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Original Essays | August 18, 2014

Ian Leslie: IMG Empathic Curiosity



Today, we wonder anxiously if digital media is changing our brains. But if there's any time in history when our mental operations changed... Continue »
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Original Essays | August 21, 2014

Richard Bausch: IMG Why Literature Can Save Us



Our title is, of course, a problem. "Why Literature Can Save Us." And of course the problem is one of definition: what those words mean. What is... Continue »
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    Before, During, After

    Richard Bausch 9780307266262

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Powell's Q&A

Kyle Mills

Describe your latest project.
My latest book, Darkness Falls, deals with an ecoterrorist trying to destroy the world's oil supply.

I was interested in the topic of the world's dependence on oil and, more specifically, what would happen if availability was suddenly cut off. How would I feed myself? Keep my house warm? Get to the doctor?

It also presented a real challenge: How do you wipe out something that's been around for millions of years and is spread out all over the globe? Right up my alley, since my favorite part of writing thrillers is figuring out how to pull off ridiculously difficult crimes.


  1. Darkness Falls
    $5.95 Used Hardcover add to wishlist

    Darkness Falls

    Kyle Mills
    "[A] pulse-pounding apocalyptic scenario that is terrifying in its plausibility." Publishers Weekly (starred review)

    "Mills, the standard-bearer for doomsday thrillers, offers another entry that is as disturbing as it is entertaining." Booklist (starred review)


  2. The Second Horseman
    $5.95 Used Mass Market add to wishlist

    The Second Horseman

    Kyle Mills
    "[A] strong thriller....Fortunately for readers and the world, Brandon proves to be interesting, intelligent and more than equal to the task." Publishers Weekly
Offer a favorite sentence or passage from another writer.
I hate to be obvious, but I love the beginning of Camus' The Stranger: "Mama died today. Or yesterday maybe, I don't know."

It makes you want to keep reading on almost too many levels to count.

How do you relax?
After thinking as hard as I can all day, I tend to retreat into athletics. Mostly rock climbing and mountain biking, but I can be talked into just about anything that's hard enough to get my brain to shut off.

What is your favorite indulgence, either wicked or benign?
Zombie movies.

Share an interesting experience you've had with one of your readers.
A little background: I didn't research my first novel as well as I should have, because after hearing about how hard it is to get published, I didn't think anyone would ever read it.

One day, I received a letter from a guy who said he hoped I wouldn't be mad and then went on to list my mistakes page by page — missing only one obscure error relating to the construction of crack pipes. Not only was I not mad, I immediately printed off a copy of the book I was working on and mailed it to him with a note saying, "See what you can do with this one."

On a clear and cold day, do you typically get outside into the sunshine or stay inside where it's warm?
Outside, absolutely! I live in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, so "clear and cold day" may describe the Fourth of July.

Talk about your vision of the ideal life.
Steep rocks to climb, sunny and 70 degrees, constant intellectual challenges, and an umbrella drink at sunset.

In the For-All-Eternity category, what will be your final thought?
My goal is for it to be: "That was fun."

Recommend five or more books on a single subject of personal interest or expertise.

My latest novel deals with environmentalism and a faltering oil supply, so I did a fair amount of research in those areas. Here's a mix of interesting books that cover the entire ideological spectrum.

The Skeptical Environmentalist by Bjorn Lomborg: This book punches holes in the environmental conventional wisdom and got a fairly nasty reception when it was released. One of my characters is very loosely based on Lomborg.

Break Through: From the Death of Environmentalism to the Politics of Possibility by Shellenberger/Nordhaus: Recently released, this book focuses on the policy side of the equation and the ineffectiveness of the current approach.

The Party's Over: Oil, War, and the Fate of Industrial Societies by Richard Heinberg: This is an absorbing, if somewhat hysterical, vision of the world after the oil runs out.

An Inconvenient Truth by Al Gore: The looming disaster straight from the mouth of a guy who personally uses more energy than a mini-mall.

The Ultimate Resource 2 by Julian Simon: A book as thick as the Bible and nearly as engrossing, written by the quintessential cornucopian economist.

÷ ÷ ÷

Kyle Mills is the New York Times-bestselling author of eight books, including his award-winning The Second Horseman. Growing up in Oregon as a Bureau Kid, Kyle absorbed an enormous amount of information about the FBI, which he incorporates into his novels. He and his wife live in Wyoming and enjoy rock climbing.

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