Whatever Holiday Gift Guide 2018, Day Four: Fan Favorites!


For the first three days of the Whatever Gift Guide 2018, I’ve let authors and creators tell you about their work. Today is different: Today is Fan Favorites day, in which fans, admirers and satisfied customers share with you a few of their favorite things — and you can share some of your favorite things as well. This is a way to discover some cool stuff from folks like you, and to spread the word about some of the things you love.

Fans: Here’s how to post in this thread. Please follow these directions!

1. Fans only: That means that authors and creators may not post about their own work in this thread (they may post about other people’s work, if they are fans). There are already existing threads for traditionally-published authorsnon-traditionally published authors, and for other creators. Those are the places to post about your own work, not here.

2. Individually created and completed works only, please. Which is to say, don’t promote things like a piece of hardware you can find at Home Depot, shoes from Foot Locker, or a TV you got at Wal-Mart. Focus on things created by one person or a small group: Music CDs, books, crafts and such. Things that you’ve discovered and think other people should know about, basically. Do not post about works in progress, even if they’re posted publicly elsewhere. Remember that this is supposed to be a gift guide, and that these are things meant to be given to other people. So focus on things that are completed and able to be sold of shared.

3. One post per fan. In that post, you can list whatever creations you like, from more than one person if you like, but allow me to suggest you focus on newer stuff. Note also that the majority of Whatever’s readership is in the US/Canada, so I suggest focusing on things available in North America.

4. Keep your description of the work brief (there will be a lot of posts, I’m guessing) and entertaining. Imagine the person is in front of you as you tell them about the work and is interested but easily distracted.

5. You may include a link to a sales site if you like by using standard HTML link scripting. Be warned that if you include too many links (typically three or more) your post may get sent to the moderating queue. If this happens, don’t panic: I’ll be going in through the day to release moderated posts. Note that posts will occasionally go into the moderation queue semi-randomly; Don’t panic about that either.

6. Comment posts that are not about fans promoting work they like will be deleted, in order to keep the comment thread useful for people looking to find interesting gifts.

Got it? Excellent. Now: Geek out and tell us about cool stuff you love — and where we can get it too.

53 Comments on “Whatever Holiday Gift Guide 2018, Day Four: Fan Favorites!”

  1. The other day, I thought it would be nice to highlight some fantastic, awesome books that have not achieved global fame. The ones that even other avid readers probably don’t know about (especially those aged below 40). The ones that would make wonderful Christmas gifts for bibliophiles. So I wrote a list of Ten Brilliant Books You’ve Probably Never Heard Of on my blog. I’d love for people to have a look at my blog post, comment, add their own recommendations.

    Also, in terms of music, I would recommend the wonderful Unwoman. I love to listen to her cello-based music as I write or work.

  2. Couple of titles I really enjoyed this year:
    The Gone World by Tom Sweterlitsch. Cool combo of murder mystery, time travel with some great speculative tech, and a touch of Cthulhunian horror.

    Eliot Peper’s Bandwidth and Borderless provide a haunting look at the social media/surveillance industrial complex at its Black Mirror-est, while still being fun page turners.

    Dan Koboldt’s Putting the Science in Fiction features dozens of really smart folks explaining how to incorporate real world science in your stories so you don’t sound like a noob.

  3. If you don’t know about Penzey’s Spices, you should! They provide high-quality herbs and spices, and excellent customer service. Above all, they are trying to do good in the world … and actively resisting the current administration. The hot chocolate boxes make great gifts!

  4. I would like to highlight Paradox Bound by Peter Clines. It’s a road trip story chock full of Americana…but it’s also not really either one of those things. Engaging, brisk, and utterly enjoyable I can’t recommend it highly enough. I would also encourage everyone to seel out his other, equally splendid works.


  5. My brother was too sick to post his book on Monday, so I’m endorsing it today! https://www.amazon.com/Leonard-Jazz-Bass-Method-Comprehensive/dp/1495044564

    The Hal Leonard Jazz Bass Method is your complete guide to learning jazz bass. Author Matthew Rybicki guides you through the essential knowledge you need to create your own walking bass lines and improvised solos in the classic jazz style. This book, with online audio access, uses standard chord progressions and songs to teach you about accompanying and improvising in the style of players like Ray Brown, Paul Chambers, Scott LaFaro, and many others. Lessons include: walking basics; chords and scales; blues; rhythm changes; string raking; soloing; technique; chord substitution; pedal points and ostinato; standard notation plus tab for electric bass; and much more! Audio is accessed online using the unique code inside the book and can be streamed or downloaded. The audio files include PLAYBACK+, a multi-functional audio player that allows you to slow down audio without changing pitch, set loop points, change keys, and pan left or right.

  6. My brother’s latest music instruction book is out!


    The Hal Leonard Jazz Bass Method is your complete guide to learning jazz bass. Author Matthew Rybicki guides you through the essential knowledge you need to create your own walking bass lines and improvised solos in the classic jazz style. This book, with online audio access, uses standard chord progressions and songs to teach you about accompanying and improvising in the style of players like Ray Brown, Paul Chambers, Scott LaFaro, and many others. Lessons include: walking basics; chords and scales; blues; rhythm changes; string raking; soloing; technique; chord substitution; pedal points and ostinato; standard notation plus tab for electric bass; and much more! Audio is accessed online using the unique code inside the book and can be streamed or downloaded. The audio files include PLAYBACK+, a multi-functional audio player that allows you to slow down audio without changing pitch, set loop points, change keys, and pan left or right.

  7. Treat your fellow crime lovers to the wonderful Stephanie Gayle. Set in the nineties, it centers on a newly hired police chief from the big city in tiny Idyll Falls.
    There are now three books in the series, and I can warmly recommend each one. They are full of believable characters and believable crimes, and refreshingly empty of torture porn.
    The interplay of the big city cop in small town America is funny, especially his love-hate relationship with his secretary, the mayor and the traditional hatred between the police and fire department.
    Get it from Barnes&Noble, your well-sorted independent bookshop or Amazon, and enjoy.

    The Thomas Lynch Series

  8. LeGuin, Vonnegut, Dick, Burroughs, Jackson… Over the past few years The Library of America has been releasing affordable and collectable books of the best American science fiction, fantasy, and horror.

    The volumes include a lengthy introduction by a scholar/reviewer and an author timeline/bio. And a sewn-in ribbon bookmark!

    Each book typically costs $20 to $30, but the LoA has a Pre-Holiday Sale of 15% off your entire order with coupon code LIB2018 AND free shipping anywhere in the U.S.

    Be sure to check out their newest release, The Future is Female.

    You can find their SF/fantasy/horror collection at:

  9. I would like to recommend Blue Delliquanti’s comic O Human Star. At the opening, it’s 2005, and visionary roboticist Alastair Sterling stumbles home in the middle of the night after something bad has happened. Bleeding, he collapses into bed. When he awakens, he discovers that it’s 2021, the original Al has been dead all this time, and he himself has been mysteriously resurrected in an android copy of his own body and brain. He is soon reunited with his partner (in business and in other things) Brendan Pinsky, now 16 years older, and with a young woman who is essentially their accidental joint offspring – but who might be the only one who can ensure that Al and Brendan can patch things up. What happened to drive them apart in the first place? Why did Al pass away suddenly? Who brought him back, and why? Still up in the air, though the comic is racing towards its conclusion now. The work is a master class in characterization, narrative, and timing, with lots of careful, thoughtful BIPOC/queer representation. It absolutely stunned me when I discovered it in 2015, and it continues to do so.

  10. Over the summer I discovered the work of artist Lee Sargent in Australia. I don’t remember what alerted me to his sketches, but he was in the middle of a project called “The Women of Trek Sketch Card”. He was drawing sketch cards of 25 of the women in the entire Trek universe. I immediately pre-ordered a set and have followed his work ever since! Check him out at:


    And check out his current project, just winding down, Lee Draws 365 Star Trek Scribbles:


  11. If you’re considering jewelry as a gift; my friends Aji & Wings are the place to go – Wings is a Native silversmith and master of his craft, and Aji works with him on designs. Quality, gorgeous pieces that can easily become heirlooms: http://wingssilverwork.com/ (pieces for sale are in the “Galleries” section of the site; use the Contact form to inquire about purchase or having a custom piece made if something you like is marked as sold).

    My friend Jan has handmade crafts – everything from crocheted cat butt coasters, to notebooks, to paintings, to cute beaded jewelry. Check out her offerings at: https://www.zibbet.com/jan4insight

  12. Two books I enjoyed this year. The first is MODERAN by David R. Bunch. It is a collection of interconnected short stories about new-metal men with stips of flesh to show they’re still human who live in Strongholds and fight endless wars with each other. It was out of print for 40 years and it is good to have it available again.


    The other book is THE GLORY OF THE EMPIRE by Jean d’Ormesson which is the history of an empire that never was.


  13. I recommend BETWEEN EARTH AND SKY by Amanda Skenandore. It’s historical fiction about the boarding schools white people set up to “train the Indian out of” Native American children in the 19th century. Part romance, part murder mystery, pulls no punches.

    Full disclosure, I know her, she’s amazing!

  14. First, in terms of books for grown-ups, I recommend SPACE OPERA by Catherynne Valente. I read it in a day or two; it’s funny, thoughtful, and heartrendingly lovely.

    Second, I actually wrote a post about books for kids (from babies to MG fiction) right over here, and I think it’s a pretty darned good list, so instead of redoing it here, may I suggest that anyone looking for kids’ books take a gander over here? https://childrensbookroom.wordpress.com/2018/11/27/holiday-gifts/

  15. Andrea K Host writes some of the most rereadable fantasy I’ve ever come across- I love her worlds and her characters as much as her plots, so I often want to spend time with them again.
    Her most recent novel is The Pyramids of London, https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0987265199, which stars a woman and her nieces and nephew trying to find out what happened to her brother- with a backdrop of “godpunk”, Egyptian healer-vampires, and automata.
    Her most popular series is probably the YA SF Touchstone series, starting with Stray https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1942302649 (free on Kindle, if you want to check them out before giving them to someone!), where a young Australian woman is suddenly flung through a gate to another world.
    I’m also very fond of Stained Glass Monsters, a fantasy mystery https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0980878969.

  16. I want to highlight the works of some of my favorite authors that aren’t as well known:

    Ursula Vernon/T Kingfisher- does delightful, always unusual fantasy stories full of practical heroines and an extra scoop of weirdness. She has done several fairytale retellings (Bryony and Roses, The Raven and the Reindeer, The Seventh Wife), a wonderful YA portal story (Summer in Orcus) as well as a few more romantic fantasies, Clockwork Boys/The Wonder Engine and her most recent, Swordheart.

    Rachel Aaron/Rachel Bach- writes across mutiple genres but always creates an incredibly engaging and unique story. She has the Eli Monpress series for light, anime inspired fantasy adventure, the Paradox trilogy for sci fi mystery/action and romance, her Heartstrikers or “Nice Dragon” series for incredibly hopeful and optimistic urban fantasy/cyberpunk, and Forever Fantasy Online (written with her husband), in case you ever wanted to know what would happen if you got sucked into and trapped in an MMO.

    Finally, I will highly recommend Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik, which has been one of my favorite books all year. It is so much more than a retelling of Runplestiltskin.

  17. Since I can’t convince Nathan Lowell to come shill his own work :) I guess I’ll have to do it for him. His website is nathanlowell.com where he talks about his several series. The one that started me reading his work begins with Quarter Share: Ish Wang is in a pickle — his mom just died in a flitter crash, and he’s about to get kicked off the company planet with no resources or skills to speak of. What’s a boy to do? Sign up as a ‘quarter share’, the lowest berth on a Solar Clipper merchantman plying the stellar ways. The series has come to a satisfactory stopping point with more to come, following Ish working his way up through the ranks and a very absorbing coming-of-age story. Mr. Lowell has other series available; a fantasy featuring Tanyth Fairport as a witch just coming into her powers, and Smugglers’ Run, also set in the universe of the Solar Clipper. All are very satisfactory reads.

  18. Ho! Ho! Hoey: The Complete Collection (2 CDs)

    Most of the year, electric guitarist Gary Hoey is known for blues rock. But during the holiday season his band tours with their Rockin Christmas Show. There’s a fun collection of the music to liven up your annual tree decorating. Want to listen to a sample song? Search YouTube for Gary Hoey My Favorite Things.


    P.S. I second Kristen B’s recommendation for Penzey’s Spices! Amazing quality—and nicely packaged gift boxes. Their Viennese Cinnamon is amazing.

  19. Since you’re here, Dear Reader, I’m going to go out on a limb and suppose that you like funny writing. If you also like mysteries and/or Westerns, you have a treat ahead of you, because Steve Hockensmith has finally–just this week!–returned to his wondrous “Holmes on the Range” series.

    It’s the 1890s. In London, it’s the apex of High Victorian civilization: gas lighting, telegraphs, and Sherlock Holmes. A few thousand miles away, though, it’s the last days of the Wild West. Our heroes are couple of cowboys who, hearing about Holmes, decide to do a little deducifyin’ of their very own. The results are laugh-out-loud funny, well-researched, evocative–and damned fine mysteries to boot. (The first book, the eponymous Holmes on the Range, was an Edgar Award nominee.)

    The Double-A Western Detective Agency is available as an ebook or a paperback on Amazon.

    DISCLAIMER: (1) I read and commented on an early version of this manuscript. (2) I published a story in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine in which I ripped off lovingly appropriated Steve’s characters. (3) That story includes the line “Even in New York, it seems, a puking cowboy racing up Twelfth Avenue on the handlebars of a bicycle isn’t something you see every day.”; if that image doesn’t appeal to you, you’re maybe not the right audience.

  20. I heartily recommend the Comfortable Courtesan series by L. A. Hall. It’s the story of Clorinda Cathcart, a courtesan in Regency London, written in memoir form. Clorinda is a fun character, and the many friends and acquaintances are also fascinating people. As the series continues, various changes come in Clorinda’s life and station, and it’s a delight to read; I recommend this series for anyone who wants an overall happy read (even though sad events do occur over the series). The twelfth and final book in the series was just published a couple of weeks ago. The print versions are available through Amazon, and the ebooks through the major vendors. https://www.clorinda.org/ has more information.

    If you have a handspinner on your list, Corgi Hill Farm has beautifully dyed wool top in various breeds and blends. It’s well prepped and spins easily, and AnnaMarie’s customer service is excellent. https://corgihillfarm.patternbyetsy.com

  21. I’m going to plug one of my favorite Etsy stores, even though I don’t personally know the artist. She makes literary, science, and music themed jewelry which I LOVE:
    Maybe you need a cuff bracelet with a Sherlock Holmes or Jane Austin quote? Or Dracula cuff links?

  22. With the latest Doctor Who season coming to an end, what’s a Whovian to do between then and the New Year’s special? Go to Big Finish (http://www.bigfinish.com) for Doctor Who audio dramas, of course!

    David Tennant has reprised his role as the Tenth Doctor in two (so far) “seasons” of full cast radio plays – complete with Catherine Tate and Billie Piper returning as Donna and Rose, respectively. Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy andPaul McGann have been playing their Doctors for the past twenty years as well. Need more? Alex Kingston as River Song, Ian McNeice as Winston Churchill, and Sir Derek Jacobi as the Master – they are all there.

    Big Finish also has Blake’s 7, Pathfinder, UNIT old and new series, old Dark Shadows, Avengers (not Marvel), and Torchwood available to have a listen.

    I, for one, can’t get enough.

  23. Interested in honey or beeswax items? Check out It’s All About Bees — https://www.itsallaboutbees.com/

    I know several people who use locally-produced honey to help with allergies; if you’re not in the eastern Nebraska/western Iowa area their honey probably didn’t come from the right plants to help you. If you’re using honey for other purposes, that won’t matter. Quality products, and the apple butter with honey is really yummy.

  24. For cooks: Oaktown Spice Shop curates great gift boxes and individual spices and seasonings such as the Bombay Orange rub and a great brine mix.

    For non-knitters: MDK doesn’t only carry exquisite yarns. This year, they also have beautiful scarves and gloves from Quinton Chadwick, which are otherwise very difficult to find in the U.S.

    Barnes & Noble has some gorgeous children’s classics out in hardcover boxed sets or in individual editions, including “Heidi,” “Swiss Family Robinson,” “Robin Hood,” and more.

  25. So, who here likes interesting fantasy art, inspired by a working knowledge of anatomy and physiology? Dragon Tooth Art is focused on creating dragon skeletons and skulls, based off of fantasy designs or the skeletal structure of existing animals. Most pieces are in the $50-$150 range, with a few more aspirational pieces presented as proof of concept.

    And on the other end of the interesting fantasy-inspired works, I have to put in a plug for Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab. This is a long-running indie perfume shop focusing on fantasy and the macabre, but with a growing selection of social activism/charitable focused scents that raise money from everything from the ACLU through Immigration and Refugee services to Planned Parenthood and the Trevor Project.

  26. Just finished reading “A Big Ship at the End of the Universe” by Alex White – couldn’t put it down! Take a galactic champion tech/magic race car driver, a bunch of washed up rebels turned smugglers, a suit of battle armour that follows its creator around like a dog, and an unkillable time-bending villian named “Mother”, and you’ve got a story that just drags you in. Did I mention space battles, secret trap-filled miltary bases, and the titular “Big Bad Ship” out there somewhere? Just have to find time for the next two books in the series!

  27. Everyone’s got a “favorite obscure band”. Mine is Shriekback, founded in the early 80’s by various weirdos from bands such as XTC, League of Gentlemen, and the Gang of Four. Their music is funky, lyrically complex (they were the first and possibly only band that made me go to the dictionary to look up a word), and powerful. “Nemesis” was arguably the biggest hit they had, and director Michael Mann also used their music in his movies “Manhunter” and “Band of the Hand”, and in several episodes of “Miami Vice”. They’re still recording- their recent stuff is available in their online store (and it’s on sale!), and much of their catalog is available on Amazon– get “Oil and Gold” and “Without Real String or Fish” and see how their music changes- and doesn’t change- over the years.

  28. If the gift recipient is a fan of horror/monster adventure in comic form I suggest Stand Still Stay Silent by Minna Sundberg. The art is gorgeous and horrifying, the story is solid, and the first two volumes are a complete story with an ending. https://hivemill.com/collections/stand-still-stay-silent

    The comic is on going at http://www.sssscomic.com/ but since there are two actually for sale complete books I think this counts as completed, the sequel is just not done yet.

  29. For the fitness minded this backpack let’s you work out anywhere and anytime, and carry all your stuff in between. I’ve used it on international trips where hotel gyms weren’t an option. Woman owned business, woman invented product.


  30. PhD student and part-time waitress Judy loves all things nerdy. Especially that Sherlock Doppelganger who keeps coming into the restaurant she works at. How do you keep it together when someone as sexy as him him calls you ‘darling?’
    Still tormented by her abusive ex, Judy isn’t sure she’s built for romance. Is Max’s easy-going and forgiving nature enough to convince Judy to give love another chance?

    Video game coder and part-time recluse Max promised his family he was getting out and meeting people after his move from London. That pretty waitress is ‘people,’ right?
    Alone in Ashville after a bad breakup, Max isn’t sure the college town is the right place to be. Are Judy’s bad jokes and geeky passion enough to convince him his heart is in Illinois?

    One steamy night together might not be enough.


  31. I have become a huge fan of Ceci Giltenan. She writes lovely romantic stories set in the Scottish Highlands. The Duncurra and Fated Hearts series are pretty much straight romance: handsome lairds, arranged marriages, clan enemies causing trouble, and a happy ending. The Pocket Watch series adds time travel through a magical pocket watch. All three series are set around the same period and take place in the same world. For example, the time-traveling heroine in The Pocket Watch is the great-grandmother of the heroine in Highland Echoes (book 2 of Fated Hearts). If you’re a fan of stories that interconnect (as I am), you’ll enjoy discovering those little moments.

  32. Eric Idle’s recent “sortabiography” Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life is wonderful. It’s funny and full of great stories about the people he knows. (George Harrison!). If you like Monty Python this is especially fun.

  33. Hey- I’ve got three books I think the fantasy-verse would love~ “new” in that they are less discovered rather than more discovered.

    First, there’s Sheryl Kaleo’s premier dystopian solar punk young adult, Donor https://g.co/kgs/uKjCbG

    Then there’s Rebecca Roanhorse’s Native people’s post-apocalyptic fantasy, Trail of Lightning https://books.google.com/books/about/Trail_of_Lightning.html?id=uYBEDwAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=kp_read_button.

    Not at all least,
    Ella Drake’s spicy paranormal period piece, The Forbidden Chamber https://books.google.com/books/about/The_Forbidden_Chamber.html?id=XHpZDgAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=kp_read_button

  34. For those who love fairy tales and art, visit Laura Barrett’s Etsy shop to check out her silhouette illustrations: https://www.etsy.com/shop/LBARRETTillustration. I’m a repeat customer and enjoy supporting her work. She also has a book out this year, The Snow Queen: https://laurabarrett.co.uk/The-Snow-Queen
    Authentic fantasy coins make great gifts for the reader in your family. Shire Post Mint has licenses from several well-known authors and series (Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings, and more). They are a small business here in the U.S. with great people: https://www.shirepost.com/
    Paul Michael Kane photography has creative, artistic prints for sale at his site; he also has created Lightbox Photo Cards to help improve your photography (including cell phone pictures). A great stocking stuffer!:https://paulmichaelkanephotography.zenfolio.com/

  35. If there is a fountain pen lover on your gift list, consider shopping at:

    They have a very large variety of pens, ranging in price from $3.30 to $9,600.00. There’s also everything else a pen lover needs – good paper, in sheets, journals, notebooks and planners; pen maintenance supplies; pen cases and sealing wax!

    And on top of this, they have a YouTube channel (The Goulet Pen Company) where Brian Goulet shares tons of information about pens and ink.

  36. I’m a fan of my wife’s work. She’s a freelance artist that has a series of cards for people with Social Anxiety called “Too Shy Cards”. They’re adorable and really a good idea. She lost her voice at a convention and was able to share her cards with cosplayers that caught her eye. She also uses them to approach people she would normally feel awkward about talking to.


    She does other work, but these cards are my favorite.

  37. I have a friend who is a gifted ceramics artist. I dabble at pottery, but she takes the art to a far higher level than I ever will. If someone on your holiday list this year loves ceramics as much as I do, a gift from this studio will make them very happy indeed.

    Nicky Ross has been creating and teaching pottery for over a decade, and her eye for design, color and embellishment is incredible. She is fond of using muted glazes with an astonishing pop of color in unexpected places, and her pieces are visually stunning. They get even better when you pick them up, because Nicky is the kind of potter who finishes every surface of every piece. She also creates some gorgeous fiber art. Browse her stuff at https://www.nstarstudio.com/.

  38. Two things: Elden Fragrances (custom made perfumes for guys and gals) at https://eldenfragrances.com/ and Kelly Wove It (handmade scarves and bags) at https://kellywoveit.com/. Both are unique, relatively inexpensive, and sure to delight. My husband particularly loves the voiceprint scarf that says (yes, this will give it away) “I love you, Daddy.” Both are my wonderful daughters and I am most definitely a fan of each.

  39. The amazing chocolates made by Dan and Jael at French Broad Chocolates in Asheville, NC are little edible works of art. I’ve been a dedicated customer since I stumbled across their first tiny shop a decade ago during a visit to Asheville (the story of how they got to Asheville is worth reading). They use locally and/or sustainability sourced ingredients and apparently some sort of magic when they make their chocolate, and take great care with shipping if you can’t get to the Chocolate Lounge in person. The current holiday sampler is a great gift or starting point for yourself, and I’ve given people chocolate subscriptions as Christmas gifts. Enjoy!

  40. The books of Francis W. Porretto are worth your consideration: https://www.amazon.com/Francis-Porretto/e/B005OCTW2Q/

    Fran is a writer from Long Island whose thought-provoking works are heavily influenced by his great depth of knowledge, love of learning, and strong Catholic faith. Many of his novels have recently been made available in paperback, after having previously been released for Kindle.

    His newest novel is Experiences: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07KM77DR1/ This is part of his “Onteora Canon,” and part of his most-recent series dealing with the issue of futanari: women born fully female except for male genitals (similar to pre-op or non-op trans women). A couple of actual trans women are characters in the book, too. (Disclaimer: If you look on the dedication page for the novel, you’ll find my name. I did extensive “alpha” reading and commenting on the manuscript as it was being written.)

  41. “What if a Jewish state had been established in Germany after the war?”

    That is the question that Philadelphia-based author Simone Zelitch (http://www.simonezelitch.com) explores in her alternative history novel “Judenstaat” (https://www.amazon.com/dp/0765382962/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awdb_t1_1Z0cCb45S76YN), published by Tor Books in 2016.

    I’ve only just started reading “Judenstaat” after seeing Simone Zelitch, a writer I hadn’t known before, on a panel at last month’s PhilCon, but find the premise to be quite intriguing. Here’s the description of the book that appears on the flap:

    “On April 4th, 1948 the sovereign state of Judenstaat was created in the territory of Saxony, bordering Germany, Poland, and Czechoslovakia.

    Forty years later, Jewish historian Judit Klemmer is making a documentary portraying Judenstaat’s history from the time of its founding to the present. She is haunted by the ghost of her dead husband, Hans, a Saxon, shot by a sniper as he conducted the National Symphony. With the grief always fresh, Judit lives a half-life, until confronted by a mysterious, flesh-and-blood ghost from her past who leaves her controversial footage on one of Judenstaat’s founding fathers–and a note:

    ‘They lied about the murder.’

    Judit’s research into the footage, and what really happened to Hans, embroils her in controversy and conspiracy, collective memory and national amnesia, and answers far more horrific than she imagined.”

  42. Buy gorgeous stuff and make a difference!! Some of my best friends are the Jordanian women who work at Green Creations, a business that makes jewelry and accessories out of recycled products. The women love to sit and talk and drink coffee together as they work, and I love to sit with them and enjoy the friendship as well as admiring the things the make. They’re wonderful handmade pieces, available in the US through the online store

  43. Oops, looks like my first comment that I thought had been wiped made it through moderation. John, if you see this would you delete that first one without the pic? Thanks.