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Showing posts from January, 2013

A Stroll with Absurdity, Obsession, & Madness for Companions

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Anyone who’s ever been in the market for a house--and almost certainly balked at the exorbitant asking prices--has doubtless been treated to the same tired bit of “wisdom” from his or her desperately-earnest realtor: “Well, yes... but what you’re really paying for is the neighborhood!” (as if that somehow makes x-ridiculous-amount more feasible, more doable).
In reality, what the homeowner or renter usually finds is something rather different--that there’s no such thing as a problem-free property, regardless of the neighborhood. (Whether it’s an HVAC or plumbing issue, an appliance on the blink, a leaky roof, a flooded basement, termites or other pesky bugs, obnoxious neighbors, or whatever, there’s always something going wrong or otherwise making life in one’s domicile less-than-peachy-keen.)
That being the case, it may not seem that following a cross-segment of ordinary people, going about their everyday lives, could be so fascinating... yet in crime fiction and suspense writer Ruth R…

The Case of the Corpulent Copper and the Steampunk Ballet

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After reading a goodly smattering of Steampunk, it seems to me there are two basic approaches to the genre: one, as a full-on fantasy (set in the Victorian era), with little technical and scientific elements providing an interesting spark to the proceedings; and the other, as straight-up sci-fi, with fantastical bits and bobs adding a delightful touch of whimsy.
Both styles are enjoyable, and the fact that each caters to a different mood--one, sort of dreamy and otherworldly, and the other, more grounded in reality (albeit an alternate one)--is cool. But, even better is when something unexpected is thrown into the standard mix, beyond just the de rigueur steam-powered this and mechanized that. Things tend to get really interesting when that happens... as in the case of Nathan L. Yocum’s Steampunk/detective mystery/action yarn, Automatic Woman
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Jacob “Jolly” Fellows is hardly your typical hero. A great, hulking bear of a man--one nearly as …