Showing posts from March, 2013

The Yellow Brick Road is a Twisty One... with Potholes, Bumps, & Thrill-Hills

As a general rule, I’m not big on grab bags. Those mystery collections of whatevers, thrown in a bag or box for one low price, have just never panned out for me. (Like, if I really needed four identical XXS aqua t-shirts decorated with a wolf scene and one XXXL maroon tee emblazoned with a box of cartoon french fries, all for only $7.95, I’d be set, but... yeah, not so much.) 
That thinking carries over to my attitude toward most anthologies, too. How many times have I shelled out a decent chunk of change for a tome of short stories penned by an assortment of authors... only to really like only one, or maybe two, of them? (More times than I care to admit, actually.)
Still, sometimes it can’t be helped; either that’s the only way to read a special one-off by a favorite author, or else the whole thing just sounds like a can’t-miss, must-have... as in the case of Oz Reimagined (edited by John Joseph Adams and Douglas Cohen), a compilation of fifteen stories from the minds of several modern…

Luck be a... Kitty

Crazy-busy here (so no new reviews yet), but here's a little Luck o' the Irish to tide you over...

The New Normal: A Bear, a Mini, & Three Dead Publicans

Picture, if you will, the bucolic English countryside... traveling along a narrow road as it wends its way along verdant hills and valleys... making the occasional detour through a small, picturesque village--the sort comprised entirely of quaint buildings and... well, let’s go with interesting townsfolk, shall we? It’s all quite lovely, really.  
Ah, but something vital is missing from this picture. What’s that, you say? Why, a murder, of course! (I’ve never figured out exactly why these charming little places are such hotbeds of murder most foul, but they clearly are, as anyone up on his/her Agatha Christie--or the works of any number of other British authors, not to mention rather a lot of TV shows--can attest.) So, then... let’s say we also happen to have a recent murder to pique our avid curiosities. Surely now the stage is set, yes?   
Well, not quite... at least, not in this case. The final piece of our tableau involves a bear, you see... and not just any old bear, but a teddy be…

Family Feuds... and the Family You Choose

The world is full of things we know about... and things about which we know jack. For instance, I know a lot about cats, a respectable amount about fitness, and next-to-nothing about, oh, wild boars. Or jai alai. (Or how to chop an onion into neat little pieces rather than hideously mangling it, but that’s another story.) 
For the most part, it’s okay not understanding everything; I’m fine with my ignorance of meaner-than-snot hogs and weird handball offshoots (although I do secretly envy those who’ve mastered slicing-and-dicing).  
Now, let’s take monsters. They’re everywhere (remember the bogeyman who slithered from your closet to under your bed in the dark every night? or the Tooth Fairy, who only left you money when you placed your sacrifice--a bloody tooth--under your pillow?), but given that most people allow themselves to forget about all the things that go bump in the night once they’re adults, our knowledge of monsters is sadly lacking. 
That’s where cryptozoologists come in; th…