Monthly Archives: September 2021

“Whaddya Mean September Is Over?!?!?”

I am disbelieving of the news that Spice is delivering to me, about the status of the month of September, 2021. And yet, here we are, at the end of it nonetheless. In other news, I am likely to be scarce here for the next few days, as I take some personal time to visit […]

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The Big Idea: Steven Leonard

If you like your Big Idea pieces full of science fiction metaphors and similes, I’ve got some good news for you: Today, editor Steven Leonard has jammed this essay full of them. And for good reason: Science fiction, and its lessons for power, projection and conflict, are at the heart of his anthology, To Boldly […]

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“Kaiju” Gets a Starred Review in Booklist

We’re still about six months out from the release of The Kaiju Preservation Society, but that doesn’t mean reviewers haven’t been getting their hands on it already — and loving it. I’m delighted to announce that Booklist has given Kaiju a coveted starred review, flagging it as being a book of particular note. The full […]

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A Girl and Her Stick

This branch from a dead tree fell into the yard today, and Charlie was very very very excited, because there are very few things in the world she likes more than a really big stick. Sadly for her, it was a little too unwieldy for her to pick up and trot around with. I broke […]

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The Big Idea: Charles Dellheim

For today’s Big Idea, Boston University history professor Charles Dellheim delves into Nazi stolen art — and from whom it was stolen — as an introduction to his book Belonging and Betrayal: How Jews Made the Art World Modern. CHARLES DELLHEIM: After more than two decades of intensive scrutiny, it would stand to reason that […]

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Today’s Musical Interlude: “Ode to Somewhere”

This is a song from “Deathloop,” the video game that’s caused me immense frustration recently by being awesome and yet not wanting to play nice with my computer. That said, this song is the bomb and has been running through my head for a solid week at this point. The video title calls it “City […]

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My College Essay

Over on the University of Chicago Class of 1991 Facebook page, one of my classmates asked if any of us could remember what essay questions the College asked of us when we were applying (there were several and you got to choose). As it happens, not only do I remember the essay question, I also […]

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Questionable Foodstuff Review: Cheetos Bag Of Bones Snacks

This is the first time I’ve ever seen these things, although a quick visit to Google suggests they arrive seasonally and have done for the last couple of years. In this particular case, despite the Cheetos name, there is no cheese flavor; instead the vaguely buttery extruded corn in vaguely skeletal shapes is dusted with […]

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New Book and ARCs, 9/24/21

A super-sized stack of new books and ARCs for you this Friday. What here would make for lovely fall reading? Share in the comments! — JS

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The Big Idea: J.D. Moyer

We remember our own lives, mostly… but what if we had access to memories beyond our own lives, and not just in the form known as “books” and “recorded media”? J.D. Moyer offers a vision of how that might work in The Last Crucible, and also touches on writing about memory in such memorable times. […]

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Today’s Big Event on Horatio Harris Creek Road

Our neighbor Bob texted Krissy and told her to tell me to get out my fancy camera because something big was about to come down the road. He was right; about twenty minutes later, and preceded by the Ohio Highway Patrol blocking off the road and providing an honor guard, this big damn truck rumbled […]

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The Big Idea: Jason Sanford

Fantasy and science fiction are often considered two sides of the same coin, but Jason Sanford has another theory about both, and in today’s Big Idea, he shares that hypothesis with you, and why it’s important for his novel Plague Birds. JASON SANFORD: Is fantasy the end result of all science fiction? I’m not talking […]

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The Last of the Crabapple Blossoms

Today’s the first day of autumn here, and the weather is rainy and gloomy, and temperatures have dropped by more than 25 degrees from yesterday, and yet the crabapple tree right off from our front porch decided to send out a few optimistic blossoms this morning. These blossoms are even more errant than you might […]

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Climate Change as a Personal Mission

Interesting video from the Kurzgesagt folks about whether individual action can make a difference on the climate change front. The short answer is no (no matter how much you as an individual work to decarbonize your personal life, it’s literally a fraction of a drop in the bucket in terms what the total change required […]

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The Big Idea: TJ Klune

There are emotions we all experience, because we experience other emotions first. In the Big Idea for Under the Whispering Door, author TJ Klune talks about one of those follow-up emotions, and why it’s so important for the novel. TJ KLUNE: Under the Whispering Door is, at its heart, a book about the power of […]

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Summer’s End

Tomorrow’s the first day of Autumn up here in the northern hemisphere, and while the persistent cloud cover here in Bradford suggests I will not be able to get a shot of tonight’s sunset to bid the season farewell, I can offer this version of “The Boys of Summer” by Bree Sharp. Enjoy, and welcome, […]

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The Big Idea: Lavie Tidhar

When it comes to his new novel The Escapement, author Lavie Tidhar is definitely not clowning around. (is passed note) Oh, wait, that should be, is definitely clowning around. Well, sort of. Look, he’s here to explain it all, I’ll just let him do it, okay? LAVIE TIDHAR: I’m loathe these days to try and […]

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Rainy Days and Mondays Always Get Smudge Down

And when the rainy day is a Monday? Well, forget it. He’s just gonna nap through the whole darn thing! Also, for those of you born after, oh, 1971, who might not get the reference: There, now you’re all caught up. Hope your Monday was a good one, rainy or not. — JS

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Deathloop for PC is Awesome and I Absolutely Cannot Recommend It

Bethesda and Arkane have made some of my favorite video games in recent years, most notably the Dishonored series, which had a delightful balance of worldbuilding and the ability to magically hoist bad guys into the air, all the better to stab them in the neck. When they announced Deathloop, which promised all the stabby […]

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New Books and ARCs, 9/17/21

Another Friday, another fine stack of new books and ARCs to peruse! What here is catching your eye? Share your thoughts in the comments. — JS

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