September 2019 archive

Sep 30 2019

An Interview with Marie O’Regan and Paul Kane, editors of Wonderland: An Anthology

Q: Every book has its own story about how it came to be conceived and written as it did. How did Wonderland evolve? Marie: Our editor at Titan, Cat Camacho, had quite a large part to play with this one. We were pitching various projects, one of which was an anthology of dark fairy tales …

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Sep 28 2019

Golden Hill by Francis Spufford

Golden Hill

Entirely too much time has passed since I read Francis Spufford’s wonderful first novel (after five mostly non-fictional books, of which it has so far only been my pleasure to read Red Plenty) Golden Hill for me to be able to do it anything approaching justice. Nevertheless, a few words. The story is set in …

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Sep 27 2019

Slay by Brittney Morris

Before this devolves into a rant on stupid Adobe products, let me first admit that I couldn’t read the entire book, as the first page of each chapter was entirely invisible to me. That said, I did very much enjoy what I did read, and Slay was exactly as good as expected where expected. Very …

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Sep 26 2019

The Making of the Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes, pt. 1

The Making of the Atomic Bomb

“Give it what it’s worth, Doug,” said my Cockney editor one afternoon before deadline when I asked how long a newspaper article should be. Richard Rhodes takes one of the most important stories in human history — the story of the discovery of atomic structure and how that structure could be opened up, releasing vast …

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Sep 24 2019

Firefly – The Big Damn Cookbook by Chelsea Monroe-Cassel

God, this book is just so freaking gorgeous. So I have a weekly cooking column over at CriminalElement.com called Cooking The Books, where I find mysteries with recipes and cook from them. Aside from your expected culinary cozies, I’ve also worked from the Red Sparrow series (yes, the basis of of the movie starring Jennifer …

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Sep 21 2019

Schellingstrasse 48 by Walter Kolbenhoff

Schellingstrasse 48

For all that it is a Millionenstadt, Munich can also be quite a small town. Literary and artistic Munich even more so. Thus it’s not very surprising that in Schellingstrasse 48 (48 Schelling St.), Walter Kolbenhoff’s memoir of the Nazi era, POW internment in America, and early post-war Munich, other authors from the Süddeutsche Zeitung‘s …

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Sep 20 2019

Lines Composed a Few Yards from Schlachtensee, With Apologies to W.W.

Five years have past; five summers, with the length Of five long winters! and again I read These pages, rolled from their printing-press With a rotary hum.—Once again Do I behold those last and polished drafts That many a wild scene describe, Acts the more connected to themes And th’ arguments of the plays. The …

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Sep 17 2019

Wonderland: An Anthology edited by Marie O’Regan and Paul Kane

First of all, Titan Books just has the best speculative fiction short story anthologies. Between this and the recent Wastelands 3: The New Apocalypse alone, I feel entirely spoiled with exposure to some of the best minds working in fantastic fiction today. Wonderland collects 20 brand new short works (18 stories, plus two poems from …

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Sep 14 2019

Benjamin Franklin by Walter Isaacson

Ben Franklin's Song

On the second page of his biography of Benjamin Franklin, Walter Isaacson offers a thumbnail sketch of his subject: “He was, during his eighty-four-year-long life, America’s best scientist, inventor, dimplomat, writer, and business strategist, and he was also one of its most practical, though not most profound, political thinkers. He proved by flying a kite …

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Sep 12 2019

How To by Randall Munroe

How To

Randall Munroe, creator of xkcd, asks how to do various things — jump really high, throw things, build a lava moat, and a couple dozen more — and considers approaches that are both sound and absurd. Hilarity ensues. The book begins with an earnest disclaimer, a plea not to take the title as a guide. “Do …

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