Monday Musings, September 1

It appears that George Orwell may have been more prescient than we thought.  About a week ago, a middle-school English teacher was targeted for writing science fiction novels that feature a school shooting.

Patrick McLaw used a pseudonym to write two e-books that he sells on AmazonAccording to the news, McLaw has been suspended from teaching, forbidden from entering any school property, and forced into a psych evaluation.  His house has been searched and the school has been searched and is still keeping an armed officer on the grounds.  And all of this for fiction.

Yes, we need to take the issue of gun violence against children (or anybody) seriously; however, this seems to be trampling on the First Amendment.  McLaw appears to be guilty of nothing more than imagining an act of violence.  It kind of reminds me of Henry VIII’s law stating that it was treason to imagine the death of the king… and people were actually executed under that charge.

If his only “crime” is imagining a story about a school shooting, then we also have some other authors “guilty” of similar things.  Jodi Picoult wrote about a school shooting.  Trent Reedy’s Divided We Fall contains an act of violence against a government official.  Stephen King was working at a school when he wrote Carrie.

This whole thing is really scary.  Any thoughts?

End of the week wrap-up

Spring OwlcatWell, I had one of those long weeks that is best forgotten, and it kept me from writing as much as I usually do.  Here’s what I was able to get up on the Purrfect Prose blog this past week:

There was also one review:

Lock In by John Scalzi

Lock In(Description nicked from B&N.com.)

“Not too long from today, a new, highly contagious virus makes its way across the globe. Most who get sick experience nothing worse than flu, fever and headaches. But for the unlucky one percent – and nearly five million souls in the United States alone – the disease causes “Lock In”: Victims fully awake and aware, but unable to move or respond to stimulus. The disease affects young, old, rich, poor, people of every color and creed. The world changes to meet the challenge.

A quarter of a century later, in a world shaped by what’s now known as “Haden’s syndrome,” rookie FBI agent Chris Shane is paired with veteran agent Leslie Vann. The two of them are assigned what appears to be a Haden-related murder at the Watergate Hotel, with a suspect who is an “integrator” – someone who can let the locked in borrow their bodies for a time. If the Integrator was carrying a Haden client, then naming the suspect for the murder becomes that much more complicated.

But “complicated” doesn’t begin to describe it. As Shane and Vann began to unravel the threads of the murder, it becomes clear that the real mystery – and the real crime – is bigger than anyone could have imagined. The world of the locked in is changing, and with the change comes opportunities that the ambitious will seize at any cost. The investigation that began as a murder case takes Shane and Vann from the halls of corporate power to the virtual spaces of the locked in, and to the very heart of an emerging, surprising new human culture. It’s nothing you could have expected.”

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Throwback Thursday: Camouflage

CamouflageI’ve been reviewing since 2001, when I was employed at the local newspaper and my reviews appeared in their arts section on the third Thursday of the month.  When I started this website in 2011, I was amazed (and somewhat horrified) to realize that I had a decade of reviews to archive!  I’m still working on it to this day, and so my version of “Throwback Thursday” will feature some of those old reviews.  Just for fun, we’ll jump back to ten years ago this month.

Today, have a peek back at Joe Haldeman’s Camouflage.  Click the cover of the book to read the review.

Waiting on Wednesday: The Infinite Sea

The Infinite SeaMy Waiting on Wednesday pick is The Infinite Sea, the sequel to last year’s The Fifth Wave.  This one will be out on September 16.  Here, have a synopsis…

“How do you rid the Earth of seven billion humans? Rid the humans of their humanity.

Surviving the first four waves was nearly impossible. Now Cassie Sullivan finds herself in a new world, a world in which the fundamental trust that binds us together is gone. As the 5th Wave rolls across the landscape, Cassie, Ben, and Ringer are forced to confront the Others’ ultimate goal: the extermination of the human race.

Cassie and her friends haven’t seen the depths to which the Others will sink, nor have the Others seen the heights to which humanity will rise, in the ultimate battle between life and death, hope and despair, love and hate.”

Monday Musings, August 25

In an earlier Monday Musings post, I talked about getting on a Tudor historical fiction kick.  A bit problematic, since I review science fiction and fantasy!  Well, now I’m on a non-fiction kick.  I’ve been reading The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean.  It’s a book about the periodic table and the craziness that the science field went through while creating it.  It’s a very interesting history of chemistry and physics, put in terms that anybody can understand.  I’ve also been eying one of his other books, The Violinist’s Thumb (about genetics) and a book about the Donner party.

At least I’m only a few books behind of where I should be with my reviewing, though.  That’s something.

Short and sweet today.  I’m not feeling very wordy at the moment.  Probably comes from all that science I stuffed in my head over lunch!

End of the week wrap-up

Spring OwlcatThis week on the Purrfect Prose blog:

There was one new review:

Friday Fun: some tidbits

It’s been a long week, O Ye Faithful Readers, so here are a few links for your amusement.  I am now going to fall face first into my nest and snore.  Happy weekend!

Writing tips from George R. R. Martin and Robin Hobb

An excerpt of Rick Yancey’s The Infinite Sea

The cover art for Peter V. Brett’s The Skull Throne

What happens when you take shrooms at Comic-Con

And purely for the cute factor, a cat plays peek-a-boo in a knitted lampshade.

The House of the Four Winds by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory

The House of the Four Winds(Description nicked from B&N.com.)

“The rulers of tiny, impoverished Swansgaard have twelve daughters and one son. While the prince’s future is assured, his twelve sisters must find their own fortunes.

Disguising herself as Clarence, a sailor, Princess Clarice intends to work her way to the New World. When the crew rebels, Clarice/Clarence, an expert with rapier and dagger, sides with the handsome navigator, Dominick, and kills the cruel captain.

Dominick leads the now-outlawed crew in search of treasure in the secret pirate haven known as The House of Four Winds. They encounter the sorceress Shamal, who claims Dominick for her own—but Clarice has fallen hard for Dominick and won’t give him up without a fight.”

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Throwback Thursday: Lost and Found

Lost and FoundI’ve been reviewing since 2001, when I was employed at the local newspaper and my reviews appeared in their arts section on the third Thursday of the month.  When I started this website in 2011, I was amazed (and somewhat horrified) to realize that I had a decade of reviews to archive!  I’m still working on it to this day, and so my version of “Throwback Thursday” will feature some of those old reviews.  Just for fun, we’ll jump back to ten years ago this month.

Today, have a peek back at Alan Dean Foster’s Lost and Found.  Click the cover of the book to read the review.