Author’s Note: In addition to the non-fiction and professionally published fiction that I have reviewed on this blog, I am occasionally blogging reviews of independently published Science Fiction and Fantasy authors, as I hope to someday join their ranks!
Watership by Jenna Whittaker
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This book was an enigma. It was written with some beautiful language. Especially at the beginning, it read more like poetry than prose, and I think that is a good way to approach this book to get the most out of it: Read it for the imagery and the pictures it paints in your mind of the living, elemental watership, traveling through space to save humanity by feeding first off nebulas, and then life forces and energies of living beings. This material also might make an excellent graphic novel if the author is an artist or can find a collaborator.
Continue reading Book Review: Watership by Jenna Whittaker
My husband grew up in the Ruhrgebiet, an area around the Ruhr River in the German state of Nordrhein-Westfalia. This area in midwestern Germany, not unlike its midwestern counterpart in the USA, is known for its coal mining and heavy industry. Nowadays the mundane contraptions of 20th-century industries can be found amidst nature, slowly encroaching.
Continue reading Belated Mundane Monday: Canal Fish
My first assignment at the retreat was to write down chronologically what happens, from beginning to end, in my novel. Not surprisingly, I struggled with this. I did have quite a few things worked out: a timeline for when each of the characters were born, for example, and some significant events like Hurricane Noel in 2057, and the Great Flood of Manhattan that breached the protective sea wall in 2042, the return of Halley’s Comet in 2061-2. These events were necessary to get my characters away from the rising seas to Western NY, where they live during the novel. Continue reading Little Writing Retreat on the Prairie, Part IV: Advice
My blogging friend P.J. Lazos over at Green Life Blue Water, reviewed the first Geocaching GPS book on her blog yesterday. She’s not a cacher (yet), but she understands the way it can connect people:
“What I found most intriguing — in addition to the inspiring and characteristic geocaching names used to log into a find — was how story after story talked about introducing the sport to others, generally family members who either never heard of it or had poo-poo’d it and then were hooked.”
Read the full review here: Geocaching GPS: Great Personal Stories of Romance, Adventure and Connection
Thunderstorms in South Dakota are impressive. You can see entire storms in the distance, hanging down from clouds. And after dark the thunder and lightning put on a 360-degree show. Linda had a weather radio in Homestead House, the house where retreaters stayed and wrote. This radio would go off periodically with warnings about thunder and hail storms. Linda told me how to turn it off if I was trying to sleep, but I ended up leaving it on because the announcements only came while I was awake, and I thought they were interesting. Continue reading Little Writing Retreat on the Prairie, Part III: Storm
My husband works for Google, here in Silicon Valley. When we were in Paris last month, we checked out the Google office there. It is very mundane from the outside, you probably wouldn’t even know it was there if you were not looking for it.
Continue reading Mundane Monday: I’m feeling lucky
My German husband has been to all 50 United States, and he’s found a geocache in every one. Although I’ve travelled quite a bit too, mostly with him but also with the family I grew up in, this trip was my first time in South Dakota. I got on one big plane at SFO airport, and then transferred to a small one in Denver, heading to Rapid City. There I rented a car and drove about a half hour south to the ranch where the retreat took place, just south of the small town of Hermosa. The normal schedule for these retreats is a half day, followed by two full days, followed by another half day. My flight schedule worked out that I got in late the night before the first half day, and rather than stay in a hotel in Rapid City, I added another night at Windbreak House. With the extra time in SD before the retreat started, I planned to do some sight-seeing and find a few geocaches.
Continue reading Little Writing Retreat on the Prairie, Part II: Nostalgia
Mindclone: When You’re a Brain Without a Body, Can You Still Be Called Human? by David T. Wolf
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Mindclone is possibly the best independently published SF novel that I have ever read. The author’s meticulous research into the field of Artificial Intelligence and his witty, accessible writing style made it a page turner that I was sorry to see end.
Continue reading Book Review: Mindclone by David T Wolf