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Recent Reviews
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Acid Hype: American News Media and the Psychedelic Experience
by Stephen Siff
Publisher:
University of Illinois Press 
Year:
2015 
Reviewed by Bruce Sewick
10/28/2015

This comprehensive narrative charts the psychedelics’ (mostly LSD) fall from grace after a “Midcentury fascination with LSD and the mystical, mind-expanding ‘psychedelic’ experience…” (Siff, Introduction). [ read more ]

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Nexus: Mankind Gets and Upgrade
by Ramez Naam
Publisher:
Angry Robot 
Year:
2012 
Reviewed by Fire Erowid
9/25/2015

The choice of the name “Nexus” is meaningful, as that was a common name for 2C-B in the 1990s. Though most people won’t catch this association, and will instead understand “Nexus” to imply connectivity (indeed, the same reason 2C-B was given this slang name originally), the effects of the fictional Nexus are not unlike amplified versions of the empathogenic and psychedelic effects of a phenethylamine like 2C-B. [ read more ]

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Psychedelic Explorer's Guide
by James Fadiman, PhD
Publisher:
Park Street Press 
Year:
2011 
Reviewed by David Bey
6/30/2014

Fadiman and his collaborators are to be congratulated for having put together such a handsome, helpful and comprehensive collection of important information. It’s hard to imagine a better introduction to responsible psychedelic use, or a better signpost pointing towards its future horizons. The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide is an indispensable resource that surely belongs on every tripper’s shelf. [ read more ]

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Body World
by Dash Shaw
Publisher:
Pantheon 
Year:
2010 
Reviewed by David Bey
5/28/2014

BodyWorld, written and illustrated by Dash Shaw, is a remarkable graphic novel and one of the best works of drug fiction in recent years. The comic is set in a mildly dystopian sci-fi future. It’s 2060 and there’s been a second American civil war. The surviving large cities are polluted hives, but out in the “experimental” woodland town of Boney Borough things seem peaceful, if insipid. Peaceful that is until the arrival of protagonist Paul Panther, a hardboiled “outsider” ethno-botanist posing as a visiting professor at the local high school while investigating reports of a hitherto unknown plant with psychedelic properties. [ read more ]

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Dropping Acid: A Beginner's Guide to the Responsible Use of LSD for Self-Discovery
by Dale Bewan
Publisher:
Self-Published 
Year:
2013 
Reviewed by David Arnson
5/28/2014

The pseudonymous “Dale Bevan” has written a self-published guide for those interested in taking LSD for the first time. It is written in a very thoughtful manner, and, to it’s credit, does not necessarily act as a cheerleading ‘info-mercial’ for use of the substance. What we are given here is a fairly balanced overview of LSD in terms of it’s history, chemistry, and the author’s own experiences with it. [ read more ]

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Hallucinations
by Oliver Sacks
Publisher:
Knopf 
Year:
2012 
Reviewed by David Bey
3/30/2014

Hearing voices. Seeing fantastic plays of light and color. Feeling the body transformed in impossible ways. Encounters with phantom entities. Temporary relocations of self and subjectivity. For some, experiences such as these are to be found at the bottom of a shaman’s gourd or within the crystalline lattices of the latest research chemical. For others, however, experiences like the ones above are not the result of any deliberate intervention but instead are a spontaneous consequence of the simple fact that our experience of reality is the product of our brains, and our brains are capable of being disturbed or disrupted in any number of ways. [ read more ]

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Adrenochrome & Other Mythical Drugs
by Eduardo Hidalgo Downing
Publisher:
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform 
Year:
2013 
Reviewed by David Arnson
3/17/2014

Downing smokes some really outlandish “rumored-to-get-you-high” substances—such as spider webs, toothpaste, and butterfly wings—all with a very humorous but still investigatory attitude. He even tests out the noxious concept of “jenkem”, one of the most obvious practical jokes on the Internet, which involves smelling bottled fecal fumes! And I don’t think that it’s too much of a spoiler of the book to reveal that Downing does NOT take battery acid to get high (phew!), although he certainly publishes a ton of Internet literature on this idea. [ read more ]

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Net of Being
by Alex Grey
Publisher:
Inner Traditions 
Year:
2012 
Reviewed by Jon Hanna
10/23/2013

Those first few pages set up the theme of Net of Being: while Alex’s first book, Sacred Mirrors, largely focused on our shared but unique spiritual journeys as individuals, this book celebrates such paths within communities.

Both of Alex’s previous art books included works dedicated to the topics of physical and spiritual love, depicting how such divine bonding can lead to the incarnation of new human forms. Net of Being continues these strong melodies, showcasing a bounty of recent paintings, [...] as well as older works, including portraits from the late 1980s of Alex and his soul mate Allyson. [ read more ]

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The Technopriests
by Alejandro Jodorowsky, Zoran Janjetov, and Fred Beltran
Publisher:
Humanoids/DC Comics 
Year:
2004/2011 
Reviewed by David Bey
9/12/2013

With illustrations by Janjetov and brain-melting color by Beltran, The Technopriests is an eye-popping visual feast. Jodorowsky has been quoted as saying, “I ask of film what most North Americans ask of psychedelic drugs”. The same would seem to be true of his work in comics. Indeed, in collaboration with Janjetov and Beltran, he brings worlds to life that would be impossible to film, even with today’s CGI wizardry. [ read more ]

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Rogan Gosh: Star of the East
by Brendan McCarthy and Peter Milligan
Publisher:
Vertigo/DC Comics 
Year:
1994 
Reviewed by David Bey
9/12/2013

Once again, it’s the interaction between the writing and the illustration that provides such a lush and unique means of expressing the psychedelic experience. To bring the world of Rogan Gosh to life, artist Brendan McCarthy mined his own childhood obsession with the Amar Chitra Katha tradition of Indian comic books—cross-wiring that with the electric offspring of punk-rock pop art to produce a lurching, spiral play of hyper-color lotuses, sitar-rayguns, corridors of endless uncertainty, ashrams of the absolute, and the dead-end sprawl of South London. [ read more ]

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