And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer by Fredrik Backman. (Novella, 2015/2016). This little book (76 pages, which includes several outwardly simple yet very appropriate illustrations by Ella Laytham) is a heartrendingly beautiful and poignant mediation on losing a loved one to senility. I confess it got to me, bigtime. A series of quietly […]Read more "REVIEWED: And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer"
The Wangs vs. The World by Jade Chang (Satirical Novel, 2016). A satire on family conflict and the materialistic side of the American Dream, this good first novel is about a Chinese-American family dealing with a sudden fall from economic grace, courtesy the Great Recession, circa 2008. Charles, the Wang family’s middle-aged patriarch, came to California […]Read more "REVIEWED: The Wangs Vs. The World"
Fear Itself: The Horror Fiction of Stephen King edited by Tim Underwood & Chuck Miller. (Nonfiction Anthology, 1982/1984). An interesting collection of insights into the horror master’s early career. There’s a warm yet probing introduction by novelist (and soon-to-be King collaborator) Peter Straub and a Foreword where King himself describes (in amusing and rather bemused […]Read more "Reviewed: FEAR ITSELF"
The Last Days of New Paris by China Mieville (Surreal/SF novella, 2016). This novella is a masterful, one-of-a-kind blending of such unlikely elements as the surreal movement, semi-magical technology, the Nazi fascination with the occult and good old World War Two spy intrigue. Chapters go back and forth between a group of surrealist artists (most of […]Read more "Reviewed: THE LAST DAYS OF NEW PARIS"
More chess matches! Debate about heavy metal covers. Walking sticks and homemade Roman sandals (complete with straps to wrap around the wearer’s legs). Ah, all parts of the fun strangeness that is the Shangri-La Coffee Lounge at Windber’s Fabled Grand Midway Hotel. And Blair is consulting with a regular attendee on cover art/design for his […]Read more "October 6 at the Midway, Part 2"
The End of All Things by John Scalzi (SF novella collection, 2015). This entertaining book of space-going high adventure and political/diplomatic maneuverings combines four novellas (previously published as separate e-books) into a most satisfying whole. It’s part of the highly successful future history series that began more than a decade ago with the novel Old Man’s […]Read more "Reviewing THE END OF ALL THINGS"
Beginning in 2014, Stephen King has released the above books, one per year–a trio of satisfyingly powerful and interrelated suspense/crime/horror novels. The trilogy takes place in an unnamed city in the Great Lakes area. The jumping off point for all that follows is a mass-killing that a fame-seeking madman commits in 2009, during the worst […]Read more "A Stephen King Trilogy"