Old Motor: Cardigan, Pipe, Comfortable Chair Facing a Garden

What is it about English writing from before the eighties that immediately makes you want to sit in a comfortable leather chair in a study and look out the window. Or, if none of that is available, make you feel like you’re doing it anyway? I don’t know, but I love the feeling, and, except […]

The Sheer Brilliance of Anthony Burgess, a Droog

When we discuss the great novels of the 20th Century, we usually look at mainstream or literary fiction. We talk about The Great Gatsby, Heart of Darkness, The Sun Also Rises, To Kill a Mockingbird, Ulysses and anything by Hemingway. To that list, I’d add The Remains of the Day, a near-perfect book if ever […]

The Opposite of a Spy Novel

We’ve discussed spy novels here before, and we’ve professed a preference for the books on one end of the spectrum: the unrealistic spy-as-a-superhero genre, as exemplified by stuff like this or like this.  James Bond is probably the perfect example of this kind of reading; suspension of disbelief is a must, but the rewards are […]

In Competition for the Best Novel of the 20th Century

Sometimes it’s fun to join the argument.  The 20th century was an amazing time for the novel.  It was a mature form even as the century began, so practitioners weren’t having to make it up as they went along, so we didn’t get bogged down with things like the epistolary narrative in supposedly great literature. […]

The Translations Fad

Today is a reflection about the writing world, so if that isn’t the kind of thing that interests you, you can always read about parties. Still here?  Cool.  Let’s talk about the current glut of translations hitting the market.  I will focus on the science fiction and fantasy worlds for this particular post, because that’s […]

Sometimes, a Wonderful Story Catches you by Surprise

So I’ve been reading through my pile of 1970s paperbacks.  The last one in the lot seemed different.  While the book itself was a 1970s paperback (actually 1967, but who’s counting?) with all the production values therein, the text itself appeared to be a war book from Eastern Europe, or a novel in the Dostoyevsky […]

And We Are All Mortal

  Our series of posts reviewing movies that deal with JFK’s presidency continues today with Stacy Danielle Stephens’ review of Thirteen Days.  For the previous posts in the series, see here, here and here. Other than two contemporaneous documentaries, there aren’t any noteworthy films about the 1960 US presidential election, at least as far as google cares.  Likewise, […]

At Least a Favorable Reference to the Devil

Today we present a new excerpt from Stacy Danielle Stephens monumental work-in-progress about WWII and the events that led to it.  Those of you who’ve been following along at home know that these pieces never fail to deliver – and now we’re reaching the war’s endgame… and one of its most mysterious episodes.   May 6th, […]

Apocalypse is a Dirty Business

  We’ve got a treat today.  Author Nick Barton is celebrating that he has a story in the Enter the Apocalypse anthology (in which our editor-in-chief, Gustavo Bondoni also has a story) by writing about the apocalypse.  We think you’ll enjoy his take on what makes the subject so effective.   Apocalyptic stories have always appealed […]