoint character is a likable slacker who’s collecting a government paycheck as “Wyoming,” meaning he represents his state in Washington by doing little more than showing up to his desk. The reason the Elliot Vance landed such a cushy job is that he happens to be the grand-nephew of former Secretary of State Cyrus Vance.

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Cyrus Vance, Secretary of State, Carter Administration

Not to worry – Mr. Vance’s life is about to get complicated when a lovely blonde Congressional aide shows up to his cubical one day with an actual assignment for him – it seems he’s needed in his “home state” of Wyoming for a special mission – and now he must actually visit The Equality State for the first time in his life.

The first installment is free – thus, you can’t go wrong – so I say give it a try. I’m betting more than a few will opt to keep reading through the next “Episode,” which, after all, is only 99 cents, or free if you are a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, like me.



Ken Korczak is a former newspaper reporter, government information officer, served as an advocate for homeless people as a VISTA Volunteer, and taught journalism at the University of North Dakota for five years. He is the author of: BIRD BRAIN GENIUS

All NEW: KEN’S BOOK REVIEW SITE ON FACEBOOK: REMOTE BOOK REVIEWING

Follow @KenKorczak