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Original Essays | June 20, 2014

Lisa Howorth: IMG So Many Books, So Many Writers



I'm not a bookseller, but I'm married to one, and Square Books is a family. And we all know about families and how hard it is to disassociate... Continue »

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Customer Comments

Paul Mackinney has commented on (3) products.

Roadside Picnic by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky
Roadside Picnic

Paul Mackinney, November 12, 2012

When I found Roadside Picnic, I didn't know what a treat I was in for. The authors start with a hard SF premise reminiscent of Rendezvous With Rama: Yes, the aliens have arrived and No, we don't really understand anything else. There the resemblance ends.

Arthur C. Clarke's characters are American. The politics of funding and professional rivalry are the only barriers to eager, well-fed scientists grappling with the mysteries of the universe. The Strugatsky brothers' characters are Soviet. The scientists lucky enough to pursue research or exploration combine intelligence and naivete in equal portions, as anyone with an ounce of political acumen has either suppressed all curiosity or been purged. And since all stories must be told by survivors, it's not a scientist but a criminal that tells this one.

Strugatsky writes with the dark passion of Harlan Ellison and the political humanism of LeGuin. It's wonderful stuff.
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This Year You Write Your Novel by Walter Mosley
This Year You Write Your Novel

Paul Mackinney, August 5, 2012

I've been reading Walter Mosley for years, his fiction goes straight to the top of my reading list, his non-fiction takes a bit longer.

"This Year You Write Your Novel" doesn't break much new ground, but what is there to say on the topic? If you already write, you don't need it. If you're a serious wannabe writer and your copies of Writing Down the Bones and The Artist's Way are rumpled & dog-eared, you already know that if you want to write you actually have to write.

Mosley makes this point well, but the pleasure I derived from reading the book was not in the writing tips, but in that it exposed some of his thinking and his process.

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A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire #5) by George R. R. Martin
A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire #5)

Paul Mackinney, September 2, 2011

Nothing could dwarf this installment! It now seems a foregone conclusion that our favorite characters are all doomed, so I'm hanging in there to watch the evildoers get their just deserts.
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