Archive by Author

Movie Review: “Blade Runner 2049” (‘As clear as dreaming’)

10 Oct

I can’t remember ever being as disturbed and enthralled at one time by any movie as by “Blade Runner 2049.” That makes it fine art in my eyes.

The movie is disturbing because it so explicitly poses questions about personhood, objectification and empathy. I gasped a few times and flinched several more times, and so did my companion. Besides the consent issues, the violence in it is also disturbing, and this vision of 2049 is even more dystopic for PoC and women; however, I saw those elements not as gratuitous, but rather as deliberate showcasing of the problems of society. I’ll discuss that more after the spoiler warning. Continue reading

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Carmen Maria Machado’s Her Body and Other Parties (reviewed by Penny Reeve)

8 Oct

Carmen Maria Machado’s writing has — very rightly so — been receiving a lot of attention recently. Readers have been champing at the bit for more of Machado’s work since she set the literary world alight in 2014 with the incredible short “The Husband Stitch” and now we’re rewarded with a collection of her short stories with Her Body and Other Parties, which I’m already slating as one of my top reads of 2017.

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Horror Review: John Darnielle’s Universal Harvester (Reviewed by Penny Reeve)

10 Sep

I have to admit, I’m a sucker for a glorious cover. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with flying in the face of the old adage “don’t judge a book by its cover” in my opinion, especially when it’s for John Darnielle’s Universal Harvester, a glorious anodized looking thing which calls to mind a washed out ’70s psychedelic vibe, the colors layered over a cornfield ready to be shorn of its produce. Strangely haunting, one look saw Universal Harvester make its way onto my Amazon wishlist almost before I’d read the synopsis. It also helped that the novel is the second by John Darnielle — brainchild behind the Mountain Goats, whose work I admire — though I must confess this is my first foray into his literary work. Continue reading

Guest Post: The Hobby-Writer’s Tale by Basil Mahon

1 Sep

 

I took up book writing after retiring from regular work. It’s a wonderful hobby, but a harsh one. Being able to write well is not enough. To gain even the most modest success you need passion for your subject, great perseverance, and a measure of luck. I am one of the lucky ones, having had three books published which together have sold about 50,000 copies and been translated into five languages. This hasn’t made me rich but I have the tremendous satisfaction of knowing that every day someone, somewhere in the world, is getting enjoyment from reading my words. Perhaps something of what I’ve learned on the way may be useful to someone setting out on a similar path. I hope so. Continue reading

A Book By Its Cover: My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix

20 Aug

Picture yourself on a boat or a lakeshore,
with pastel balloons and ominous skies;
Some monster calls you, you answer quite slowly
— the girl with the GLOWING RED EYES!

My Best Friend’s Exorcism, by Grady Hendrix, is a work of art. You can tell just by looking at the cover. There is a LOT going on here! It tells a story all by itself, but go on and read the book, too. I can’t promise you’ll be glad you did, since I don’t know you, Gentle Reader, but I’d be amazed if you’re not interested!
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