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We offer everything from genre thrillers to literary novels to satires, memoir, and cultural commentary. Something for everyone!

An Interview with J.P. Redding

I had the opportunity to interview author J.P. Redding (a pseudonym) shortly after his first book “Off Grid” came out. Initially, I thought it was a survivalist book. The subtitle “Is there anywhere to hide from the surveillance state?” suggested that. It turns out that it is a science fiction book, as well.

 

A West Side Story

Willy, our retired super and part-time Bachata musician, told us that the street used to be a major avenue for drug dealing until Giuliani cleaned it up. He said that one of the local drug dealers once told him, after Willie refused to take money to not report the dealing, “the only reason I haven’t killed you is because you’re a nice guy.”

 

An Interview with Sandra Haven

Sandra Haven is a professional editor who mentors and advises writers, as well. I have been a fan of her newsletter for writers for years. And I had the opportunity to interview her.

Midnight Diner: Where Everybody Knows Your Ramen

Which brings me to the other night, a frustrating roam through Netflix trying to find something worth watching. An evening laziness that sought something distracting but not annoying. A night of tourist entertainment. Even with that low bar I couldn’t find anything. I tolerated a few shows or movies and had to switch them off. Reluctantly I clicked on “Midnight Diner,” a Japanese show now streaming on Netflix. I wasn’t looking for subtitles or something foreign, but I was out of options. And I was delighted from the beginning.

An Interview with John Van Stry

I had the opportunity to interview science fiction and fantasy author John Van Stry after his latest “Portals of Infinity” novel came out.

What Covid Changes will be “Permanent?”

A little over a month ago, I was in a ZOOM meeting hosted by the Bristol Bar Association, in which all of the judges in the Second Judicial District spoke about the measures they were taking concerning in-person hearings, remote hearings, and social distancing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in light of the directives of the Tennessee Supreme Court.

One of the lawyers asked, “When are things going back to normal?” One of the judges (I can’t remember which) immediately answered, “Never.” He added that what he meant was that a timeframe for restoration of normalcy could not be established at that time. I suspect his answer to the same question would be the same today.

A Chat With Fantasy Author Amie Gibbons

Amie Gibbons is a modern fantasy author. She’s written multiple novels in the “Evie Jones” and “SDF Paranormal Mysteries” series. She’s continued both of these fictional paranormal universes and just started a third.

That Only America Could Have Produced: Chambers, Schlesinger, Nixon, and Hiss

Among the multitudes that America used to contain were Whittaker Chambers and Arthur Schlesinger Jr. A few months ago I happened to reread both Chambers’ autobiography Witness and Schlesinger’s Journals 1952-2000 one after the other. These two men are of different generations: Chambers lived from 1901 to 1961 and Schlesinger 1917 to 2007. They are of completely different temperaments, milieus, politics, and tastes. But there are some fascinating overlaps that have some bearing on the difficult passage we are traversing today as a nation. Both were superb writers.

Book Review: “Fantastic Schools, Volume 1”

Fantastic Schools, Volume 1” was edited by Jagi Lamplighter and Chris Nuttall. I’d previously read and reviewed his novel “The Zero Blessing”. “The Zero Blessing” is the first novel in his “Schooled in Magic” universe. It is a world very different from Harry Potter, yet his first book is compared to that because that’s become the default comparison for any “preteens sent to magic school” unless they’re vampires. One of the short stories in “Fantastic Schools” is by Mr. Nuttall, but there are more than a dozen short stories in the collection.

Revealing ‘The Great Amputation’ of Postmodernism’s Triumph

I Wanna Get Anagogical

The most important piece of writing of the past decade to me is an article written last year in Modern Age by Ewa Thompson, “The Great Amputation: Language in a Postmodern Era.” It is important because it identifies the key to our modern stupidity.

This stupidity is increasingly irksome in the way that it has seeped into political decisions that affect our lives. Thompson’s discovery is even more profound, however. She explains one of my great frustrations: when we have literally at our fingertips the entire record of the greatest thoughts of human history, why do we not use them to help solve our problems, understand each other better, or merely delight in the play of genius? Why, furthermore, do we in general not contribute to them? Why are we becoming sub-literate? As Thompson writes: “words are losing their power to convince, console, and elicit joy.” As someone who takes literally Faulkner’s injunction that man is immortal because he alone among animals has an inexhaustible voice, the disempowering of the word is a matter of grave significance.

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