Smart Phones Killed The Suspense

It’s fairly certain that I’m not the first person to point this out or to even notice this, but there has been a distinct lack of compelling suspense novels written in the second decade of the 21st century. And it’s not just suspense. Crime fiction, adventure novels and near-future science fiction seem all to go [...]

Infinite City

I recently finished reading Rebecca Solnit’s excellent “Infinite City” (Amazon), and for somebody like me who likes maps, history and San Francisco it was a pleasure throughout. If you love San Francisco, buy it now. One of the main themes of the book is that every person has a very different mental map of the [...]

Long Way To Gold

As it turns out, writing a novel is much faster than editing and eventually publishing it… It’s been a couple of years since I’ve successfully finished NaNoWriMo with a mostly completed novel, and it took me all the way through the rest of the 2000s to edit my work. There was also the subject of [...]

POD Advice

Ariana Osborne has some great advice about Print-on-Demand projects over on her blog. I can pretty much only say “What she said!” about that post – read the FAQs for your publishing service, proof read the layout, order a proof copy for yourself first… all of that is important… …and then there is her previous [...]

Good Book Weekend

While I usually pretend to keep abreast of what books are coming out, this one was a surprise purchase, oh, about ten seconds after entering our local Barnes and Noble late last week: “Unseen Academicals” by Terry Pratchett. For some reason I hadn’t seen any announcements for this one, so dragging the hardcover book to [...]

Why? Because.

After my recent post on San Francisco’s original Emanu-El Synagogue I got a link to this photo from Richard over at Sparkletack and in that picture of Sutter Street of just after the earthquake of 1906 there is an advertisement for MJB coffee clearly visible on a wall of one of the destroyed buildings. That [...]

Challenges in Contemporary Literature

Bruce Sterling posted a rather rough wakeup call about the state of current literature and publishing at his beyond the beyond blog – Eighteen Challenges in Contemporary Literature. The recent wave of layoffs in the publishing industry was probably just the beginning in a process that will eventually lead to a new equilibrium far away [...]

The Poison Ape

Last year I had picked up the first US translation of one of Arimasa Osawa’s books – Shinjuku Shark, and just recently I’ve found a new translation in his series around a cop in Tokyo in our local Japanese bookstore. The title is The Poison Ape, and where Shinjuku Shark was an in-depth study of [...]