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Home > Ronald Damien Malfi

Recent Reviews for Ronald Damien Malfi

The Space Between (Book) - 2/20/2001 3:47:55 PM
A sign of things to come, February 12, 2001 Reviewer: River Macoln from Boston, Mass USA I found this first book of Ronald Damien Malfi, THE SPACE BETWEEN, a delightful start to the new millennium. An avid reader of modern science fiction, I dare to name one book that compares. The early hot sellers, Orson Scott Card's ENDER'S SHADOW and Harry Turtledove's COLONIZATION AFTERSHOCKS, fall short of the classic standards that were set by Sagan and Verne. THE [SPACE] BETWEEN raises the bar for all new authors and redefines reader's expectations. Ronald Damien Malfi is the brightest new star in the science fiction galaxy.

The Space Between (Book) - 2/20/2001 3:08:42 PM
REVIEW OF RONALD DAMIEN MALFI’S THE SPACE BETWEEN By Brother Rabbit Well, it is only reasonable to say that I assumed (with whatever compulsion forces us to assume the purely absurd) that this day would eventually come: the publication of my longtime chum and compatriot, Ronald Damien Malfi’s, first novel. In temporary ignorance of our much-valued (though oft-times strained and uneventful) friendship, I must first conceptualize Mr. Malfi as the arrogant, self-indulgent, freelance hack-entrepreneur he is before dipping my toes into his debut publication, The Space Between. I’d first met him several years ago while he and a mutual friend came to vacation in New Orleans’ ruddy French Quarter for a weeklong stint. His temperament was of a less cultivated superciliousness back then, though he was prone to spontaneous rants concerning his many potentially-lucrative prospects (which, at the time—and, I believe, still do—include the mediocre—read: local—success of his pitiable “rock and roll” quartet; a dilatory and partially-conceptualized screenplay based thematically around my own hometown, of which he new nothing about; and a myriad of rambling “suspense” manuscripts that would have done more good wadded into balls to choke a cow than to be read). He had a penchant for strong screwdrivers and meandering conversation, and would occasionally (playfully) contest—ah, can you imagine?—my ability/agility as a Jazz pianist. Despite these shortcomings, my good friend proved to be an astute listener and commentator—a most positive and valuable trait for any writer (or, for that matter, any human being)—so we got along well. During his weeklong vacation, he spent many evening hours watching me run through my repertoire while sitting in recluse at the shadiest corner of one bar or another, sipping his drinks, and scribbling partially-conceptualized notes in a black-and-white string-bound notebook. It was after one of my Dave Brubeck sets that I sat down beside my good friend and he first informed me of an intimate little tale he was writing about a black hole and an unrequited love. It was an effort, my piteous newfound comrade explained enthusiastically, to explore the subtly of the human condition, combining elements of love, sorrow, and regret in one wiry ball sadly parading under the guise of a suspense thriller. He then went off on a tangent, discussing the details of astrophysics and U.S. Naval procedures—two things he knew, and still knows, roughly as much about as nuclear engineering or the specific labors of childbirth (i.e., nothing)—that he would be including in this epic of his. From the beginning, I suggested he dilute his aspirations to a more familiar ground (both structurally and thematically) but my dear companion, ever so egotistical, insisted he had done research in these areas and had learned all he needed to learn in order to proceed with this inevitably doomed work. I questioned his research methodology, which he shrugged off with mild humility, and began describing the storyline for what he had tentatively titled Yesterday’s Sun. Within a mere five minutes of pointless dialogue, I managed to present to my friend a verbal registry of all the flaws I was able to sift out of his less-than-impressive description. Along with my suggestions, I also recommended he change the title to something with a less strained sibilance (in fact, I had actually suggested the title The Space Between, although he had scoffed at me, proclaiming it sounded more like the title of a soft-core porn film). Another five minutes and I bid my friend a good night and reclaimed my place in front of the keys. Surely, around the first of this New Year, a weathered package arrived at my doorstep containing the fruit of my good friend’s labors. I spent much of the afternoon on the portico reading the 301-page monstrosity, ticking off the inadequacies of his prose with a red felt pen while sipping a frozen margarita. Here was an amalgam of romance, suspense, horror, and the blandest brand of science-fiction ever to be scrutinized by this compulsive and (admittedly) mordant pianist. Upon completion of the book, I immediately phoned my good friend, half-way across the country, to offer my initial congratulations of prying his way into the daunting world of publishing, and then to castigate him for his less than admirable effort. However, my good friend was unable to be reached for several days (I later came to understand that he’d gone south to Myrtle Beach to celebrate—an act that, knowing my friend’s fondness for glut, evokes images of loud music, large Italian sandwiches, and an abundance of alcohol). Needless to say, when he finally returned my phone call roughly a week later, the details (and my abhorrence) of his unremarkable work had nearly faded out of my consciousness. So we discussed other frivolities for the length of our conversation and, before hanging up, I interjected with a cursory blurb about my receipt of his novel and how I was pleased for him. He thanked me, said he was busy (most likely attending to another one of his banalities), and hung up. As expectedly depressing as my friend’s first novel was, I have less faith in the propriety of the publishing industry to entertain the notion that this will be my friend’s first and final publication. Therefore, I feel I am doomed to scrutinize Mr. Malfi’s struggling, bumbling excuses posing as mainstream literature until he either quits for a more suitable and prosperous profession (God willing) or is hit by a cement truck while crossing the street for a newspaper. Brother Rabbit is a Jazz pianist living in New Orleans, Louisiana. He is also an occasional contributor to The French Quarter Book & Music Review. Copyright 2001, Brother Rabbit

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