Death by Cliche by Bob Defendi

death-by-clicheGenre: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Humor

Pages: 229

Published May 30th 2016 by Curiosity Quills Press

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To Sartre, Hell was other people. To the game designer, Hell is the game.

Damico writes games for a living. When called in to rescue a local roleplaying game demo, Damico is shot in the head by a loony fan.

He awakens in a game. A game full of hackney’s tropes and clichéd plots. A game he was there to save, run by the man who murdered him just moments ago. A game that has just become world-swap fantasy. Damico, to his horror, has become the heart of the cliché.

Set on their quest in a scene that would make Ed Wood blush, Damico discovers a new wrinkle. As a game designer, he is a creative force in this broken place. His presence touches the two-dimensional inhabitants. First a peasant, then a barmaid, then his character’s own father…all come alive.

But the central question remains. Can Damico escape, or is he trapped in this nightmare? Forever.

Wait, what? This is a comedy?

Ignore all that. Death by Cliché is a heartwarming tale of catastrophic brain damage. Share it with someone you love. Or like. Or anyone at all. Buy the book.

Based on a true story.


Admittedly, I am a nerd. Not just a book nerd, but the kind of nerd that would dress up and go to renaissance faires, [I was a pretty pretty princess. Don’t believe me?]

I enjoy video games, and even roleplaying [writing! unless you count me as a pretty pretty princess..and that one time I was an elf for Halloween. Ears included.]

That aside! I can relate to the nerdisms and the cliches that are strewn throughout this book.

Damico is a Video Game creator and is approached by a crazed and not so nice fan who shoots him in the head. When Damico awakens he’s a terrible game with every cliche known to mankind inside of it, he has to work his way through the game and face these terrible, terrible cliches!

The style is comparable to Douglas Adams HHGTTG, there is wit a-plenty, action galore, but in the end, it left me as just an “Okay” read. It’s good for a giggle, but sometimes it was just a bit over the top and left me sighing a touch.

It was a fun read, though, if not a little too silly. It does well to paint pictures of being inside this digital world where he has no choice but to follow through with the game’s plot, and if he dares to speak a word of what is actually transpiring the other players respond with a “What was that? I’m sorry I didn’t hear you.”

While it was fun, I simply couldn’t find myself really getting into it. Still, a fun read for equally nerdy individuals such as myself.



bob-defendiRobert J Defendi was one of the writers for Savage Seas for the game Exalted. He’s worked on Spycraft, Shadowforce Archer and the Stargate SG-1 roleplaying game. He wrote the current incarnation of Spacemaster. As the publisher of Final Redoubt Press, he designed and released the critically acclaimed setting The Echoes of Heaven. He’s was featured in Writers of the Future XIX, and When Darkness Comes. He’s the author of the successful podcast audiobook Death by Cliché. He’s featured in Space Eldritch and Space Eldritch II.

Death by Cliché is scheduled for release, via Curiosity Quills, in 2016.

Robert J Defendi was born in Dubuque, IA (in accordance with prophecy). He reads voraciously, if you consider audiobooks reading (which you shouldn’t). He has yet to find, conquer, and rule a small Central American country (but I think we all know that’s inevitable). He is neither Team Jacob nor Team Edward (he is sympathetic to Team Guy-Who-Almost-Hit-Bella-With-A-Truck). He shamelessly stole that last joke.

It’s Bob Defendi when he writes comedy. It’s Robert J Defendi for all other writing projects. No period after the J. Because he’s an ass who likes to make things difficult for publishers, that’s why.


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