Monday, March 24, 2014

A great little find

The third book in Ian Sales’ Apollo Quartet, Then Will The GreatOcean Wash Deep Above, is a treasure.  Like a sunken chest you’d love to discover snorkeling in St. Croix.  It is compact and contained, feels like it comes from a different time and packed full of precious little gems and nuggets that aren’t for spending.  They are for keeping.  “Wash” is a work of hard science fiction – alternative history – love letter to the space age - making this book about as rare as pirate booty.  And just about as valuable.

As with the other two volumes in the quartet, “Wash” is meticulously researched.  Ian puts together the pieces so nicely that it feels very much like our real history, rather than one that diverges during the Korean War.  The coda in the book remarks on the true story of the characters you’ve just read about and rather than serving as a footnote, the end cap acts to make the whole work – fact and fiction – that much more poignant.  Positioning the real and imagined together serves to illuminate the time and people and culture that helped spur mankind’s last great stage of exploration, above and below.

Human failures amidst humanities greatest achievements – we need to look at history from different angles, which is what this book (and it’s siblings) does so, so well.  We can learn from it and leaning – at the risk of sounding like an afterschool special – is one of our greatest treasures.

I am very much looking forward to the final book of the set.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

And this title was just right

I had read a bevy of Suzanne Church’s stories before and became a bigger and bigger fan with each one.  When I heard the title of her collection would be “Elements” I humphed.  It seemed too simple to me.  Her stories cover horror, fantasy, science fiction (in a myriad of sub-genres) – with poignancy, bending tension and welcome dose of humor.  They are, none of them, simple.  After reading the bundle, I’ve changed my humph to a nod.  All the elements of great story telling are here and working wonders.  Families, fear, love, death – the fundamentals of being human drive Suzanne’s stories even when the characters are not human’s at all.  The combinations make the collection fun, exciting and tearful.  One of my criticisms of many things I read is their lopsidedness.  So dreary, so flighty, so thick with drama – that they become immersions in one emotion. The balance in this collection is refreshing in its perfection.  Not too hot, not too cold.  Just right.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Milkman's nearly here

My new novel The Milkman is up at Amazon, pre-order only. This is not tremendously interesting as such - Amazon has more novels for sale than there are humans on the planet.  Still, it is my book and I haven't grown tired of it just yet.  Check back here in August, when my Amazon ranking is 1,889,997,451,003 and I'll let you know how I'm doing.