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While I’m not an entirely dour and humorless sort of fellow, I rarely find myself reading humorous stories and novels. They just rarely appeal to me. But I must admit that the GUMMI BEAR OMNIBUS really appealed to me as a genuinely fun work of comedic science fiction. It’s a light-hearted, fun, quick read.

Most people enjoy those delightful little gummi bear candies – my personal favorites are the German Haribo gummis. I’ve been eating these things ever since I was a child. Most of us, I think it’s probably fair to say, think of them as a sweet (literally), innocent candies. But what if they weren’t? What if these things were sentient, alien creatures bent on dominating the galaxy and annihilating all rival species – like us – they encountered? It’s a pretty wacky idea that forms the essential premise of THE GUMMI BEAR OMNIBUS.

The main body of the omnibus consists of two lengthy poems: “Gummi Space Armada” by Ethan H. Collings and “Tales of the Gummi Bear Space Armada” by K.E.C. Santa Cruz. We also have two “commentaries” (humorous essays written in academic style) by “Bjørn Cummis” and “Bergetah Kuma.” I am probably on safe ground to say that these latter pieces were penned by the esteemed editor of the collection, Michael R. Collings. Both the poems and the essays brought a smile to my face as I read them. How can you go wrong with the idea that gummi bears are determined to ANNIHILATE their enemies (to include pretty much anything that’s not a gummi bear)? The essays at the end of the omnibus provide some gentle satire of typical academic prose and literary criticism, so as someone who reads a lot of scholarly articles, I found those to be a particularly nice touch.

I recommend this one wholeheartedly. It’s inexpensive, it’s a quick read, and it’s genuinely entertaining. If you have a zero tolerance policy for all forms of puns, or are even dourer than I am, then give it a pass, but otherwise, the GUMMI BEAR OMNIBUS should provide an enjoyable diversion. Now let’s just hope that the Gummi Bears’ Armada never locates earth….

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Review copyright 2012 J. Andrew Byers