I’m enjoying reading your comments on yesterday’s entry (My Top 5 Never-Before-Visited Vacation Destinations!) both for the travel recommendations AND critiques. Don’t be shy or fearful of offending. I’d love to learn about your those negative experiences as well. After all, not every city is for everyone. For instance, I’ve only been to New Orleans, San Francisco, and Hawaii once, but had a tremendous time on all three occasions and would go back to any of them in a heartbeat. Paris, on the other hand, probably not. I’ve visited twice for business and, while it’s architecturally beautiful and home to some marvelous restaurants, I found its locals somewhat…let’s go with “rude” and leave it at that. It’s bizarre because I’ve met French nationals on my travels, even here in Vancouver, and they’ve all been nothing short of wonderful: friendly, spirited, helpful. Interestingly enough, when they hear about my Paris experience, they invariably inform me that Paris is very different from the rest of the country and then insist that, the next time, I should visit southern France .
So, do tell. What are some of the places you WOULDN’T pay a return visit? Details, please.
Alright all you voracious readers. It’s that time again. Time to vote for the July Book of the Month. The nominees are…
In the quiet suburb of Harting Farms, the weekly crime blotter usually consists of graffiti or the occasional bout of mailbox baseball. But in the fall of 1993, children begin vanishing and one is found dead. Newspapers call him the Piper because he has come to take the children away. But there are darker names for him, too . . .
Vowing to stop the Piper’s reign of terror, five boys take up the search. Their teenage pledge turns into a journey of self-discovery . . . and a journey into the darkness of their own hometown. On the twilit streets of Harting Farms, everyone is a suspect. And any of the boys might be the Piper’s next victim.
The invaders came to claim earth as their own, overwhelming us with superior weapons and the ability to read our minds like open books.
Our only chance for survival was to engineer a new race of perfect soldiers to combat them. Seventeen feet tall, knowing and loving nothing but war, their minds closed to the aliens.
But these saviors could never be our servants. And what is down cannot be undone.
New York City is experiencing a seemingly interminable heat wave. NYPD homicide detective Alexandra “Hemi” Hemingway has just learned she’s pregnant when she catches a disturbing case: the murder of a child. No suspects emerge. Then another child is killed. He looks amazingly like the first child, and his parents, like the first pair, are profoundly wealthy. Then another, same parameters. In the midst of the carnage, Hemi questions the wisdom of bringing a child into such a world. The detectives stumble on a thin lead: the mothers of the murdered children all used an exclusive, extraordinarily expensive fertility clinic.
Special Agent Pendergast arrives at an exclusive Colorado ski resort to rescue his protégée, Corrie Swanson, from serious trouble with the law. His sudden appearance coincides with the first attack of a murderous arsonist who–with brutal precision–begins burning down multimillion-dollar mansions with the families locked inside. After springing Corrie from jail, Pendergast learns she made a discovery while examining the bones of several miners who were killed 150 years earlier by a rogue grizzly bear. Her finding is so astonishing that it, even more than the arsonist, threatens the resort’s very existence.
Drawn deeper into the investigation, Pendergast uncovers a mysterious connection between the dead miners and a fabled, long-lost Sherlock Holmes story–one that might just offer the key to the modern day killings as well.
Now, with the ski resort snowed in and under savage attack–and Corrie’s life suddenly in grave danger–Pendergast must solve the enigma of the past before the town of the present goes up in flames.
Nebula Awards Showcase 2014 edited by Kij Johnson
This year’s Nebula winners, and expected contributors, are Kim Stanley Robinson, Nancy Kress, Andy Duncan, and Aliette de Bodard, with E.C. Myers winning the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy Book.
Putting together this list was a lot tougher than you’d think. I went through the several hundred titles released in May, eliminated hardcovers, crappy/cheesy covers, continuing instalments in an ongoing series, tie-ins, reprints, vampires, werewolves, zombies and, in the end, those books that failed to capture my interest and, in the end, came up with less than a dozen potential reads (!). But some very interesting candidates.
By the way, publishers take note. It’s not necessary to tell us it’s a novel (ie. Bloodgrave: A Novel or Goldfish of the Blue Apocalypse: A Novel). I know it’s a novel. If it was a collection of short stories, it would say so. Alternately, if it was packaged food or a bicycle or hiking boots, chances are still pretty good I’d be able to tell the difference.
Still, I’m sure it happens. Be honest now. Who hasn’t, at some point in their lives, made the embarrassing mistake of visiting their local bookstore to pick up this:
Come on. Let’s see a show of hands.
Yeah, that’s what I thought. So, in hindsight, maybe it’s a good thing that publishers are taking the time to point out the seemingly obvious. I mean, thank goodness they did otherwise a simple trip to your local bookshop may well result in an embarrassingly erroneous purchase, criminal charges, or worse! Please, take note.
Oh, and that reminds me: Finish up reading The Rich and the Dead, our May Book of the Month Club pick, and get ready for Monday’s discussion.
I’m going to have plenty to say on this one.