* R E A D I N G F O R P L E A S U R E *
* Issue #23 *
* Extra-Large 3rd Anniversary Issue *
* June 1992 / July 1992 *
* Editor: Cindy Bartorillo *
CONTACT US AT: Reading For Pleasure, 103 Baughman's Lane, Suite 303,
Frederick, MD 21702; or on CompuServe leave a message to 74766,1206;
or on Delphi leave mail to BARTORILLO; or call our BBS, the BAUDLINE
II at 301-694-7108, 1200-9600 HST.
NOTICE: Reading For Pleasure is not copyrighted. You may copy
freely, but please give us credit if you extract portions to use
somewhere else. This electronic edition is free, but print editions
cost $2 each for printing and postage.
~ HOW TO GET THE ELECTRONIC EDITION OF RFP
First, call your local computer bulletin boards to see if they have
the latest issue. If not, you can always get all issues by calling The
Baudline II at 301-694-7108. These issues are ZIPped (compressed) for
quick downloading and must be unZIPped with Phil Katz's PKUNZIP
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Also available on The Baudline II is an Index of RFP reviews
(RFPINDEX.ZIP) and the latest catalog from Sisters in Crime
~ HOW TO GET THE PRINT EDITION OF RFP
Send $2 to: Reading For Pleasure, 103 Baughman's Lane, Suite 303,
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Table of Contents
Welcome to the Last RFP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
Mainstream Fiction Reviews . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118
Mystery Reviews . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1524
Science Fiction & Fantasy Reviews . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2557
Horror Reviews . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3351
Nonfiction Reviews . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3946
~ WELCOME TO THE LAST RFP
Yes, an era has ended and it's time to move on. We've had a lot of fun
these past three years and have learned a great many things, which is
about all you can hope for from any experience. We've met some great
people too, which is nice, and I'd like to thank everyone who has
contributed to RFP along the way, all those great writers and
reviewers who donated their words so we all could benefit. Especially
deserving of thanks are Darryl Kenning, Robert Pittman, and Howard
Frye, whose contributions were either above or beyond the call of
duty, occasionally both.
Although our bimonthly magazine of book news and reviews is stopping,
at least for now, Reading For Pleasure still lives. We will still be
here, at the same addresses, working on our new project: the Reading
For Pleasure Electronic Library. We'll be publishing classics and some
of our older favorites, in floppy disk format for IBM compatible
computers. One day soon we'd even like to publish some new material.
If you'd like to be on our mailing list for information about the RFP
Electronic Library, just drop us a note. Our addresses are:
Reading For Pleasure
103 Baughman's Lane, Suite 303
Frederick, MD 21702
We are also reachable by computer on our BBS: The Baudline II, 8N1,
1200-9600 HST, 301-694-7108.
Once again, thanks for your support, and remember that the best thing
to do with your enthusiasm for literature is to PASS IT ON.
See you in the bookstore...
* Lionel Dahmer has just sold his autobiography to Morrow. He's the
father of convicted murderer--and cannibal-- Jeffrey Dahmer, and he
says his book "will be useful to fathers and mothers everywhere who
are willing to learn from my experience".
* American humorist, journalist, and member of the famous Algonquin
Round Table, Robert Benchley, had a shelf devoted to books collected
solely for their titles. The shelf contained such classics as: FORTY
THOUSAND SUBLIME AND BEAUTIFUL THOUGHTS, SUCCESS WITH SMALL FRUITS,
TALKS ON MANURE, KEEPING A SINGLE COW, BICYCLING FOR LADIES, THE
CULTURE AND DISEASES OF THE SWEET POTATO, AILMENTS OF THE LEG, IN AND
OUT WITH MARY ANN, PERVERSE PUSSYS.
by Richard Price
(Houghton Mifflin, May 1992, $22.95, ISBN 0-395-53761-4)
In CLOCKERS, an apparently routine drug murder pulls a homicide
detective in the working-class city of Dempsy, New Jersey, deep into
the lives of two brothers, both caught in a horrifying web of chance
and circumstance. Rocco Klein, the veteran detective, has lost his
appetite for the wild drama of the street, and when a warm June night
brings yet another drug murder, he has no sense that the case is
anything special. Victor Dunham, a black 20-year-old, steps forward to
confess, but then a little digging reveals that he's never been in any
kind of trouble, whereas his brother runs a crew of street-corner
cocaine dealers--clockers--in a nearby housing project. Soon Rocco is
sure that Victor is innocent, sure that his brother, Strike, is the
real killer, and suddenly Rocco's hunger for the job is back.
But we KNOW this brother, and we know Strike is not the killer. Driven
and shrewd, Strike uses violence when he has to, but his main concern
is survival. Strike has been clocking for almost a year; if he could
somehow move up to the ounce business, "deal weight", he might get off
the street before it breaks him. But then a homicide cop begins
hounding him and his life becomes a nightmare.
To research CLOCKERS, Richard Price spent two years "hanging out with
anybody and everybody that has to deal with life on a survival level
in the cities"--homicide investigators, drug dealers, narcotics
police, families struggling to stay intact, social workers, kids in
drug treatment programs, lawyers. "I just wanted to find out how this
world worked," Price says. "Who are these kids who live by the
two-minute clock? What are their lives like?" CLOCKERS, recently sold
to Universal Pictures for 1.9 million dollars, is at once a riveting
murder mystery and a brilliant portrait of two lives on a collision
course, a searingly authentic novel of the American inner city, full
of vivid characters and pitch-perfect dialogue. Richard Price has been
writing screenplays for the last 10 years, two of the most memorable
being THE COLOR OF MONEY and SEA OF LOVE.
^ THE WILD BOAR
by Felix Mettler, translated by Edna McCown
(Fromm, April 1992, $18.95, ISBN 0-88064-134-7)
Death has no sense of justice. On the one hand, there is Horst Goetze,
an altogether unpleasant, ruthlessly ambitious, chain-smoking doctor
at St. Stephen's Clinic in Zurich. He is healthy and successful. On
the other hand, there is Gottfried Sonder, a simple and yet
extraordinary, honest, reclusive widower who works in the hospital's
autopsy department, nearing retirement. A nonsmoker and full of
respect for nature, he has developed lung cancer. To make matters
worse, the terrible diagnosis was made by none other than Dr. Goetze.
No doubt fate has made a mistake. Sonder, who has traveled the world
and knows about life, now has the disease that was clearly meant for
Dr. Goetze. An experienced hunter, he also knows about death, having
once shot a wild boar which fought back and attacked him until its
ultimate death. Sonder decides to fight back as well and tries to find
a way to rectify fate.
Soon a murder takes place, a body turns up in the car trunk of one of
the doctors, and then vanishes. But unlike other books of the same
genre, THE WILD BOAR makes us sympathize with the murderer. Even the
characters of this astonishing literary mystery almost dread the
uncovering of the crime, not least Commissioner Haeberli, whose
methods are thoroughly unusual: in solving the case he trusts his
unconscious more than facts and their observation. After all, Haeberli
knows that "murder is a creative process, more creative than birth at
any rate, as paradoxical as that may appear at first glance."
EDITOR'S NOTE: This is a wry, witty, and constantly surprising mystery
of unusual subtlety and finesse. You can give THE WILD BOAR to any
discerning mystery lover, secure in the knowledge that they have never
read anything quite like it.
by Louis Charbonneau
(Donald I. Fine, June 1992, $18.95, ISBN 1-55611-284-X)
Former CIA man Barney McLean, ousted for turning in his crooked
superior, and Angela Marchetti, the ex-wife of a drug kingpin, have
built an idyllic life for themselves under new identities, neither
knowing who the other really is. But somehow Angela's cover is blown,
her ex-husband sends his thugs to capture her, and she flees. Barney
sets out on a cross-country chase to find and protect her, while also
being tailed with murderous intent by his nemesis from his CIA days.
Veteran thriller writer Louis Charbonneau (THE ICE) offers up a new
swiftly-paced suspense novel.
^ THE PLAGIARIST
by Benjamin Cheever
(Atheneum, May 1992, $20.00, ISBN 0-689-12153-9)
Arthur Prentice is the husband of a demanding, difficult woman, the
son of an aging, acerbic, alcoholic, much-acclaimed American writer,
and the comic hero of this impressive (and provocative) first novel
from Benjamin Cheever. An innocent in the world of modern publishing,
Arthur tries to establish his own identity, taking a job at THE
AMERICAN READER magazine, where he is paid a fantastic salary and, not
so incidentally, is expected to deliver something written by his
famous father. Unfortunately for Arthur, his father thinks the
magazine is a bad joke, and to salvage his career Arthur realizes he
must do something... Which leads to an act that gives this
entertaining novel its title.
^ NIGHT WOMAN
by Nancy Price
(Pocket Books, June 1992, $21.00, ISBN 0-671-74993-5)
Randal Eliot is a renowned writer whose private life is kept from his
many adoring fans. Mary Eliot, his wife, is the actual author of his
books, silently doing the work while her husband's mental breakdowns
bounce him in and out of institutions. When Randal suddenly dies, Mary
is free at last, and can assure her financial future by writing books
that are "found" after Randal's death. But Mary wants the public
recognition she deserves. Then she meets Paul Anderson, a man she
hopes to love and share her secret with. But Paul's obsessions and
terrible temper will turn out to be mere hints of the violence in his
past, a violence that will threaten Mary's very existence. NIGHT WOMAN
is another terrifying novel of suspense from the author of SLEEPING
WITH THE ENEMY.
by Albert Guerard
(Donald I. Fine, June 1992, $20.00, ISBN 1-55611-288-2)
Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Randall, in Paris for a conference
on Latin America, is tired of the "official diplomatic" lifestyle, and
decides to relive the Paris of his youth. He enlists the aid of his
hotel chambermaid, Gabrielle, who, with the help of her many friends,
turns his night on the town into an international event. Randall is
passed from kidnapper to kidnapper in a blurring succession of captors
GABRIELLE rises above and beyond the genre thriller, combining a quick
pace and deliciously original characters with the stylistic elegance
and political insight for which the author's earlier novels are noted
(CHRISTINE/ANNETTE, THE EXILES, and THE HUNTED). The result is a
witty, sexy and suspenseful whirlwind tour of an American innocent
abroad caught in the European underground.
^ NEW AMERICAN PLAYS 1
with an introduction by Peter Filichia
(Heinemann, 1992, $15.95, ISBN 0-435-08604-9)
NEW AMERICAN PLAYS 1 collects four two-act plays, presenting an
encouraging and entertaining picture of modern American theater.
STARTING MONDAY by Anne Commire introduces us to two wonderful women,
one of whom has cancer. While giving a hint of the cold, dehumanizing
experience of modern medical care, as well as the isolating nature of
severe illness, STARTING MONDAY never becomes oppressive, maintaining
it's center with the vibrancy of the two leads. They share each
other's experiences, and, through the play, with us. It's touching,
funny, and sad all at once.
YANKEE DAWG YOU DIE by Philip Kan Gotanda illustrates the lives of
Asian Americans with two actors. Vincent is in his late 60s and
represents where Asian Americans have been: mostly playing fiendish
Oriental villains spouting such memorable lines as "Yankee dawg you
die!" Bradley is in his 20s, representing the present day, working on
"significant" Asian American plays written, acted, and produced by
Asian Americans, but only in small regional theaters or in low-budget
films that play in art houses. Who is right? Should you compromise
your identity to gain public acceptance? Vincent and Bradley's
conversations show us the struggle to understand and be understood
through their clash of cultures, generations, and theories of art.
THE BUG by Richard Strand is a paranoid's nightmare made hilarious.
Dennis works in the Assembly department at Jericho Corp. He connects
wires. As the play opens, he is visiting the head office with one
thought only: he doesn't want to be transferred to St. Louis. A new
employee is starting on Monday, but there are no open cubicles, and
Dennis is just certain that he's marked for exile to the company's
outpost in St. Louis. The conflict between Dennis' paranoid fears and
the company's maniacally rigid bureaucracy will leave both permanently
changed, as a succession of information is revealed. Like the fact
that no one has ever seen Dennis' immediate boss in Assembly, and how
Dennis found that huge company slush fund hidden in the computer's
files. This is the best play I've read in quite some time, and as soon
as I finish typing this I intend to read it again. If you like a good
comedy, THE BUG is worth the price of NEW AMERICAN PLAYS 1 all by
INTERROGATING THE NUDE by Doug Wright is about Marcel Duchamp and his
famous painting "Nude Descending a Staircase" that so shocked and
horrified the public at the 1913 Armory Show in New York City. The
play stars Duchamp himself and the photographer Man Ray, as Duchamp
turns himself in to the police station, confessing that he has
murdered Rose Selavy, whom he claims is his sister and who has been
having an affair with Man Ray. The play is surreal, fluid, and very
visual, with excellent stage directions that allow the reader to see
the play clearly in the mind's eye. The playwright has managed to
create in a drama what Duchamp created on canvas, a new way of
perceiving a well-known subject. INTERROGATING THE NUDE is a lively,
funny, and fascinating experimental play that is clear enough to grab
any reasonably intelligent audience yet complex enough to intrigue the
more demanding reader.
You can contact the publisher at: Heinemann Educational Books, Inc.,
361 Hanover Street, Portsmouth, NH 03801-3959.
^ DOCTOR SLEEP
by Madison Smartt Bell
(Penguin, June 1992, $10.00, ISBN 0-14-016560-6)
Adrian Strother simply can't get to sleep--which is a bit odd, since
Adrian's livelihood is hypnotism, a trade this young American plies in
a not-so-fashionable section of London. He supplements his meager
income by doing the occasional job for Scotland Yard, where he soon
finds himself enmeshed in the grubby doings of a particularly unsavory
drug trafficker and his bullyboy henchmen, who have a singular talent
for hair styling and mayhem. Meanwhile, there is a savage serial
killer at large whose prey is little girls.
Adrian's love life is equally vexed, what with Clara vacating his
insomniac bed and Nicole perhaps re-entering it. His skill in the
martial arts is no help at all here. Yet somehow all of it comes
together, and in dramatic and startling fashion, Adrian's gifts come
violently into play. He will, perhaps, sleep.
^ MY LIFE AS A WHALE
by Dyan Sheldon
(Villard, 1992, $20.00, ISBN 0-679-40691-3)
Michael Householder is a member of an endangered species: he's a
reasonably successful adult male living in New York City who happens
to be unmarried. He isn't gay, he isn't crazy, he just prefers to live
alone. As a result, Michael is being stalked. Between a city full of
unmarried women, and a mother who wants a daughter-in-law, Michael's
life is being ruined. So he decides to do something about it. He
invents a wife, even going so far as to dress in women's clothes so
"she" can be seen around his apartment. The problem begins when
Michael tries to get rid of his wife by having her "leave". She
disappears just a bit too thoroughly for some of his neighbors, who
become convinced that he has murdered her. Soon Michael is arrested,
and many believe that he is the serial murderer currently plaguing the
city called the Butcher of Broadway. MY LIFE AS A WHALE is a
delightful comic thriller, fast-paced, and great good fun to read.
^ UNDER THE SOUTHERN CROSS
by Claire McNab
(Naiad Press, 1992, $9.95, ISBN 1-56280-011-6)
American Lee Paynter has built her small travel agency into an
international tour company. Brash, confident, openly lesbian, her
great love is her business. Women? They're to enjoy and let go.
Alexandra Findlay is pursuing a career in Australian tourism with
quiet focus and determination, convinced that her career is the best
she can hope for in her arid, closeted emotional existence. Now Alex
has been assigned to accompany Lee on the American woman's visit Down
Under, to win Lee's company over to Australian tourism. Suddenly
Alex's quiet life explodes...and Lee is challenged by a woman unlike
any she has ever known.
Bestselling author Claire McNab departs from her famous Detective
Inspector Carol Ashton series to bring us this dazzling romance set
against the majestic landscape of Australia. You can order UNDER THE
SOUTHERN CROSS directly from the publisher by sending the list price,
plus 15% for postage and handling, to: The Naiad Press, Inc., PO Box
10543, Tallahassee, FL 32302. Or call their order line:
^ GOOD OMENS
by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett
(Berkley, March 1992, $8.95, ISBN 0-425-13215-3)
We hear the world will end on a Saturday. Next Saturday, in fact. Just
before dinner. Unfortunately Sister Mary Loquacious of the Chattering
Order has misplaced the Antichrist. The Four Horsemen of the
Apocalypse ride motorcycles. And the representatives from Heaven and
Hell have decided they actually LIKE the human race...
Have a nice doomsday.
GOOD OMENS is sort of like Douglas Adams, Monty Python, and Woody
Allen all at the same time. This could well be the funniest book you
read this year. Don't miss it.
by Michael Korda
(Warner, February 1992, $5.99, ISBN 0-446-36227-1)
Felicia Lisle was the stunning English ingenue who won an Oscar for
her role in a whirlwind, epic motion picture. Sir Robert Vane was the
renowned genius of the stage. For twenty years, as the world was swept
into war, Vane and Felicia played out a meteoric public love affair
and their separate, stormy careers. But what no one could see were the
secret deals made and broken, the Hollywood power plays, the
betrayals, sins, madness, and finally, even a murder. For while Vane's
moody genius kept him apart from Felicia and plunged him into a
dangerous relationship with the American comedian Randy Brooks,
Felicia's private demons were hurtling them both toward ruin.
CURTAIN is nearly definitive summer reading.
^ A CERTAIN DISCONTENT
by Cleve Boutell
(Naiad Press, 1992, $9.95, ISBN 1-56280-009-4)
After the death of her parents, Joanna Becker becomes the ward of her
Aunt Beatrice. Beatrice, wise witness to the gothic existence led by
the seemingly tranquil Becker family, has gleaned much about the
forces that have shaped the assertive Joanna. Vicki LeBrecque, in
thrall to Joanna, is astounded to discover that she has the consent of
Beatrice to love Joanna. But Beatrice has a past of her own, and
Joanna finds additional protection among a circle of highly
sophisticated women, one of whom is Vicki's own mother, and her lover.
Fed by the wellspring of this confident, powerful cadre, Joanna seeks
to apply her advantages--her strong personality, her prestige, her
energetic optimism, and most of all her ideals--to influence young
women around her. But she has much to learn about the world outside
her own, and the rock-hard price women with less privilege must pay
for independent lives.
This splendid novel, set just after World War II, portrays American
forerunners who carried the torch until the day when women would
openly fight for control of their lives. You can order A CERTAIN
DISCONTENT from the publisher by sending the list price, plus 15% for
postage and handling, to: The Naiad Press, Inc., PO Box 10543,
Tallahassee, FL 32302. Or call their order line: 1-800-533-1973.
^ BLOOD RED, SNOW WHITE
by Diane Henry & Nicholas Horrock
(Little, Brown, February 1992, $19.95, ISBN 0-316-35752-9)
On the outside, Alec Anton has the perfect life: he is a successful
corporate lawyer at a prestigious Wall Street firm, has considerable
political influence around the courts and city hall, has an elegant
Park Avenue apartment, and a luxurious country home in Connecticut. On
the inside, however, Alec isn't so fortunate--he is still haunted by
memories of Vietnam and a painful divorce. And when a beautiful
neighbor asks Alec to help her find her missing son, he falls for her
Even though Alec is already involved in a sensitive money-laundering
case, he begins the search for the missing young Noah. Even his
passion for Noah's mother doesn't blunt the horror when Alec discovers
connections between his money-laundering case, Noah's disappearance, a
shadowy Colombian drug family, high-level corporate and political
corruption, and murder. BLOOD RED, SNOW WHITE is a fast-paced and
gripping suspense novel.
^ GRASSY FLATS
by Penny Hayes
(Naiad Press, 1992, $9.95, ISBN 1-56280-010-8)
Lesbian lovers Nell and Aggie are struggling to survive on their farm
in Grassy Flats, Idaho, during the Depression. When the town learns of
their love, merchants will no longer extend credit and the situation
grows desperate. GRASSY FLATS is a powerful and affecting tale from
the author of THE LONG TRAIL, YELLOWTHROAT, and MONTANA FEATHERS.
You can order GRASSY FLATS from the publisher by sending the list
price, plus 15% for postage and handling, to: The Naiad Press, Inc.,
PO Box 10543, Tallahassee, FL 32302. Or call their order line:
1-800-533-1973. Be sure to ask for a copy of their latest catalog.
^ THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY
by Robert James Waller
(Warner, April 1992, $14.95, ISBN 0-446-51652-X)
Photographer Robert Kincaid, is in Madison County, Iowa, in 1965 to
shoot covered bridges for an article in NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC. Not able
to find Roseman Bridge, he stops at a farm house to ask directions,
and his life changes forever. Francesca Johnson is a farm wife whose
husband and two children are away at the Illinois State Fair. She was
an Italian war bride who taught literature until her farmer husband
decided he didn't want his wife working. On this August day Francesca
is 45, Robert Kincaid is 52, and they will transform each other,
finding something extraordinary together, something entirely Other.
They will only have four days together, but those four days will last
them a lifetime. THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY is a novel of
remarkable emotional depth, a story of love and passion more profound
than anything I've ever read. A truly wonderful book.
^ KING SOLOMON'S CARPET
by Ruth Rendell writing as Barbara Vine
(Harmony Books, May 1992, $19.00, ISBN 0-517-58795-5)
After having won the Crime Writers' Gold Dagger award for A FATAL
INVERSION, Vine won it again for this dark psychological thriller,
KING SOLOMON'S CARPET, becoming only the second writer to win two Gold
Dagger awards. In this story, the tension begins immediately as we are
introduced to Jarvis, the owner of a large house overlooking the last
stop on the London Underground. Jarvis is obsessed by the Underground,
and the peculiar lodgers that he rents out rooms to all find
themselves drawn to it as well. There is Alice, who has recently left
her husband and baby. Tom, who plays music on the platforms. Jasper
and his friends, who play chicken on top of the cars. Jed, who keeps a
hawk and uses the trains at night. And then there is Axel, who hates
the Underground and rides around on it, reminding himself how much he
hates it, and formulating his plan.
The interconnections in this odd group of people form a pattern that
is complex, dark, and sinister. KING SOLOMON'S CARPET is chilling,
tense, and impossible to put down. (TRIVIA NOTE: The first writer to
win two Gold Daggers was Ruth Rendell.)
^ RIVERFINGER WOMEN
by Elana Nachman/Dykewomon
(Naiad Press, 1974/1992, $8.95, ISBN 1-56280-013-2)
Since Inez Riverfingers' arrival on the scene in 1974, women have
hailed RIVERFINGER WOMEN as an indispensable classic of lesbian life.
"In a moment I will conjure Abby Riverfingers and Peggy
Warren and the burden of inventing myself again will wear
off, the story will begin...The hammering of myself into the
background will seem to be over. This hammering, this
background--the language of our getting older, the time of
our being no longer children but young women, that is to
say, forming into identifiable shapes, it is not simple.
From time to time you will hear that faint tackety-tackety-
tackety, like kids at summercamp, making bronze name plates
in relief dot by dot:
these are our lives, these are our lives, these are our
Discover for yourself Inez, Abby, and Peggy, and their richly
intertwined lives. Meet Rainbo Woman and Lucy Bear. Recapture the
exhilaration and pain of being young and lesbian in the anti-war '60s
in this salty tour de force, this romp through a unique time of
personal and sexual discovery.
^ DREAMS OF LONG LASTING
by Mark Medoff
(Warner, June 1992, $19.95, ISBN 0-446-51597-3)
DREAMS OF LONG LASTING is the story of Jacob Landau, an aspiring young
playwright locked in a self-destructive struggle between the demons of
his past and his fear of the future; between his lust for fame and
fortune and his desire to become a decent, compassionate man. His fate
is to be hopelessly attracted to the "woman of his dreams," a
brilliant but emotionally scarred actress with whom he has an
all-consuming love affair so intense it threatens to destroy them
both. Jacob painfully extricates himself and returns home to his
family in Miami Beach to lick his wounds. Once there, fury, perverse
amusement, and indecision combine to thrust him into an unlikely
marriage to a classic "princess". But what Jacob never counted on is
that behind her state-of-the-art nose job and perfectly coiffed hair
is a woman whose sharp intelligence, sense of adventure, and
determination match his own.
Despite his best efforts at self-sabotage, it looks as though Jake may
end up living happily ever after...that is, until the woman of his
fantasies reappears, sending him on an odyssey that will bring him
face-to-face with his hopes, his fears, and his limitations in a most
unexpected and shocking way.
Mark Medoff is the author of the Tony Award-winning and Academy
Award-nominated play CHILDREN OF A LESSER GOD, as well as the
screenplays of CLARA'S HEART and CITY OF JOY.
^ THE PLAYER
by Michael Tolkin
(Vintage, 1989, $10.00, ISBN 0-679-72254-8)
The title character is Griffin Mill, a top executive at a major film
studio, a master of the game that is Hollywood. He talks to industry
wannabees constantly, and his common, throwaway phrase is "I'll get
back to you", a reply that is not to be taken seriously, and never has
been. Until now. For one disappointed would-be screenwriter has begun
sending postcards to Griffin, several of which carry the message
"You said you'd get back to me. You didn't. And now...I'm
going to kill you."
Suddenly Griffin is forced to consider these faceless petitioners as
individuals, and wonders how to appease his tormentor. But, at the
same time, Griffin's position at the studio is uncertain, and he must
plan for upcoming power shifts. THE PLAYER is a fascinating study of
the inner world of a studio executive and his paranoid game-playing.
It's a world where love and passion, even life and death, are vague,
nebulous elements around a solid center of industry rumors, power
lunches, and political phone messages. Cynical without being
contemptuous, THE PLAYER is the most fascinating peek inside Hollywood
since WHAT MAKES SAMMY RUN? and THE DAY OF THE LOCUST. Recommended.
^ BODY OF TRUTH
by David Lindsey
(Doubleday, May 1992, $22.50, ISBN 0-385-24814-8)
Homicide cop Stuart Haydon, last seen in Lindsey's IN THE LAKE OF THE
MOON (1988), finds himself this time out in Guatemala, looking for a
missing woman: Lena Muller, the daughter of a wealthy Houston
businessman. Instead he finds a country of casual brutalities,
political corruption, and a group of American expatriots who are also
seeking Lena. But who is telling the truth? Which ones are really
Lena's friends? How can Haydon find truth in a country whose only
reality is political expediency? A tense, taut thriller.
NOW AVAILABLE ON TAPE!
BODY OF TRUTH is now available from Bantam Audio (read by Keith
Szarabajka, who was a regular on THE EQUALIZER): 2 cassettes, 3 hour
abridgment, $15.99, ISBN 0-553-47049-3.
^ VENUS BLUE
by Gustaf Sobin
(Little, Brown, February 1992, $19.95, ISBN 0-316-80255-7)
Stefan Hollander is a collector who becomes fascinated with the
memorabilia of 1930s film starlet Molly Lamanna. She only made a few
films, mostly forgettable, but the woman herself was a mesmerizing
presence on the screen. Careful research nets Hollander virtually no
information about Molly's life at all, and the enigma of her offscreen
personality, her life, leaves him with a veritable lust for knowledge.
Then he learns of the unusual 1939 journal written by Millicent
Rappaport, a screenwriter who was as much obsessed by Molly as
Hollander. VENUS BLUE alternates between Hollander's activities and
portions of Millicent's journal as the two, separated by half a
century, try to discover the secrets at the center of the woman who
was Molly Lamanna. Reminiscent of the movie LAURA, Sobin's VENUS BLUE
is a hauntingly poetic tale of 1930s Hollywood, wartime Europe, and
personal obsession. Gustaf Sobin is an American poet (VOYAGING
PORTRAITS) living in the south of France.
^ THE VANISHED CHILD
by Sarah Smith
(Ballantine, April 1992, $20.00, ISBN 0-345-37350-2)
Flashback: In 1887 New England, millionaire William Knight is shot to
death in his home. The only witness was Knight's grandson Richard, but
when asked what he saw, replied only: "I won't tell. I'll never tell."
Three days later, Richard disappears, despite being heavily guarded,
and all that is left are questions. Who killed William Knight? Why
wouldn't Richard talk about it? What happened to Richard? Was he
murdered for what he knew?
Now it's 1906. Richard has been gone for 18 years, the estate being
managed by the Knight lawyers even though an estranged son of William
Knight survives. But Gilbert Knight is convinced, has always been
convinced, that Richard is still alive, and refuses to allow the
lawyers to declare Richard legally dead. And about this time Richard's
old physician, and long-time friend of Gilbert's, catches sight of
Baron Alexander von Reisden, who bears a marked resemblance to the
Knights, and the doctor mistakes him for the grown Richard. Reisden
denies being Richard, but is soon involved in a scheme posed by the
Knight lawyers to prod Gilbert into finally having Richard declared
dead. The only problem is that once Gilbert sees Reisden, he is
instantly convinced, beyond all doubt, that Reisden is indeed Richard.
And, unbeknownst to Gilbert and the lawyers, Reisden can't remember
anything prior to his tenth birthday.
Is Reisden really Richard? Why is Gilbert so afraid of him, until,
that is, he discovers that Reisden really doesn't remember what
happened with old William Knight? Why is the doctor now so sure that
Reisden isn't Richard, and why is he so angry? Why can't Reisden
remember any of his early childhood? There are so many questions to be
answered as this enthralling mystery and emotionally wrenching novel
unfolds; a serious novel that also hides a delightful and delicate
romance within its enigmatic pages. A tale of hidden identity similar
to that of Anastasia (Smith tips her hat to this old story in the name
of Reisden's deceased wife), THE VANISHED CHILD is compulsively
readable and bound to be considered among the finest novels published
this year. Sarah Smith orchestrates a diverse collection of human
personalities and motivations, all with incredible ease, and not a
false note anywhere. Simply wonderful.
by Dorothy Gilman
(Doubleday, June 1992, $19.00, ISBN 0-385-42361-6)
Caressa Horvath, CARAVAN's unflappable heroine, never guessed that her
skills as a pickpocket would take her away from the carnival life of
her childhood...all the way from Boston to the Sahara Desert. In an
attempt to educate her daughter in the elements of culture, Caressa's
ambitious mother sends her off to a finishing school in Boston just
before the outbreak of World War I. Sixteen-year-old Caressa tries to
pick the pocket of wealthy Jacob Bowman. He catches her in the act,
and, fascinated, soon befriends her. An amateur anthropologist who
loves to travel, Jacob is planning a trip to the Sahara Desert. Uneasy
with the idea of leaving Caressa behind, he proposes marriage, and
they sail off to Tripoli, where a caravan awaits them.
Once on their journey they meet up with a band of vicious
Tuareg--desert nomads--who demand tribute money to ensure the
caravan's safety across the desert. Jacob refuses; a decision that
costs him his life. Thinking Caressa is a sorceress, the Tuareg spare
her life, but she is then forced to travel with them to their camp in
the Hoggar Mountains. So begins her 3-year odyssey across the desert,
where she struggles desperately to survive its harsh climate and
dangers and to learn its mysterious ways.
Dorothy Gilman, a master storyteller who has won millions of readers
with her bestselling Mrs. Pollifax mysteries, has, with CARAVAN,
written a rousing adventure story filled with exotic locales and
^ A SINGULAR SPY: A Madison McGuire Espionage Thriller
by Amanda Kyle Williams
(Naiad Press, 1992, $8.95, ISBN 1-56280-008-6)
Madison McGuire is a lesbian and an experienced operative working for
the CIA. When an insignificant station clerk in Geneva is killed, the
intelligence community must face a very unpleasant fact: there is
apparently a traitor in their midst. Suddenly intelligence gathering
slows to a crawl and agents are endangered all over the world. Madison
McGuire's assignment is to find the mole before any more damage is
But finding a mole is a very difficult operation. Who can you trust?
Madison assembles her own team, made up of outsiders and one Company
trainee. And she will only report to the CIA's highest level
people--the Deputy Directors and the Director himself. On this case
Madison will lose some of her team, meet a deadly Russian spy named
Natasha, and will have her own home stained by violence. A SINGULAR
SPY is exciting, intelligent, and a great change of pace from the
virulent, bigoted and misogynist stories of Ian Fleming. Actually, the
Madison McGuire stories don't bear any comparison to Fleming at all.
They're most comparable to John Le Carre's novels, but with a writing
style that is distinctively American. If you like a good spy story, be
sure to check out the Madison McGuire books.
Previous Madison McGuire novels are THE PROVIDENCE FILE ($8.95, ISBN
0-941483-92-4) and CLUB 12 ($8.95, ISBN 0-941483-64-9). All are
available from the publisher. Send the list price(s), plus 15% for
postage and handling, to: The Naiad Press, Inc., PO Box 10543,
Tallahassee, FL 32302. Or call their order line: 1-800-533-1973. Be
sure to ask for a copy of their latest catalog.
^ HARRY AND CHICKEN
by Dyan Sheldon, illustrated by Sue Heap
(Candlewick Press, 1992, $13.95, ISBN 1-56402-012-6)
A novel for readers 8-11
Sara Jane, known to her family as Chicken, has been feeling awfully
lonesome since her best friend Kim moved away, so it's a stroke of
luck all around when she runs into Harry, a large gray cat sitting on
a trash can in the rain--cold, wet, and hungry. But you must
understand that Harry is very special. He can talk, you see. But
that's not TOO unusual, because all the sponge-like beings from the
planet Arcana who visit Earth in the form of cats can talk. But they
still need someone to feed them, and keep them out of the rain, and
keep them company so they won't be too lonely. So Chicken takes Harry
home with her, which is just a bit more complicated than Harry seems
to realize, because Chicken's mom doesn't like cats, her sister is
allergic to them, and her brother has two pet birds. (So it's sure
lucky that Harry isn't a REAL cat, isn't it?) Somehow it all comes out
happily in the end, and the reader can look forward to another
adventure with Harry and Chicken in HARRY THE EXPLORER.
HARRY AND CHICKEN is a delightful story for young cat lovers by Dyan
Sheldon (a fellow aficionado who dedicates this book to her three
felines: Harpo, Mao, and Elvis), engagingly illustrated by Sue Heap.
You can contact the publisher at: Candlewick Press, 2067 Massachusetts
Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02140.
^ OUTER BANKS
by Anne Rivers Siddons
This book is a delightful trip through the pleasures and joys of
youthful friendships, the more sobering realities of mature
friendships, and the bittersweet irony of reunions. It tracks the
lives of four women who become acquainted as sorority sisters at a
university in Georgia. The principal figure in the story and the
character from whose perspective the story is told is Katherine Stuart
Lee who comes from a family of modest means in Alabama. In spite of
this reality, Katherine's father represents himself as a member of
"Southern Aristocracy", imbues Katherine with his dream of social
status, and pushes her into contacts and relationships that are
founded on pretenses. Her mother is a follower and passively
collaborates in the family deception. During Kate's second year of
college her father commits suicide as his lies and debts become
excessively burdensome, and she must leave expensive Randolph Macon
College for the less expensive State University. It is at this point
that the other three principals enter the story.
Cecie is her roommate, the product of a broken family, but a bright,
clever woman with a dry wit and a sense of discretion that makes her a
Fig is the ugly misfit with no taste and no social graces. She is the
butt of jokes, is rejected in her attempts at forming friendships, and
focuses on Kate as her model and mentor. She is also a brilliant
student and keeps a running record of the college life in her secret
Ginger is the lively, gregarious, self-effacing rich girl who is
generous to a fault. Her family owns the house on the outer banks of
North Carolina where the four first go on vacation from school and
where their final reunion takes place some 30 years later.
In telling this story Anne Rivers Siddons shows an unusual ability to
reach deep into the personalities, emotions and private thoughts of
the four women. She does this with humor, sympathy, suspense and even
a bit of mystery. Like most friendships, the ties between the four
women wax and wane through the years of their association but some
contacts are maintained and their memories of each other are strong
and enduring. The final reunion at Ginger's home on the Outer Banks
provides the platform for revealing the strengths and weaknesses of
the women and for resolving some of the mysteries that have developed
between their youth and their maturity.
The author is vivid and poetic in describing the Outer Banks--if you
have ever been there it is like having a real second visit. Good
insight and good reading.
^ GAUNTLET #3
Politically (In)Correct Issue
GAUNTLET, an annual book/magazine subtitled "Exploring the Limits of
Free Expression" is dedicated to discussing censorship, publicizing
instances of censorship, arguing censorship issues, and printing
examples of censored material. I particularly like the essays from
divergent, often controversial, points of view, because this is
exactly the kind of input that censorship denies us. In effect, the
censor states: "I believe in my position but I'm very insecure about
it, so I'd better just not allow any other positions to exist." That's
really it, isn't it? The sensible person who feels that a certain
movie debases women, or encourages violence, or whatever, that
sensible person just avoids that movie. The censor must go further.
The censor feels he must prevent anyone else from seeing it either.
Once again, GAUNTLET provides an excellent forum for discussion, news,
views, and examples of censored stuff. I think I can pretty well
guarantee that just about everyone will find something offensive
within the covers, but it's all educational, it's all food for your
brain cells, and some of it just might change your perceptions. In any
case, in GAUNTLET #3 you find talk about: the politics of rape, the
abortion controversy, political and corporate censorship, little-known
aspects of the Gulf War, Lenny Bruce, Andrew Dice Clay, "The Year in
Censorship", the movie BASIC INSTINCT, book reviews, comics, artwork,
and of course a lot of Politically Incorrect viewpoints. There's an
interview with publisher William M. Gaines, and contributions from
people like: John Shirley, Harlan Ellison, Rex Miller, Thomas F.
Monteleone, and many more. Censored fiction comes from Nancy A.
Collins, Brian Hodge, Ramsey Campbell, Steve Rasnic Tem, Richard
Christian Matheson, James Kisner, and others. This issue of GAUNTLET
could give you conversational material for the next year. Great stuff.
Get your copy of GAUNTLET #3 by sending $12.95, plus $2 postage and
handling, to: GAUNTLET, Dept. SUB92, 309 Powell Rd., Springfield, PA
19064. There are still limited quantities of #1 and #2 left, which you
can get for $10.95 plus $2 postage each. Next year's #4 can be
reserved now for $12.95 plus $2, but if you get #3 and reserve #4 at
the same time you can save a couple of dollars--send $24 plus $4
shipping and handling. GAUNTLET is a worthy publication put together,
as I understand it, entirely on a teacher's salary, so you might think
about lending your support. If you'd like to send a donation, send it
to: GAUNTLET, Dept. DON92, 309 Powell Rd., Springfield, PA 19064.
~ BOOK STACKS UNLIMITED
HAVE YOU EVER READ a review of a book in READING FOR PLEASURE and
wanted to buy it immediately? Then, after you FINALLY get to a
bookstore, you find they don't carry that particular book. It can
really be exasperating.
Most bookstores carry 30,000 - 35,000 titles with a select few stores
carrying 100,000 titles. While this may seem like alot, it really
isn't when you consider that they all have basically the same titles.
If you go to a bookstore looking for a certain book and they don't
have it, you can pretty much count on the other stores not having it
Now there is a "bookstore" that carries over 650,000 titles --- nearly
every title in print! BOOK STACKS UNLIMITED is an on-line bookstore
and readers' conference system available to anyone in the world. When
you dial into Book Stacks, you can browse the 'shelves' and search for
books by author, title or subject. Choose your titles, place your
order and we will ship your books directly to your home or office. As
a special bonus, when you purchase books from Book Stacks from Book
Stacks you earn credits, called Bookmarks, for FREE books.
Book Stacks also offers other valuable services to its customers. In
MAGAZINE RACK you will find electronic newsletters, like Reading For
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allows you to chat with other book readers in areas such as science
fiction or you can enter your own book reviews. Additionally, you can
download ZIP files of books available in a particular area of
To browse the 'shelves' of Book Stacks dial:
Modem # (216) 861-0469 (300-2400 Baud)
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Next time you're looking for a book, dial into Book Stacks Unlimited.
Save yourself time, money and alot of useless trips to the "limited"
^ DEATH IS FOREVER
by John Gardner
(Putnam, June 1992, $15.95, ISBN 0-399-13716-5)
With the unification of Germany in 1990, the existing joint
American-British intelligence network in East Germany disbanded. Now
the British SIS and the CIA want to renew contact with the network,
code-named CABAL. Their initial efforts fail when the two original
case officers are killed under mysterious circumstances before
reaching their six undercover agents.
007 and his American counterpart, Ms. "Eazy" St. John, are called upon
to replace the dead case officers. Following the leads left by their
unfortunate predecessors, Bond and Eazy track down the first agent,
who dies on his way to a rendezvous with our master spy. Certain now
that the entire network is marked for death, Bond and Eazy race across
Europe, hoping to save the others from the unknown killer, only to
find that they too have become the targets of CABAL's old enemy:
Wolfgang Weisen, the shadowy director of the former East German
Although he has been on the run since the destruction of the Berlin
Wall, Weisen still maintains a following of loyal and highly trained
security officers with access to a wide range of sophisticated
weaponry. By setting a trap for Bond, Weisen plans to "neutralize" the
secret agent before undertaking his true mission: the destabilization
of Western Europe through a single, savage act.
~COMING IN JULY!
^ THE EBONY SWAN
by Phyllis Whitney
(Doubleday, July 1992, $21.00, ISBN 0-385-42443-4)
Susan Prentice, a 29-year-old nurse, has called off her engagement and
has decided to return to the home of her deceased mother, Dolores, a
place her father has forbidden her to visit for over twenty years.
Alexandrina Montora, Susan's maternal grandmother, is anxious to
reunite with the young woman, and at the same time desires to make
peace with a past that has torn her family apart since the tragic
death of her daughter. Susan's appearance unleashes painful truths for
both women, as they learn that Dolores' death was no accident. First,
however, Susan finds herself at the center of the conflicts within her
family's community and her grandmother's past, and these conflicts
must be settled if there is to be a future at all.
Set in the island communities of Virginia's historical Chesapeake Bay,
THE EBONY SWAN combines psychological suspense, mystery, and romance
as Phyllis Whitney's many fans have come to expect.
~BOOKS ON TAPE:
^ THE PELICAN BRIEF
by John Grisham, performance by Anthony Heald
Abridged, 4 cassettes, 340 minutes
(Bantam Audio, 1992, $22.50, ISBN 0-553-47046-9)
Late one October night Justice Abe Rosenberg, at 91 the Supreme
Court's liberal legend, is shot to death in his Georgetown home. Two
hours later Glenn Jensen, the Court's youngest and most conservative
justice, is strangled. The country is stunned; the FBI has no clues.
But Darby Shaw, a brilliant law student at Tulane, thinks she has the
answer. Days of digging through the law library's computers have led
her to draft a brief speculating on an obscure connection between the
two justices--and a most unlikely suspect. Her suspect has powerful
friends: one evening, outside a New Orleans restaurant, Darby narrowly
escapes an assassin's car bomb. Someone has read her brief--someone
who wants her dead.
Alone and frightened, Darby disappears into the anonymous shadows of
the French Quarter, where she contacts investigative reporter Gary
Grantham and convinces him that Washington's position on the killings
amounts to the biggest cover-up since Watergate. Together they go
underground, on the run, trying to stay alive long enough to expose
the real truth contained in the Pelican Brief.
^ BOY'S LIFE
by Robert R. McCammon, read by Richard Thomas
Abridged, 2 cassettes, 3 hours
(Simon & Schuster Audio, 1992, $16.00, ISBN 0-671-76014-9)
Robert McCammon's BOY'S LIFE is a large, lavish novel of the life of
12-year-old Cory Mackenson in 1964 small-town Alabama (reviewed in RFP
#19). In condensing the story for this audio version, the choice was
made confine the material to the murder mystery. This is certainly a
wise choice, making a more coherent short version of the novel, but it
sure does leave out a lot of good parts, and a few terrific
characters. You will, however, hear about how Cory and his dad come
across a murdered man, just before the body disappears forever in
Saxon's Lake. No one turns up missing, and without a body or at least
knowing the identity of the murdered man, the sheriff can do nothing.
The only clue, known only to Cory, is a green feather found at the
scene. Hoping to solve the murder in order to help his father, Cory
keeps his eyes and ears open, but his investigation takes many twists
and turns. First there is a serious flood in the town, after which
Cory meets The Lady, an ancient black wise-woman (whose voice is done
to perfection by Richard Thomas). With her help, Cory will solve the
mystery, and the story reaches a breathtakingly exciting ending. This
is a very fine story to listen to, beautifully read by Richard Thomas,
but I would still recommend reading the book as well, for a much
deeper, richer narrative experience.
^ SKY MASTERS
by Dale Brown, read by Joseph Campanella
Abridged, 2 cassettes, 3 hours
(Dove Audio, $15.95, ISBN 1-55800-352-5)
In the near future, U.S. forces are completing their final withdrawal
from bases in the Philippines. The navy of the People's Republic of
China lays claim to the Spratly Islands, decimating a Philippine
drilling platform when its occupants refuse to knuckle under. The
confrontation quickly escalates when the Chinese use a tactical nuke
to wipe out the Philippino flotilla. The U.S. Air Force counterattacks
with specially equipped B-52s, B-1s and B-2 Stealth bombers, Colonel
Patrick "Mac" MacLanahan of the original "Old Dog" flight playing a
key role in the harrowing operation. You can order SKY MASTERS by
^ THE CAY
by Theodore Taylor, performance by LeVar Burton
2 cassettes, 165 minutes
(Bantam Audio, 1992, $15.99, ISBN 0-553-47038-8)
Phillip's mother didn't like black people. "They are different," she
had told him. Phillip had never believed her before, but now...After
all, Timothy WAS different. He was huge, and he was very old, and to
Phillip he seemed ugly. And he was the most stubborn man Phillip had
ever known. But after the Germans torpedoed the freighter on which he
and his mother were traveling during wartime, Phillip found himself
dependent on the old West Indian. There were just the two of them cast
up on the barren little Caribbean island--three, if you counted Stew
Cat--and a crack on the head had left Phillip blind.
Their struggle for survival and Phillip's efforts to adjust to his
blindness and to understand the dignified, wise, and loving old man
who was his companion make this a memorable tale.
^ THE TRUMPET OF THE SWAN
by E.B. White, read by the author
Unabridged, 4 cassettes, 259 minutes
(Bantam Audio, $21.99, ISBN 0-553-47050-7)
Louis is a Trumpeter Swan, but has no voice. Though he is frightened
when his father explains how he is different than other cygnets, Louis
is resourceful and determined. Leaving his wild and beautiful home, he
finds a young human friend, Sam Beaver, who helps him learn to read
and write. When Louis returns to his lake, he discovers his education
isn't enough: the beautiful swan he loves, Serena, can't read his
declarations of love--and he cannot trumpet them. Louis' resolution to
win the swan of his desiring launches him on an adventure that will
take him far from home and lead where fate--and love--have a few
surprises in store. With humor and lyric beauty, E.B. White tells a
timeless tale of love, courage, and freedom that will capture the
imagination of every listener.
^ BRIGHT CAPTIVITY
by Eugenia Price, performance by Linda Purl
Abridged, 2 cassettes, 3 hours
(Bantam Audio, 1992, $15.99, ISBN 0-553-47045-0)
Toward the end of the War of 1812, Anne Couper, daughter of a wealthy
Georgia planter, has a birthday, and she can't wait to fall in love.
Then her birthday party is interrupted by British soldiers, which is
how she meets John Fraser, a charming Scot who also happens to be the
enemy. He captures the estate, temporarily, and her heart permanently,
in this frothy and exuberant romance engagingly read by Linda Purl.
^ TWILIGHT AT MAC'S PLACE
by Ross Thomas, read by Robert Culp
Abridged, 2 cassettes, 3 hours
(Dove Audio, 1990, $15.95, ISBN 1-55800-287-1)
It's always twilight at Mac's Place, a Washington bar and grill, and
that's where Granville Haynes goes after the funeral of his father,
Steadfast "Steady" Haynes. Steady Haynes was a long-time unofficial
employee of the CIA, who may, or may not, have written his tell-all
memoirs before his death. Naturally, a number of people are
interesting in the existence, whereabouts, and ownership, of these
possible memoirs. When people start dying, Granville enlists the help
of the owners of Mac's Place, and the game begins. TWILIGHT AT MAC'S
PLACE is classic Ross Thomas: complex, clever, humorous, and with a
very distinct bite to it. And Robert Culp's irreverent, hard-edged
voice is the perfect way to hear it. You can order TWILIGHT AT MAC'S
PLACE by calling 1-800-345-9945.
by David L. Lindsey, performance by Judith Ivey
Abridged, 2 cassettes, 3 hours
(Bantam Audio, 1992, $15.99, ISBN 0-553-47042-6)
Houston is shattered by a shock wave of unbelievably vicious sex
killings. And this time the pattern is unique--way out of line with
traditional violent-crime psychology. In Detective Carmen Palma's
experience, a psychopath always chooses anonymous targets. But the
Houston victims know and trust their killer. They meet willingly in
hotel rooms, even in their homes. They don't fight when the leather
cuffs are fastened to their wrists and ankles. They don't even
struggle when the first blows fall...
Palma's first lightning instinct is that the victims expected their
torture. They were practicing masochists, part of a secret clique that
includes some of the city's most prominent women. They helped
choreograph their own punishments--every blow. They just didn't expect
^ THE EDUCATION OF LITTLE TREE
by Forrest Carter, read by Peter Coyote
Abridged, 2 cassettes, 3 hours
(Audio Literature, 1992, $15.95, ISBN 0-944993-51-6)
A 1991 ABBY Award winner, THE EDUCATION OF LITTLE TREE is a young
boy's story of growing up with his Cherokee grandparents, learning
about nature, about mankind's place on the planet, about life, and
about death. A word-of-mouth bestseller, it has been popular with
readers of all ages. It's funny, it's sad, it's full of everything
that defines life. Some of my favorite parts are: the harvesting of
the first watermelon, Grandfather's analysis of MACBETH, and the story
of the time Grandfather saved Little Tree from a rattlesnake, only to
get bitten himself and nearly die. This Audio Literature adaptation is
made special by the reading of Peter Coyote, whose subtle, understated
and unsentimental inflections of a small boy allow the drama of the
material to speak for itself. THE EDUCATION OF LITTLE TREE is a
delight to read and Audio Literature has turned it into a very
entertaining listening experience. You can order it directly from
Audio Literature by calling their Order Line: 1-800-841-2665. You can
write to them for a catalog at: Audio Literature, PO Box 7123,
Berkeley, CA 94707.
by Belva Plain, performance by Joanna Gleason
Abridged, 2 cassettes, 3 hours
(Bantam Audio, 1992, $15.99, ISBN 0-553-47036-1)
TREASURES is the story of the Osbornes, who began at the bottom and
achieved stellar heights, determined to make their mark on the world.
There's Connie--a vibrant, innocent beauty--who set out for Texas in
the booming 1970s. Her marriage to the scion of a well-to-do Houston
family ended in shattering disillusion, while the wealth and power of
her second husband swept her into the most dazzling circles of New
York Society. Then there's Eddy. On Wall Street, his uncanny knack for
deal making sent his personal stock soaring, while his marriage to a
beautiful blue-blood opened doors his lack of social credentials had
locked against him. Of all the Osbornes, only Lara remained in the
little Ohio town where they'd all been born. Married to her childhood
sweetheart, mother of two, she also seemed to have achieved her dream.
What had gone wrong? Suddenly everything Connie possessed stood
between her and the passionate love she craved. Fate and her
commitment to family contrived to imperil everything Lara cherished.
Addicted to risk at the highest level, Eddy committed reckless acts
that threatened to destroy them all. They had gone from exuberant
innocence to the brink of despair in a decade driven by the forces of
unbridled ambition. Now, as they approach the 1990s, they must choose
to stand alone and watch their dreams die, or work together to salvage
what they alone can treasure.
^ THE FIFTH PROFESSION
by David Morrell, ready by David McCallum
(Dove Audio, $15.95, ISBN 1-55800-251-0)
The man known only as Savage is a "protector" for hire. On a job his
agent has arranged for him--rescuing a woman threatened by a man with
mob connections--Savage recognizes a colleague, a Japanese protector
and former adversary of Savage's, a man Savage saw beheaded several
years ago. Equally surprising is the Japanese man's surprise at seeing
Savage, for, as they find out when comparing notes, they BOTH saw the
other beheaded on that old job, a job in which it turns out that both
had been hired to protect the same man, a man who was killed despite
their best efforts. Now working together, the two men investigate
their shared experience, but find no corroborative evidence that any
of it ever happened, except for one small thing. Both men were
seriously injured in the course of the job and required extensive
hospital care. While neither can find their experience in hospital
records, x-rays they have taken show the broken bones that had to be
healed, and both men have small, drilled holes in the very same spot
on their skulls. What does this mean? What really happened on that
job? And why is there no remaining evidence of it anywhere? Part
mystery, part psychological suspense, and part international thriller,
THE FIFTH PROFESSION is edge-of-the-seat entertainment, masterfully
performed by David McCallum.
If you can't get Dove Audio's THE FIFTH PROFESSION locally, you can
get your charge card and call their order-only line at 1-800-345-9945.
For a free color catalog of Dove Audio's tapes, call 1-800-328-DOVE.
^ THE BOY WHO MADE DRAGONFLY: A Zuni Myth
as told to Tony Hillerman, read by Debra Winger
Unabridged, 1 cassette, 87 minutes
(Audio Literature, 1992, $10.95, ISBN 0-944993-44-3)
The hero of this enchanting Zuni Indian myth is a little boy who saves
his people from an ecological disaster. The story was first told over
500 years ago. It is retold here in the words of Tony Hillerman, who
is world-renowned for his mystery novels and nonfiction books about
the American Southwest. "In our society," Mr. Hillerman explains, "it
would be called a 'Bible story.' Like stories based on the Old
Testament, this narrative is intended to teach people both the history
and morality of a people." Children and adults alike will respond to
the dramatic blend of moral and spiritual teaching and inspiring human
story of this enchanting myth, read by the versatile and talented
actress Debra Winger.
You can contact the publisher at: Audio Literature, PO Box 7123,
Berkeley, CA 94707; 510/845-8414; Order Line: 1-800-841-2665.
^ THE LIGHT IN THE FOREST
by Conrad Richter, performance by Robert Sean Leonard
2 cassettes, 3 hours
(Bantam Audio, 1992, $15.99, ISBN 0-553-47047-7)
True Son, born John Butler in a little frontier town, was captured by
the Lenni Lenape Indians when he was just four years old. He was
adopted into the tribe by the great warrior Cuyloga, who renamed him
and reared him as his own. True Son grew up to think, feel, and fight
like an Indian, and to revere their god. Then the Indians made a
treaty and agreed to return all white captives to their own people.
But by this time True Son had learned to dislike white men. So...who
were his people now?
^ GAMES OF THE HANGMAN
by Victor O'Reilly, read by David McCallum
2 cassettes, 178 minutes
(Barr Audio, 1992, $15.95, ISBN 0-8043-4013-7)
Hugo Fitzduane, former soldier and battle-scarred war photographer, is
no stranger to death, or to killing. But Rudi von Graffenlaub's body
dangling from a gnarled oak tree on his own land, a windswept island
off the west coast of Ireland--Fitzduane's haven in a violent
world--is one body too many. There has to be a reason for this
senseless waste of life, and Fitzduane, driven by the memory of Rudi's
still-warm corpse in his arms, is compelled to seek it out.
But a calculating blood-thirsty man known as the HANGMAN is obsessed
not only by the exquisite pleasure of devising intricate murders but
by the bottom line imperatives of his chosen profession. For him,
international terrorism is a business whose only ideology is profit.
^ SLEEPING TIGER
by Rosamunde Pilcher, performance by Carole Shelley
Abridged, 2 cassettes, 3 hours
(Bantam Audio, 1992, $15.99, ISBN 0-553-47037-X)
For the first time in her life, Selina Bruce wasn't sure what tomorrow
would bring. She had impulsively left behind her lawyer fiance in
London and flown alone to a tiny island off the Spanish coast. She was
searching for the father she'd never known, but what she found was an
unexpected truth about herself and the man she planned to marry. For
exotic San Antonio offered Selina more than the penetrating brilliance
of the noonday sun. It offered the mysterious George Dyer, who held
the key not only to her past...but to her heart.
^ WIND CHILL FACTOR
by Thomas Gifford, performed by Ron Vawter
Abridged, 2 cassettes, 180 minutes
(Bantam Audio, 1992, $15.99, ISBN 0-553-47060-4)
Hitler lost the war. This the world knows. What the world doesn't know
is that some Nazi survivors view their defeat as a mere temporary
setback. Their plans have long been in motion. Their key personnel are
in place inside the corporations and capitals of every major nation.
By the end of this century, it will all be theirs.
John Cooper is an heir to this evil--an evil he thought he'd turned
his back on. Until now. For the dark legacy has finally caught up with
him, thrusting into his hands a secret too explosive to be kept. As he
races against time a figure from his past, insubstantial as a whisper,
will be revealed to him. And for a single electrifying moment Cooper's
fate, and the fate of billions, will hang in the terrifying balance.
^ THE ENLIGHTENED HEART: An Anthology of Sacred Poetry
edited by Stephen Mitchell
read by Coleman Barks, Peter Coyote, Ram Dass, Dorothy Fadiman,
Robert Hass, Jane Hirshfield, Stephen Mitchell, & Jacob Needleman
Abridged, 2 cassettes, 3 hours
(Audio Literature, 1991, $15.95, ISBN 0-944993-34-6)
Audio Literature has assembled an all-star cast for this recording of
Stephen Mitchell's collection of sacred poetry selected from the great
cultures and religious traditions of the world. Beginning with early
sacred masterpieces such as the Book of Psalms and the Bhagavad-Gita,
this extraordinary anthology includes Buddhist and Taoist poetry, the
work of Rumi and other Sufi masters, great Christian poets such as
Dante and St. Francis, Navajo and Inuit bards, and such Western
visionaries as Blake, Emily Dickinson and Gerard Manley Hopkins.
Whether as an introduction to the great spiritual traditions of
mankind, or as a testament both to the breadth and to the profound
commonality of these traditions, this program provides an inspiring
record of the deepest meanings of human experience.
You can contact the publisher at: Audio Literature, PO Box 7123,
Berkeley, CA 94707; 510/845-8414; Order Line: 1-800-841-2665.
by Arthur Hailey, performance by Victor Garber
Abridged, 2 cassettes, 3 hours
(Bantam Audio, 1992, $15.99, ISBN 0-553-47059-0)
Conflict and desire, secrets and tumultuous destinies are part of the
fascinating world of the famous St. Gregory, a New Orleans luxury
hotel. For five sultry days of a hot Louisiana summer the lives of
strangers intimately touch, sizzle, and explode in round-the-clock
excitement as the St. Gregory becomes the stage for private and public
drama--and for the stunning, heart-stopping climax awaiting them all.
^ UNDER SIEGE
by Stephen Coonts, read by Michael Prichard
(Books on Tape, Inc.)
In this novel Stephen Coonts takes on the dangerous world of drugs as
he continues the saga of Jake Grafton who is the principal character
and hero of three previous novels, FINAL FLIGHT, FLIGHT OF THE
INTRUDER, and THE MINOTAUR. It is much more a suspense and adventure
story than his earlier novels and is less involved with technique and
Coonts loses no time in revealing to the listener the unprecedented
evil that rules the drug trade. The listeners' normal and conventional
understanding of conflict and competition dissolves quickly as the
author shows the depths of viciousness, hostility and greed that exist
as a normal part of the drug subculture. Before the book ends, one has
involuntarily accepted new lower levels as standards of human
A prominent Colombian drug lord, Chano Aldana, has been captured and
extradited to the U.S. for trial. His power and extensive influence is
brutally demonstrated as he draws together forces to assault federal
government figures and to de-stabilize the community of Washington
D.C. The listener is pulled into the story as the author develops
carefully documented and vividly believable backgrounds on several
principal characters around which the action revolves. Among the
characters is an undercover agent of the FBI who has worked his way
into the inner circle of the major drug dealer in Washington, and in
doing so, must embrace the standards of a beast and live minute to
minute with the risk of discovery. There is also a young WASHINGTON
POST reporter who plays a large role. He is pseudo-sophisticated and
somewhat cynical in his appreciation of the forces involved in drug
activities. His "objective observer" posture, though, is radically
twisted as Jake Tarketon shepherds him through the reality of
combating drug-financed terrorists. Perhaps the most absorbing of the
characters is Henry Charon, a quiet, introspective man who lives a
satisfying but solitary life on a remote ranch in Nevada. He has grown
up learning to be an expert hunter and has also become a much sought
after hunting guide. Persuaded by one of his clients, he adds human
game to his agenda and evolves into an accomplished assassin. It is a
profession which he follows with cold, emotionless detachment but one
which he thoroughly enjoys.
Chano Aldana's demonstration of power starts with an assassination
attempt on President Bush that is close to successful and puts Vice
President Quail at the head of government. That event is followed by
other assassinations of key government figures and a series of
suicidal terrorists attacks in public facilities that result in
indiscriminate deaths on a large scale. Quail is presented in the
story as a thoughtful, responsible substitute president. He quickly
grabs the reins and makes the hard decisions necessary to prevent the
nation's capital from falling into chaos. Washington is almost turned
into a military camp before the drug inspired conflict is brought
under control and the public terror and disorder is ended. Throughout
the trauma, Coonts is a master at describing and analyzing the
responses of politicians. Listening to his vivid and persuasive
portrayal of political figures is alone sufficient reward for
reader/listener investment in this story.
There are several interesting sub-plots that are developed as the
story progresses and a fascinating cast of characters populate those
sub-plots. The pace is rapid and Mr. Coonts creates peaks of suspense
so intense that it almost brings the listener to the threshold of
pain. All of this makes it a great book for the audio format. It is
read by Michael Prichard with just enough restraint and detachment to
avoid intruding on the emotions the author's craft of communication
Read it or listen to it--either way you are certain to enjoy UNDER
~MORE LOUIS L'AMOUR FROM BANTAM AUDIO
^ BOWDRIE FOLLOWS A COLD TRAIL
1 cassette, 60-minute full-cast dramatization, $9.99
When Texas ranger Chick Bowdrie rides into a long-abandoned ranch, he
discovers the skeleton of the owner. All signs indicate the man has
been dead for many years and his wife and child were taken forcefully
from him. Bowdrie vows to bring the killer to justice and find the
missing family. BOWDRIE FOLLOWS A COLD TRAIL is a classic western
adventure performed in a full-cast dramatization with stirring music
and authentic sound effects.
^ McQUEEN OF THE TUMBLING K
1 cassette, 60-minute full-cast dramatization, $9.99
Texas ranch foreman Ward McQueen knows trouble when he sees it. In
town, McQueen learns that a gambler has just won the ranch next door
to the Tumbling K in a dirty card game and that same gambler is
turning his wily eye on the K's pretty owner, Miss Ruth Kermit. This
37th exciting Louis L'Amour full-cast dramatization, with music and
sound effects, brings to life the sweat and fire of the Wild West as
it's never been heard before.
^ THE LAW OF THE DESERT BORN Boxed Set
3 cassettes, 3 1-hour full-cast dramatizations, $21.99
The three stories in this boxed set are dramatizations of Louis
L'Amour short stories that were published in the paperback LAW OF THE
DESERT BORN. Each thrilling dramatization uses the techniques of
old-time radio: authentic sound effects, dramatic music, and a full
cast of professional actors to create a very special kind of
~ # MURDER BY THE BOOK #
Murder By The Book is a division of Reading For Pleasure, published
bimonthly. This material is NOT COPYRIGHTED and may be used freely by
all. Catalogs, news releases, review copies, or donated reviews should
be sent to: Reading For Pleasure, 103 Baughman's Lane, Suite 303,
Frederick, MD 21702.
* Central Films Ltd., an English company that is responsible for the
series of INSPECTOR MORSE television dramas that are shown here in
America on PBS's MYSTERY!, has just purchased the rights to Ellis
Peters' Brother Cadfael series. British viewers should see their first
Brother Cadfael TV mystery in late 1993 or early 1994, and let's hope
we get it soon after that. For the uninitiated, Brother Cadfael is an
herbalist in a Benedictine abbey in 12th-century Shrewsbury. There
have been 19 Brother Cadfael mysteries so far.
^ THE WEREWOLF MURDERS: A Niccolo Benedetti Mystery
by William L. DeAndrea
(Doubleday Perfect Crime, June 1992, $16.50, ISBN 0-385-42089-7)
It's known as the OLYMPIQUE SCIENTIFIQUE INTERNATIONALE--an exclusive,
grandiose scientific enclave in Switzerland. Something unbelievable is
happening there--scientists are being brutally, savagely murdered.
Professor Hans Goetz is the first victim, his dead body discovered
outside his benefactor's estate. Another doctor is attacked, his
gouged face little more than a disfigured mask. When Niccolo Benedetti
is called in to stalk the perpetrator, the evidence he uncovers leads
him to one frightening, but unavoidable, conclusion--the killer is
anything but human. The killer, he announces, can only be a werewolf.
From the deepest regions of the Swiss Alps, and further into the
hidden secrets of the private laboratory, Benedetti battles French
authorities and rich barons in an effort to hunt down his very
elusive, and very dangerous, "werewolf". THE WEREWOLF MURDERS is a
fantastic, breathless read, the ultimate game between a depraved
serial killer and a master sleuth at the height of his deductive
powers. William DeAndrea is an Edgar Award-winning author. The first
appearance of Niccolo Benedetti was in THE HOG MURDERS.
^ THE LAVENDER HOUSE MURDER: A Virginia Kelly Mystery
by Nikki Baker
(Naiad Press, 1992, $9.95, ISBN 1-56280-012-4)
By night--the bars, the music, the sexual energy. By day--the beaches,
the bay...basking in the sun and the scent of suntan lotion. And
everywhere the women of Provincetown. Among these women in the sun is
Afro-American Virginia Kelly, on vacation apart from lover Emily.
Ginny has come to P-town with friend Naomi. They stay at Lavender
House, a hotel for lesbians run by Sam, a woman with whom Naomi has
had some dramatic history.
Other inhabitants include a "helper" named Anya. A writer and sometime
guest named Joan. Loud Barb and her quiet partner. And in P-town
itself, a "car girl" Ginny is very much drawn to. Then...murder
shatters the vacation bliss. For among the people brushing up against
Ginny and Naomi for these few sensual days is a ruthless killer. And a
victim whose death will change the lives of Ginny and Naomi.
Virginia Kelly's last adventure, IN THE GAME, was good enough to make
THE LAVENDER HOUSE MURDER a automatic reading list addition. You can
order THE LAVENDER HOUSE MURDER from the publisher by sending the list
price, plus 15% for postage and handling, to: The Naiad Press, Inc.,
PO Box 10543, Tallahassee, FL 32302. Or call their order line:
1-800-533-1973. Be sure to ask for a copy of their latest catalog.
^ MURDER TAKES TWO
by Bernie Lee
(Donald I. Fine, May 1992, $18.95, ISBN 1-55611-280-7)
The third novel about the dashing duo Pat and Tony Pratt (after MURDER
WITHOUT RESERVATIONS and MURDER AT MUSKET BEACH) takes the twosome
away from their beloved Oregon coast to London, England, where the
doings are just as murderous as in their previous adventures. There,
intrigue abounds when the advertising agency executive who
commissioned Tony is found dead behind the door in a recording studio
sound stage. Suspects include "talent" Paul Taylor, the client Thomas
Baking Company executives Chet Norris and Deborah Thomas--and Tony
The quest for the truth and to free Tony from suspicion takes them
from London, to Stratford-on-Avon, and back to their now
not-so-idyllic Oregon coast town of Musket Beach. Literally
cliffhanging suspense is the result in this superb mystery.
by M.K. Lorens
(Doubleday Perfect Crime, May 1992, $16.50, ISBN 0-385-42237-7)
It's spring again and time for the annual Edgar Awards, and this year,
as usual, Winston Sherman's chief competition for the Best Novel award
is Imogen Vail, the queen of slightly kinky psychological crime
fiction. Jenny's taken the Edgar away from Winnie eight years in a
row, and his memories of their brief long-ago love affair don't make
winning by default any easier when he finds his competition shot to
death before she can accept this year's award.
Suspects abound, including Jenny's brash grandson Gregory; her
estranged husband Philip Vail; her editor Rachel Hallam, her protege
Marina Vilnius; Steven Stanway, producer of a hit TV series based on
her books; and assorted rival authors, chief among them Winston
himself. Meanwhile, unknown to Winnie, his foster son David Cromwell
has become entangled in the bizarre suicide of an anonymous phone
caller whose warnings drive David deeper and deeper into the peculiar
despair only the electric dreamland of Manhattan can produce. He
identifies the caller, follows him to regular meetings with a woman in
Central Park, tantalized by the message of the anonymous calls:
"Someone is going to die. You can stop it."
But the warnings are in vain. By the end of Edgars night, two people
are dead. Are the two deaths connected? Why did Jenny, on the very day
of her death, try to contact Winston after years of silence? That's
what the police are asking, and their chief suspect seems to be the
portly fellow in the shiny evening suit with cigarette burns on the
lapels--Winston Marlowe Sherman, alias Henrietta Slocum, the Dowager
Empress of fictional detection.
DREAMLAND is the fourth in the Winston Sherman series, following SWEET
NARCISSUS, ROPEDANCER'S FALL and DECEPTION ISLAND.
^ DEATH AND TAXES: A Jill Smith Mystery
by Susan Dunlap
(Delacorte, April 1992, $18.00, ISBN 0-385-30443-9)
"Several years ago I had a little interlude with the IRS.
Their fault. Cut and dried. Simple problem. At the end of
the four months hassling with them I was so angry I could
have killed them. And then, I thought: 'Wait a minute, I'm a
mystery writer. I can kill one of them.' And so I have."
When Berkeley homicide detective Jill Smith finds out that the latest
murder victim is the most feared and hated IRS auditor, Philip Drem,
she realizes that even her night of chocolate binging won't take the
edge off this case. Jill soon finds herself knee-deep in suspects from
every part of Berkeley's eclectic community. The facts don't add up
when the only clues she has to go on are the hypodermic needle and
bicycle seat left at the scene of the crime. Finding the causal
relationship between death and taxes may prove to be the most
difficult case in Jill Smith's career.
The previous Jill Smith mysteries are: DIAMOND IN THE BUFF, A DINNER
TO DIE FOR, TOO CLOSE TO THE EDGE, NOT EXACTLY A BRAHMIN, AS A FAVOR,
and KARMA (all available in Dell paperback editions). Susan Dunlap has
also written three Vejay Haskell mysteries: AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY
DEATH, THE BOHEMIAN CONNECTION, and THE LAST ANNUAL SLUGFEST; and two
mysteries starring medical examiner Kiernan O'Shaughnessy: PIOUS
DECEPTION and ROGUE WAVE (due from Dell in July 1992).
^ BURY HIM KINDLY
by Pat Burden
(Doubleday Perfect Crime, April 1992, $16.50, ISBN 0-385-42234-2)
When an abandoned yellow Datsun, and then the corpse of its owner, are
discovered in the woods near Alice Meddlar's property, suspicion
naturally falls on the reclusive old woman and her "simpleton" son
Robby. But retired Detective Chief Superintendent Henry Bassett is not
convinced, and abandons his beloved chickens long enough to find out
who among the newcomers to the nearby village of Fletch Heath could
have reason to fear the dead man, and what secrets the murderer might
be trying to protect.
BURY HIM KINDLY is the third Henry Bassett mystery, following
SCREAMING BONES and WREATH OF HONESTY.
^ STRANGE LOYALTIES
by William McIlvanney
(Morrow, May 1992, $20.00, ISBN 0-688-11413-X)
The third novel to feature Glasgow police detective Jack Laidlaw
(after LAIDLAW, 1977, and THE PAPERS OF TONY VEITCH, 1983), STRANGE
LOYALTIES finds Laidlaw looking into his brother's death in a traffic
accident. As PUBLISHERS WEEKLY said:
"Jack's inquiries into how Scott Laidlaw came to his
untimely end lead to much larger questions about the nature
of pain and injustice and--not least of all--about the
meaning of his own life and how it encompasses the impending
failure of his relationship with the woman he loves."
Jack will find his most significant clue in the paintings that his
brother left, and in their connection to a tragedy out of Jack's own
^ DYING CHEEK TO CHEEK
by Diane K. Shah
(Doubleday Perfect Crime, May 1992, $18.50, ISBN 0-385-42250-4)
Welcome to the world of 1947, where the first television sets are
appearing in the homes around Hollywood, where Rita Hayworth is filing
for yet another divorce, where the freeways are gobbling up the
countryside around Los Angeles, and where flamboyant Etta Rice rules
the powerful gossip columns of the Hearst newspaper empire. Young
Paris Chandler is in the perfect position to watch all these events:
she's Etta's assistant at the L.A. EXAMINER, Hearst's enormously
The murder of L.A.'s first television newscaster sends Paris on the
trail of a greedy and insidious killer, down a winding path of broken
hearts and busted dreams, and deeper still into the tarnished world of
Hollywood illusion--and murder.
Set in Los Angeles in the Forties, and featuring a host of real-life
characters: Clark Gable, Slim Hawks, William Randolph Hearst, Van
Johnson, "Ronnie" Reagan, Henry Fonda, Dory Schary and Milton
Berle--the stars of film and tabloid; the power-brokers at the
Hollywood film studios; the personalities whose very names lit up the
newspaper columns of those post-war days--DYING CHEEK TO CHEEK is a
glittering, luscious novel of murder in Hollywood's heyday.
This is the second Paris Chandler mystery novel, after AS CRIME GOES
^ CAT CRIMES II
Masters of Mystery Present More Tales of the Cat
edited by Martin H. Greenberg & Ed Gorman
(Donald I. Fine, June 1992, $19.95, ISBN 1-55611-285-8)
Last year's CAT CRIMES was so much fun that Greenberg and Gorman have
gathered another 19 all-new stories of cats and crime. There are
stories by Bill Pronzini, Sharyn McCrumb, Jeremiah Healy, Edward D.
Hoch, Nancy Pickard, Charlotte Macleod, Margaret Maron, Bill Crider,
Kristine Kathryn Rusch, John F. Suter, Carole Nelson Douglas, June
Haydon, Christopher Fahy, B.W. Battin, Joan Hess, Les Roberts, Richard
Laymon, Carolyn Wheat, and Barbara Collins. There are nice cats and
nasty cats, country cats and city cats, even a robot cat! And you
surely don't want to miss "The Maltese Double Cross", another Midnight
by Dick Francis
(Fawcett Crest, April 1992, $5.99, ISBN 0-449-21955-0)
His agent has always known that John Kendall, writer of travel guides
to harsh terrains, is impulsive. But taking an assignment because he
needs money hardly seems a rash act, and off to rural England Kendall
goes to interview his subject, a successful racehorse trainer. Soon
enough, however, Kendall realizes that he must draw upon all his
ingenuity to complete his book. In fact, the perils described in his
survival manuals pale next to the dangers in rural England. "Impulse
will kill you one of these days," his agent had warned. Kendall should
have listened, but he didn't--not by a longshot...
^ HAVING WONDERFUL CRIME
by Craig Rice
(International Polygonics, June 1992, $6.95, ISBN 1-55882-125-2)
While visiting New York City, Helene and Jake Justus befriend a
disconsolate drunk who is trying to steal the lilies from their
hotel's flower display, and find that they have once again stepped
deeply into something often found in gardens. Of course, Helene sends
an SOS to John J. Malone. When the little lawyer arrives, this is what
he finds: a decapitated bride, who may not be the bride after all--and
then again, maybe she is (If she is, how can she keep sending all
those letters from Niagara Falls saying she is deliriously happy?); a
disappearing bridegroom with a yen to travel on the Staten Island
Ferry; an embezzling lawyer who hires Malone to clear the bride of her
own murder; a Greenwich Village poet who without charge spouts her
free verse freely and at the slightest provocation; and an escort
bureau that indulges in extracurricular and extramarital blackmail.
Sound confusing? Just wait until the mourning after.
Other Craig Rice titles available from IPL:
The Big Midget Murders, $6.95, ISBN 1-55882-112-0
The Corpse Steps Out, $7.95, ISBN 1-55882-022-1
8 Faces at 3, $5.95, ISBN 1-55882-007-8
The Right Murder, $8.95, ISBN 1-55882-078-7
Trial by Fury, $5.95, ISBN 1-55882-091-4
The Wrong Murder, $7.95, ISBN 1-55882-067-1
To get any of the above titles, send the list price(s), plus $1
postage and handling for the first book ($.50 for each additional
book), to: International Polygonics Ltd., Madison Square, PO Box 1563,
New York, NY 10159-1563.
^ YOUR EYELIDS ARE GROWING HEAVY
by Barbara Paul
(International Polygonics, June 1992, $5.95, ISBN 1-55882-126-0)
The groundskeeper who awakened Megan Phillips on the 14th-hole fairway
of the Schenley Park golf course assumed she was sleeping off a drunk.
He was wrong. Megan didn't drink. In fact, until then she was well in
control of her life--attractive, confident, competent and in line for
a vice presidency at the pharmaceutical company where she worked.
Suddenly, Megan had to confront a blank in her life, a 38 hour blank.
Her neighbor Gus couldn't help reconstruct the missing day and a half,
and even Dr. Snooks of the Pittsburgh Psychiatric Clinic could not
draw any memories from her unconscious. It was as if an eraser had
wiped out a piece of her past.
When she started to get the phone calls, conversations she forgot as
soon as she hung up, she realized her blackout was something more.
Slowly she began to understand that during the period she couldn't
recall, she had been with someone. Someone who had hypnotized her and
told her and told her to...to...
She couldn't remember. No matter how hard she racked her brain, she
couldn't remember who had called, or what had been said. She just
didn't know. What she did know was that the only way to regain control
of her life was to find the mysterious hypnotist...and kill him.
LIARS & TYRANTS & PEOPLE WHO TURN BLUE ($5.95, ISBN 1-55882-110-4),
another fascinating Barbara Paul novel, is also available from IPL.
You can get either by sending the list price(s), plus $1 postage and
handling for the first book ($.50 for each additional book), to:
International Polygonics Ltd., Madison Square, PO Box 1563, New York,
^ FIFTY BEST MYSTERIES
edited by Eleanor Sullivan
(Carroll & Graf, 1992, $13.95, ISBN 0-88184-819-0)
Here's an anthology that doubles as a history of mystery fiction.
Fifty of the best mystery stories--ten from each decade from the 1940s
through the 1980s--taken from the pages of ELLERY QUEEN'S MYSTERY
MAGAZINE. Authors include: Margery Allingham, Simon Brett, Donald E.
Westlake, Peter Lovesey, Ruth Rendell, Stanley Ellin, Nicholas Blake,
Edward D. Hoch, Hugh Pentecost, Robert Barnard, Robert Bloch, Julian
Symons, John Dickson Carr, Ngaio Marsh, Michael Gilbert...
Well, you get the idea. The perfect thick volume of delicious mystery
fiction to take on vacation. If you can't get FIFTY BEST MYSTERIES
from your local bookstore, you can order it directly from the
publisher by sending the list price, plus $1.25 postage and handling,
to: Carroll & Graf Publishers, Inc., 260 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY
^ DEATH FOR OLD TIMES' SAKE
by A.J. Orde
(Doubleday Perfect Crime, June 1992, $16.50, ISBN 0-385-41941-4)
When antiques dealer Jason Lynx agrees to accompany his police
detective girlfriend to an abortion clinic that she is assigned to
protect against protesters, little does he realize that he is about to
become embroiled in a murder investigation that will have intimate
repercussions. A woman protester, who is quietly murdered in front of
the clinic, has a past that leads directly to Jason's recently
deceased adoptive father. An early-morning attempt on Jason's own life
propels him deeper into a mafia-associated family and its secrets. The
murdered woman belonged to this family and so, to Jason's
astonishment, might he.
DEATH FOR OLD TIMES' SAKE is the third novel in the Jason Lynx mystery
series, the first two being A LITTLE NEIGHBORHOOD MURDER and DEATH AND
THE DOGWALKER. A.J. Orde has worked as an investigator for a private
employment agency. Orde is a pseudonym for a bestselling writer in
^ AS THE SPARKS FLY UPWARD
by Gloria Dank
(Doubleday Perfect Crime, April 1992, $16.50, ISBN 0-385-42236-9)
In the third book in the "Bernard & Snooky" series, ne'er-do-well
Snooky, who has a positive genius for attracting trouble, settles into
a small town on the Vermont/New Hampshire border. When his sister Maya
and brother-in-law Bernard, a writer of children's books and a
passionate hater of children, visits, the simple virtues of a life in
the wilderness become extremely complicated by the discovery of a
grisly murder...And once again Bernard, very much against his will, is
drawn into the chase for an elusive and unlikely killer.
Bernard and Snooky are two of the most ill-matched amateur sleuths
since the pairing of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. AS THE SPARKS FLY
UPWARD is a charming, comic novel--a lovely romp through the rolling
hills of New England. (Bernard and Snooky's previous adventures were
related in FRIENDS TILL THE END and GOING OUT IN STYLE.)
^ A HOPELESS CASE
by K.K. Beck
(Mysterious Press, May 1992, $18.95, ISBN 0-89296-469-0)
Jane da Silva is making ends meet, barely, as a cabaret singer when
her wealthy and eccentric Uncle Harold dies, leaving his estate to
Jane--provided that she take over the running of his pet charity, the
Foundation of Righting Wrongs, otherwise known as the Bureau of
Hopeless Cases. Jane's first hopeless case involves a talented young
pianist who would like Jane to find her lost inheritance so she can
study at Juilliard. Her wealthy mother mysteriously drowned sixteen
years ago, just after making a large contribution to a cult called the
Fellowship of the Flame. Jane will discover that the old cult has
tentacles that stretch well into the present, and that an old murder
can lead to new ones... K.K. Beck is also the author of DEATH IN A
DECK CHAIR and THE BODY IN THE VOLVO.
^ THE RESURRECTION MAN
A Sarah Kelling and Max Bittersohn Mystery
by Charlotte MacLeod
(Mysterious Press, April 1992, $17.95, ISBN 0-89296-443-X)
Sarah and Max run an art detection agency in Boston, which is where
Bartolo Arbalest, also known as the "Resurrection Man", has set up an
exclusive art restoration business. Soon wealthy Bostonians are having
artworks stolen from them, shortly after having them professionally
restored by Arbalest. When Sarah's old friend George Protherie is
killed during a similar burglary, Max decides to look into Arbalest's
background, and finds that the man is guarding an array of secrets
that stretch back to his days as an importer of oriental antiquities.
^ BLOOD ON THE STREET: A Smith and Wetzon Mystery
by Annette Meyers
(Doubleday Perfect Crime, June 1992, $18.50, ISBN 0-385-42376-4)
When Wall Street headhunter Xenia Smith gives her best friend and
partner, Leslie Wetzon, a session with a fortune-teller as a birthday
present, Leslie is highly skeptical. But when the shaken fortune
teller gazes into the depths of her crystal ball and sees "blood on
the street", Leslie is forced to admit that something deadly and
sinister has crossed her path. Four hours later, a powerful
stockbroker Leslie has recently placed in a new position is found
murdered in Central Park. And once again, for Leslie Wetzon and Xenia
Smith, headhunters and amateur sleuths extraordinaire, the game is
Previous Smith and Wetzon mysteries: THE BIG KILLING, TENDER DEATH,
and THE DEADLIEST OPTION. BLOOD ON THE STREET is a lethally fast-paced
sizzler of Wall Street intrigue, wheelers and dealers, scandals, love,
^ FINISHING TOUCH
by Betty Rowlands
(Walker, 1992, $19.95, ISBN 0-8027-3209-7)
Melissa Craig is a successful crime novelist who has left London to
pursue her career in the more relaxed atmosphere of the Cotswolds. It
doesn't take her long to discover that fact and fiction are sometimes
frighteningly similar, and the gentle country existence she planned
for herself is, instead, providing grist for her creative mill.
FINISHING TOUCH finds Melissa getting more involved with the local
community and teaching creative writing at the local Tech, something
one would think would keep her out of trouble. But murder stalks the
college art department, reminding both Melissa and Iris, her artist
neighbor, of a bizarre event they had witnessed some time before.
And there is an added complication: Melissa finds herself drawn to one
of the chief suspects. While Iris tries to keep the writer from
becoming too emotionally involved, Chief Inspector Harris is once more
on hand to issue stern warnings about leaving such matters in the
hands of the professionals. But it is not until the second murder and
some bewildering revelations that Melissa Craig is able to resolve the
This is the second mystery featuring Melissa Craig, who was introduced
in A LITTLE GENTLE SLEUTHING.
^ BODY COUNT
by William X. Kienzle
(Andrews and McMeel, 1992, $18.95, ISBN 0-8362-6128-3)
In BODY COUNT, the 14th Father Koesler mystery, Kienzle returns to
some of the same issues he covered in THE ROSARY MURDERS. When someone
confesses to Father Koesler that they have killed a priest, what
should Koesler do? Surely he is bound by the storied seal of the
confessional, but what if another priest, a young priest who has his
own opinions about the issue, accidentally overhears the confession?
This is the situation confront Father Koesler in BODY COUNT. He must
remain silent about the confession, and persuade Father Nick Dunn to
respect his decision. Then, to complicate Koesler's life further, the
police seek his help to find a missing priest, the very one he heard
the confession about. The police believe it is a missing persons case,
but Father Koesler knows it's a murder, AND he knows who the murderer
is. Worse yet, Father Dunn is very anxious to help Koesler investigate
another murder. What's a peace-loving and moral man to do? BODY COUNT
is another fine intellectual mystery from a very fine writer.
^ MURDER...BY CATEGORY: A Subject Guide to Mystery Fiction
by Tasha Mackler
(Scarecrow Press, 1991, $52.50, ISBN 0-8108-2463-9)
What is it about mystery readers that makes them so...analytical? No
other genre I know of has fans that take their reading so seriously.
At least I know I do, and there must be plenty more like me because
there are so many books and periodicals devoted to studying mystery
fiction. A very exciting addition to any mystery fan's reference shelf
is Tasha Mackler's MURDER...BY CATEGORY, the very first subject guide
to mystery fiction that confines itself to recent publications, so
that the interested reader has a good chance of actually finding the
books somewhere. Except for a couple of entries that Mackler just
couldn't resist adding, every book listed was printed, or reprinted,
from 1985 through 1991. She even includes paperback originals, which
is great for people with access to used-book stores or the stamina to
try ordering directly from paperback publishers. (Most of them will
sell you books directly, but they make more mistakes filling orders
than any other type of mail-order business I've ever tried.)
The categories that Mackler has tracked are great. There are lists
devoted to "Getting Away With Murder", "Bookstores", "Richard III",
"Writers and Their Conventions", "Witches, Curses, and a Little
Voodoo", and, my favorite, "Old Crimes and Murders". Best of all, the
entries are annotated with brief plot descriptions, and stories
starring series sleuths carry an indication of which appearance a
particular book was ("1st", "2nd", etc.). MURDER...BY CATEGORY is a
bit pricey, I know, but you'll be using it for years. This is an
irresistible reference book for the mystery reader, and would make a
truly spectacular gift.
You can order MURDER...BY CATEGORY directly from the publisher by
sending the list price, plus $2.50 postage (for first book, $.50 for
each additional book), to: Scarecrow Press, Inc., 52 Liberty St., PO
Box 4167, Metuchen, NJ 08840. Or you can call their Order Line at:
1-800-537-7107. Or you can FAX your order to: 908-548-5767.
^ BLOODY TEN
by William Love
(Donald I. Fine, April 1992, $19.95, ISBN 1-55611-275-0)
When Jim Kearny has an argument with his half-brother Nick Carney over
child support payments, and then Nick is found murdered, Kearny
becomes the prime suspect. It's lucky for him that he's a friend of
New York cop-turned-PI Davey Goldman, who now works as a special
assistant to Bishop Francis X. Regan, a man with an IQ of 220 and a
passion for crime-solving.
Originally created in homage to Rex Stout's famous characters (Dave
Goldman, like Archie Goodwin, does the legwork, while the Bishop/Nero
Wolfe stays home and does the thinking), William Love's series sleuths
now have a following all their own. BLOODY TEN is the third mystery
featuring the Bishop and Davey Goldman, the first two being THE
CHARTREUSE CLUE and THE FUNDAMENTALS OF MURDER.
^ DEEP SLEEP
by Frances Fyfield
(Pocket Books, March 1992, $18.00, ISBN 0-671-73546-2)
Chief Superintendent Geoffrey Bailey and Crown Prosecutor Helen West
respect one another's privacy and separate professions, until an
argument breaks out over the sudden death of Margaret Carlton, wife of
the "Caring Chemist" Pip. Geoffrey doesn't want Helen to interfere in
a police investigation, but Helen is suspicious about the case.
Margaret was in good health, for one thing. And the police report is
curiously incomplete. Then when she considers that a chemist would
certainly know all about poisons, and she sees his attractive and
buxom assistant, Helen begins a personal investigation of several
residents of the East End neighborhood known as Herringbone Parade.
Geoffrey and Helen also solved cases in Fyfield's A QUESTION OF GUILT
and NOT THAT KIND OF PLACE.
^ THE END OF APRIL: A Victoria Cross Mystery
by Penny Sumner
(Naiad Press, 1992, $8.95, ISBN 1-56280-007-8)
Dorothy L. Sayers called her novel BUSMAN'S HONEYMOON "A Love Story
With Detective Interruptions", which would serve just as well for
Penny Sumner's first book, THE END OF APRIL. Archivist/investigator
Victoria Cross is back in England, helping her Oxford professor aunt
transcribe some 19th century porn. At a social gathering she meets
April, a lesbian activist, and it's love at first sight. Tor is deeply
concerned when she learns that April has been receiving threatening
letters, but April herself isn't worried, so she lets the matter go.
At least she lets it go until April is out of town unexpectedly and a
visitor sleeping in her bed is murdered. Now Tor is convinced that
someone is seriously stalking April, and she is determined to find out
who, and why. Before she loses the love she's had for such a very
You can order THE END OF APRIL from the publisher by sending the list
price, plus 15% for postage and handling, to: The Naiad Press, Inc.,
PO Box 10543, Tallahassee, FL 32302. Or call their order line:
1-800-533-1973. Be sure to ask for a copy of their latest catalog.
^ KISSING THE GUNNER'S DAUGHTER
by Ruth Rendell
(Mysterious Press, June 1992, $19.95, ISBN 0-89296-390-5)
Detective Chief Inspector Reginald Wexford, of the Kingsmarkham
police, returns after a four-year absence in KISSING THE GUNNER'S
DAUGHTER, a tale of brutal murder and dark secrets. This time out
Wexford must discover who is responsible for the murders of celebrity
writer Davina Flory, her husband, and her daughter. The only one left
alive in Tancred House was Flory's granddaughter Daisy, who is left
critically injured with a gunshot wound near the heart.
Wexford, oddly drawn to the lone survivor, must solve the crime and
ferret out the secrets of Tancred House and the Flory family. This is
Wexford's 15th case, and certainly one of the best.
^ WAS IT A RAT I SAW?
by Sue Perry
(Doubleday Perfect Crime, May 1992, $16.50, ISBN 0-385-42238-5)
Neuropsychologist Dr. Clare Austen is doing exciting research with her
split-brain patient, rock musician Tommy Dabrowski, who has had the
connection between the two hemispheres of his brain severed to prevent
dangerous epileptic seizures. Clare's research becomes suddenly
critical when her mentor, Dr. Stanford Colton, is murdered in his
office and Tommy is the only witness. The problem is that it was the
right hemisphere of Tommy's brain that knows what he saw, but it's the
left hemisphere that governs speech. So Tommy can't tell what he
knows. Somehow Dr. Austen must figure out a way to tap Tommy's hidden
knowledge before it gets both of them killed. WAS IT A RAT I SAW? is
an exciting suspense story and a fascinating look at frontier research
in psychology. Definitely recommended.
^ JABLONSKI AND THE EROTOMANIAC
by Perry Lafferty
(Donald I. Fine, April 1992, $19.95, ISBN 1-55611-323-4)
An erotomaniac is a fan who not only loves a celebrity, he also
believes that the celebrity loves him in return. An erotomaniac has
fallen for Mikki O'Reilly, co-anchor of the television news, and she
is subjected to a series of fan letters that become increasingly
threatening. Finally an attack with acid leaves Mikki mutilated and
blind, and PI Jackson Jablonski, ex-FBI agent, is called in to hunt
down the lunatic before he strikes again. JABLONSKI AND THE
EROTOMANIAC is a fast-paced thriller that is the second case for
Jablonski, the first being JABLONSKI OF L.A. This is shaping up to be
a very fine detective series.
^ HACKER: A Deb Ralston Mystery
by Lee Martin
(St. Martin's Press, April 1992, $16.95, ISBN 0-312-06990-1)
Fort Worth Policewoman Deb Ralston has four children, a husband, two
cats, a pit bull, and a loose ax murderer to catch. The weird thing
about the ax murder is that the victim's computer was also smashed.
Then another murder occurs, also with the computer destroyed, and Deb
learns that both computers had been infected with a software virus.
Could the virus have been the cause of murder? At the same time, Deb
is followed home by Shane, an apparently homeless teenager, who
arouses all of Deb's material instincts, at least until she discovers
his links to both crime scenes. And just when Deb begins to think
she's getting somewhere on the case, the same virus is found in her
A great mystery and a very entertaining read. Deb Ralston was last
seen in THE MENSA MURDERS (1990).
^ COPP IN SHOCK
by Don Pendleton
(Donald I. Fine, May 1992, $19.95, ISBN 1-55611-287-4)
PI Joe Copp has problems. For one thing, after being nearly killed, he
wakes up with no memory of the last three weeks, which the doctors
assure him is only temporary. For another thing, he apparently married
someone during those three weeks, a woman who is now dead. Now the
police think Joe Copp murdered her, and someone else is after him for
reasons unknown, and Joe Copp has to elude both while trying to piece
together those missing three weeks.
This is the sixth novel to feature Private Detective Joe Copp, and
possibly the best one of the bunch. (Don't you just love amnesia
stories?) The previous five books are: COPP FOR HIRE, COPP ON FIRE,
COPP IN DEEP, COPP IN THE DARK, and COPP ON ICE.
^ THE TWELFTH MAN
by Max Marquis
(St. Martin's Press, May 1992, $17.95, ISBN 0-312-07874-9)
"Realism isn't something we get a lot of in English
detective fiction. I thought it would be a change to write
about police work as true to life as possible as it is in
The first of a new crime series starring British Detective Inspector
Harry Timberlake, THE TWELFTH MAN is a riveting police procedural by
an exciting new voice in mystery fiction. When a local barrister is
found with an ax embedded in his skull, Timberlake is assigned to the
case. But when that murder is linked to a series of seemingly-random
killings elsewhere, Harry joins forces with Scotland Yard to track
down the killer. The two intertwined threads of interest in THE
TWELFTH MAN are: Why is the killer choosing these particular victims,
and How are the police going to find him? Both questions are cleverly
handled and the suspense is palpable. An exciting read.
^ THE CHRISTIE CAPER
by Carolyn G. Hart
(Bantam Crime Line, May 1992, $4.99, ISBN 0-553-29569-1)
It seems like each Carolyn Hart mystery is more delightful than the
last. If you like your murders reasonably nonviolent, and your
detection pure, you should stock up on every Carolyn Hart book you can
find. Just listen to the premise of THE CHRISTIE CAPER:
Annie Laurance Darling (Hart's series sleuth, along with her husband
Max Darling) owns a mystery bookstore and plans to have an elaborate
celebration of Agatha Christie's 100th birthday. Unfortunately, who
should show up but Neil Bledsoe, the most despised book critic in
America, a man who actually prefers his detection hard-boiled and
likes gory true-crime books. A man SO depraved, it appears, that he
plans to write a nasty biography of Agatha Christie. Naturally, the
party hardly starts before there are multiple attempts on Bledsoe's
THE CHRISTIE CAPER is fun from the first page to the last, a must-read
for Christie fans, "cozy" fans, and Hart fans. Other Annie Laurance
and Max Darling mysteries are: DEATH ON DEMAND, DESIGN FOR MURDER,
SOMETHING WICKED, HONEYMOON WITH MURDER, A LITTLE CLASS ON MURDER,
DEADLY VALENTINE, and, coming soon, SOUTHERN GHOST.
by Orania Papazoglou
(Crown, April 1992, $19.00, ISBN 0-517-57088-2)
A nine-year-old boy is found shot to death, gangland style. He is soon
identified as a child prostitute, and his death is only the beginning
of a series of murders. At the same time, someone is killing and
mutating former nuns. The police don't connect the two grisly patterns
of murder, but there IS a connection, and her name is Susan Murphy.
For 17 years she was a nun, but has now left the convent and is trying
to readjust to everyday life. She is drawn to Damien House, a haven
for runaways and victimized children in the ghetto, and unwittingly
becomes the link in the motivations of a psychotic killer, as well as
his ultimate target. CHARISMA is a grim psychological thriller of
nearly unbearable tension.
^ A DIET TO DIE FOR: A Claire Malloy Mystery
by Joan Hess
(Ballantine, April 1992, $3.99, ISBN 0-345-36654-9)
Claire Malloy gets talked into escorting an overweight, depressed
heiress to her diet and fitness sessions. When it seems that someone
is trying to kill the heiress, Claire decides to find out who, but can
she survive a forty-minute workout to discover the truth? Another
funny and witty mystery in the Claire Malloy series, which also
includes: STRANGLED PROSE, THE MURDER AT THE MURDER AT THE MIMOSA INN,
DEAR MISS DEMEANOR, and A REALLY CUTE CORPSE.
^ THE CAMBRIDGE THEOREM
by Tony Cape
(Bantam Falcon, April 1992, $5.99, ISBN 0-553-29034-7)
A brilliant but troubled graduate student is found hanged in his room
at Cambridge University. Detective Sergeant Smailes is supposed to
rule it a suicide, quickly and quietly, upsetting no applecarts. But
the many questions that remain unanswered bother Smailes. Like the
mysteries surrounding the dead student's research. The student just
may have stumbled onto international secrets that powerful people
wanted to protect. He may have discovered the true identity of
Kennedy's assassin, and of the notorious "Fifty Man" in the
Cambridge-KGB spy ring. Now Smailes finds himself in the middle of a
fifty-year-old spy war that threatens to explode into life once again.
THE CAMBRIDGE THEOREM is fascinating, suspenseful, and very clever.
^ THE JEWEL THAT WAS OURS: An Inspector Morse Mystery
by Colin Dexter
(Crown, April 1992, $20.00, ISBN 0-517-58847-1)
A group of Americans are touring Oxford when one of them suddenly
dies. Mrs. Laura Stratton was resting in her room when she died of a
heart attack, and, at the same time her handbag goes missing, a
handbag containing a jeweled artifact that she was planning on
presenting to a British museum. The dour, irritable Chief Inspector
Morse is assigned to the case, along with Sergeant Lewis, and they
find a host of unanswered questions, likely suspects, red herrings,
and another murder. The mystery is interesting and carefully plotted,
but the best thing about this novel is, as always, the characters and
the tone. Inspector Morse likes Wagner, crossword puzzles, and good
ale, not necessarily in that order. He is also cantankerous and
frequently sarcastic, requiring a buffer between himself and much of
society at large (particularly his police colleagues), which he finds
in the person of patient and cheery Sergeant Lewis. In a recent poll
of Britain's Crime Writers Association, Inspector Morse headed the
list of Favorite Male Detectives, ahead of Hercule Poirot (#7) and
even Sherlock Holmes (#2). Colin Dexter manages to maintain a tone of
humorous pessimism throughout, an unusual mixture of comedy and drama
that is very entertaining.
^ THE JEWEL THAT WAS OURS
by Colin Dexter, read by Edward Woodward
Abridged, 2 cassettes, 3 hours
(Soundbooks Pub., $15.95, ISBN 1-881109-01-1)
This is an absolutely superior audio rendition of Colin Dexter's
latest Inspector Morse mystery, THE JEWEL THAT WAS OURS. If it weren't
abridged, I might be tempted to prefer it to the book, because on the
printed page you can't hear the wonderful reading of Edward Woodward
(best know as the star of the TV show, THE EQUALIZER). Colin Dexter
has given him a variety of characters to portray, from boozy matrons
and stodgy academics to the weary crabbiness of Morse himself, and
Woodward has fun with them all, turning in a bravura performance that
will delight and amuse, while giving depth and color to the mystery
underneath. As a side note, Woodward does a very passable imitation of
John Thaw's version of Morse's voice, which I think anyone who watches
the Inspector Morse dramatizations on MYSTERY! will recognize. You can
contact the publisher at: Soundbooks Publishing Group, 310 Greenwich
Street, New York, NY 10013.
^ DEADLY ALLIES
Private Eye Writers of America & Sisters In Crime
edited by Robert J. Randisi & Marilyn Wallace
(Doubleday Perfect Crime, April 1992, $18.50, ISBN 0-385-42235-0)
DEADLY ALLIES is a joint anthology put together by Randisi (PWA) and
Wallace (SIC), with the stories presented in pairs (one from a PWA
member, one from a SIC member), but don't worry about the gimmick.
It's the stories that count, and the stories here are excellent. My
favorite is a powerful and haunting story from Sandra Scoppettone
about repressed childhood memories called "Like Father, Like
Daughter". Scoppettone is a very talented writer. If you're not
familiar with her work, you should definitely look her up on your next
visit to the bookstore or the library. And be sure to look up Jack
Early too, a pseudonym that she has used occasionally.
There were a few other stories here that specialized in psychological
suspense, among them is a surprising tale about a deeply depressed
woman who had recently been forced to kill a man who had been
harassing her: "Invitation" by Sarah Andrews. I also particularly
liked Julie Smith's "Silk Strands" in which a poet reflects on the
very peculiar life of her murdered boyfriend. And Marilyn Wallace's
"Reunion" features a psychologist who attends her class reunion hoping
to bury some old emotional baggage.
I really enjoyed the surprises in "Easy Go" by Lia Matera, and the
Ellery Queen-like puzzle in Margaret Maron's "Hangnail". Anything
Carolyn G. Hart writes is bound to be a pleasure to read, and DEADLY
ALLIES includes "Nothing Ventured", in which a journalism professor
investigates a local murder to clear one of her students of suspicion.
Other tried-and-true mystery writers (and their detectives) show up
here with fine stories: Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone does "A Little
Missionary Work", one-armed PI Dan Fortune digs into the death of a
former football star in "Role Model" by Michael Collins, Amos Walker
tracks a missing husband in Loren D. Estleman's "Safe House", V.I.
Warshawski takes on the professional tennis circuit in "Strung Out" by
Sara Paretsky, John Lutz's Nudger is the victim of mistaken identity
in "Before You Leap", PI John Francis Cuddy tries to rescue a homeless
man from a murder charge in Jeremiah Healy's "Summary Judgment", Leo
Haggerty investigates a gigolo in "Mary, Mary, Shut the Door" by
Benjamin M. Schutz, Nick Delvecchio has to outwit a mobster in Robert
J. Randisi's "Turnabout", Ben Perkins gets trapped between sisters
with "Unfinished Business" by Rob Kantner, and even the star of a
series of comic books, Ms. Tree, gets involved in a child custody case
in Max Allan Collins' "Louise".
Also included in DEADLY ALLIES is Susan Dunlap's "A Good Judge of
Character", about a woman who impulsively steals a camera, an act
which changes the course of her life. And Nancy Pickard's "Sex and
Violence", in which Amy has conflicting feelings about the death of a
former boyfriend. Also, Jenny Gordon--of G&G Investigations--looks
into marriage of a woman accused of murdering her husband and the man
she claims was abusive in Jan Grape's "Whatever Has to Be Done".
DEADLY ALLIES is a first-rate anthology of contemporary short fiction.
^ "H" IS FOR HOMICIDE: A Kinsey Millhone Mystery
by Sue Grafton
(Fawcett Crest, May 1992, $5.99, ISBN 0-449-21946-1)
The title homicide occurs right outside Kinsey Millhone's office
building, and turns out to be a claims adjuster for California
Fidelity, the company which Kinsey frequently works for in exchange
for office space. Soon Kinsey is working on an insurance claim that
California Fidelity expects is fraudulent, a case originally handled
by the dead man, and she is drawn into a complicated network of
insurance fraud and gang violence. For the first time in her life
Kinsey Millhone goes undercover, staying at the apartment of a crime
boss, along with his girlfriend, his lieutenant, and his pit bull.
The dangers of undercover work are told with Grafton's usual grim
humor, and the characterizations are wonderful, particularly that of
the psychotic king of insurance fraud. A few extra flourishes are
added to Kinsey's character as well; one of mystery fiction's finest
female detectives continues to develop and become more interesting as
the letters of the alphabet go by. Still, "H" IS FOR HOMICIDE won't
make my Best list, largely because of the ending. Obviously I can't
give specifics, but I could picture Grafton doing a dozen different
drafts of the ending, trying to weed out every last bit of anything
that could be construed as intellectually or emotionally satisfying.
If you hate forced, manipulated, or overly convenient mystery story
endings, you'll love "H" IS FOR HOMICIDE. Personally, I prefer a
conclusion that is more lip-smacking, even if a tad less realistic.
Read "H" IS FOR HOMICIDE for the characters, not for the plot.
~BOOKS ON TAPE:
by Ed McBain, read by Stephen Macht
Abridged, 2 cassettes, 3 hours
(Dove Books on Tape, $15.95, ISBN 1-55800-454-8)
Michael Barnes is a Florida orange grower with a few hours to kill in
New York City, so he decides to have a drink in a bar on Wall Street.
You wouldn't think that this would endanger anything but his liver,
but you'd be wrong, because that drink is the first event in a 24-hour
period that Barnes will NEVER forget. Con artists get his money, a
thief gets his wallet, and then the real troubles begin: Barnes gets
framed for murder. Hunted by both the police and a professional
killer, Barnes sees a side of the Big Apple that the travel brochures
never mention. DOWNTOWN is a change of pace for Ed McBain, a very
funny rollercoaster of an adventure story.
You can get DOWNTOWN at bookstores, or by calling Dove Audio's order
line: 1-800-345-9945. Dove Audio also has other Ed McBain novels on
tape (SNOW WHITE & ROSE RED, PUSS IN BOOTS, THREE BLIND MICE,
CINDERELLA). You can get a catalog by calling 1-800-328-DOVE.
^ L.A. CONFIDENTIAL
by James Ellroy, read by Jerry Orbach
Abridged, 2 cassettes, 177 minutes
(Barr Audio, 1992, $15.95, ISBN 0-8043-4011-0)
L.A. CONFIDENTIAL is a dark crime novel of three Los Angeles cops in
the 1950s, and of a mass murder that will change the lives of all of
them. James Ellroy is a critically-acclaimed master of the hard-boiled
noir crime story, and L.A. CONFIDENTIAL is one of his best. Jerry
Orbach does a great job of turning the Ellroy's prose into sound. You
can order Barr Audio's L.A. CONFIDENTIAL, or get a current listing of
available and upcoming tapes, by calling 1-800-582-2000.
^ THE HIGH WINDOW
by Raymond Chandler, read by Elliott Gould
Abridged, 2 cassettes, 2 hours 43 minutes
(Dove Books on Tape, 1988, $14.95, ISBN 1-55800-091-7)
In this fourth in a classic series of Raymond Chandler novels, a
well-heeled Pasadena matron sends L.A.'s toughest private eye on a
search for a priceless gold coin. Philip Marlowe finds the coin--but
not before he uncovers a couple of dead bodies and a nasty blackmail
Elliott Gould, who played Marlowe in Robert Altman's film version of
THE LONG GOODBYE, captures the hard-boiled humor and rough gallantry
of America's favorite fictional detective. Gould's expressive reading
brings out the sinister atmosphere and hard-edged tension that
characterize Raymond Chandler's best writing.
^ THE THIN WOMAN
by Dorothy Cannell, performance by Amanda Donohoe
Abridged, 2 cassettes, 3 hours
(Bantam Audio, 1992, $15.99, ISBN 0-553-47062-0)
Ellie Simons longs to be thin--and married. But with her single-minded
passion for eclairs and clotted cream, her prospects on both counts
seem dim. That's why the summons to attend a family reunion at the old
ancestral home is about as welcome as a snake bite. How CAN she show
up with her embarrassingly full figure in her humble unmarried state
and keep her chins up? Enter Bentley T. Haskell of Eligibility
Escorts, a devastatingly attractive writer of smutty novels who also
cooks like a dream. With Bentley posing as her besotted beau, Ellie
feels brave enough to beard her batty relations in their den.
But mouldering Merlin's Court is nothing like Ellie remembers, and
with her wretchedly beautiful cousin Vanessa making eyes at Ben and
her malevolent old uncle Merlin himself popping up in the most
unexpected places, it's enough to put Ellie off her food. And the
best--and worst--is yet to come, as the weekend leads to sudden death,
unexpected romance, and a treasure hunt that promises epicurean Ellie
wealth, hearth, and happiness...if she survives.
~ < LOOSEN YOUR GRIP ON REALITY >
<< Editor: Darryl Kenning >>
Loosen Your Grip On Reality is a division of Reading For Pleasure,
published bimonthly. This material is NOT COPYRIGHTED and may be used
freely by all. Contributions of information, reviews, etc. should be
Darryl Kenning CompuServe: 76337,740
6331 Marshall Rd. or GEnie: D.Kenning
Centerville, Ohio 45459 The Annex BBS 513-274-0821
THE KENNING QUOTIENT (KQ) is a rating applied to books read by the
editor of this section, a number ranging from 0 (which means the book
is an unredeemable stinker) to 5 (meaning the book is absolutely top
~ RANDOM ACCESS
It's always hard to say goodbye to friends. As you know by now this is
the last in the regular series of RFP and by extension the last LYGOR.
At the risk of sounding too much like the award shows, there are a
couple of folks I'd like to say Thank You to: First of course to Cindy
B the Publisher, Editor-in-Chief, main writer and sparkplug behind and
in front of RFP -- Cindy thanks for the help, the understanding, for
correcting my spelling mistakes, and for not holding me too closely to
the deadlines; Drew for all the work especially in the printed copies;
To all the good people who wrote the materials for RFP -- you
broadened my reading horizons immensely (Thanks, just what I needed
more books to get!); To those of you who offered encouragement by
sending a note by one means or another -- you will never know how much
that is appreciated; and lastly to all the readers -- it has been said
that authoring in any form requires two participants -- the author and
the reader to make the process complete, without you this would have
been a futile exercise. So Thanks to all.
I would like to take advantage of this last Random Access to urge each
of you to take the time to get involved in Science Fiction. Do that by
joining a SF Club in your area or one of the National Clubs like N3F
(drop me a note for more info about the later). Do it by at least
reading the SF sections on CompuServe, GEnie, Prodigy or any of the
thousands of On-Line BBS services, and don't forget the local BBSs
because many have SF sections with people just like you and me who
would love to share their passion for SF. Lastly, go to a Science
Fiction CONvention -- you'll love it! Listing are available on the
BBSs and in the SF magazines.
If you would like to correspond with me just drop me a note on
Compuserve 76337,740, GEnie D.Kenning or at the address listed above.
I'll answer every letter or note though it may take me a while. I'd
love to hear from you.
And remember -- LOOSEN YOUR GRIP ON REALITY -- it helps.
* According to a news piece in LOCUS magazine, William Gibson
(NEUROMANCER) and artist Dennis Ashbaugh have collaborated on a very
unusual publication. Called "Agrippa: Book of the Dead", it is a story
by Gibson on a 3-1/2" disk, packaged in a hollowed-out book along with
relics suggesting rural Virginia in the 1920s. The weirdest part is
that, reportedly, the story-on-disk will contain a virus that will
infect the readers computer, begin to mutate, and then destroy itself
after one reading. (I hope they mean the virus destroys itself, not
the story.) For more information about this oddity, write to the
publisher: Kevin Begos, Jr., Publisher, 1411 York Ave. #4D, New York,
* THE MAGIC OF RECLUCE, that epic coming-of-age fantasy adventure by
L.E. Modesitt, Jr., is now available in a paperback edition from Tor
Books: May 1992, $4.99, ISBN 0-812-50518-2.
* Remember when Dorothy said "I don't think we're in Kansas anymore"?
Well, actually Oz *is* in Kansas, or rather it will be as soon as
Landmark Entertainment Group builds their $300 million theme park
based on the film THE WIZARD OF OZ. It is scheduled to open in 1995 or
1996 and will also include a resort hotel and a golf course.
* Watch for a brand new bimonthly sf magazine called SCIENCE FICTION
AGE, coming this September. The publisher claims that it will be
"devoted to publishing the most intelligent science fiction and
fantasy being written today." A peek at the cover of the first issue
(as shown in LOCUS magazine) shows an article by Harlan Ellison, a
piece called "The 50 Most Powerful People in Science Fiction", and a
price of $2.95.
~ 1991 NEBULA AWARD WINNERS
Best Novel: STATIONS OF THE TIDE by Michael Swanwick
Best Novella: BEGGARS IN SPAIN by Nancy Kress
Best Novelette: "Guide Dog" by Mike Conner
Best Short Story: "Ma Qui" by Alan Brennert
^ STOREYS FROM THE OLD HOTEL
by Gene Wolfe
(Tor, April 1992, $21.95, ISBN 0-312-85208-8)
STOREYS FROM THE OLD HOTEL is Gene Wolfe's new short story collection,
the first since ENDANGERED SPECIES. In contrast to the last
collection, STOREYS is less dense and more varied. There are two
Liavek shared-world stories ("The Green Rabbit from S'Rian" and
"Choice of the Black Goddess"), humor ("Slaves of Silver", "The Rubber
Bend"), historical fantasy of the future ("Straw", "The Marvelous
Brass Chessplaying Automaton"), mainstream fiction ("Redwood Coast
Roamer"), magical realism ("A Solar Labyrinth"), savage social
criticism ("A Criminal Proceeding"), and just plain weird
experimentation ("PARKROADS--A Review").
STOREYS FROM THE OLD HOTEL has already won the World Fantasy Award for
Best Collection, for a limited edition published by a small press in
^ THE CHALCHIUHITE DRAGON: A Tale of Toltec Times
by Kenneth Morris
(Tor, March 1992, $19.95, ISBN 0-312-85264-9)
Kenneth Morris, who died in 1937, was an acclaimed fantasy writer who
drew inspiration from the myths and legends of peoples all over the
world. THE CHALCHIUHITE DRAGON (pronounced chal-chew-wheat) is based
on Aztec history and mythology; recounting the rise of the greatest of
all the philosopher kings, in a time long before the coming of the
Spanish invaders. Tor has now brought this epic fantasy back into
print after many years. KIRKUS REVIEWS says "this newfound book is a
treat, a welcome change from the standard fantasy settings, with
engaging characters, a wealth of wonders, and an inner wisdom as rare
as it is profound."
^ SCIENCE FICTION COMICS: The Illustrated History
by Mike Benton
(Taylor, 1992, $24.95, ISBN 0-87833-789-X)
Did you know that Ray Bradbury had several stories appear in the comic
WEIRD SCIENCE in the 1950s? Or that Buck Rogers' original name was
Anthony Rogers? There are fascinating facts like these to be found on
every page of SCIENCE FICTION COMICS, the latest volume in Mike
Benton's comprehensive History of Comics.
Science fiction comics have attracted some of the most talented
creative minds. Artists like Alex Raymond, Wally Wood, Al Williamson,
and Basil Wolverton. Writers like Ray Bradbury, Alfred Bester, Harlan
Ellison, and Al Feldstein. Part lively history, part detailed
encyclopedia, and heavily illustrated in glorious cosmic color
throughout, SCIENCE FICTION COMICS will be of interest to any comics
fan or collector.
Mike Benton is the author of THE COMIC BOOK IN AMERICA, COMIC BOOK
COLLECTING FOR FUN AND PROFIT, and the two previous volumes in
Taylor's History of Comics--HORROR COMICS and SUPERHERO COMICS OF THE
SILVER AGE. The publisher can be contacted at: Taylor Publishing Co.,
1550 W. Mockingbird Lane, Dallas, TX 75235.
^ A FIRE UPON THE DEEP
by Vernor Vinge
(Tor, April 1992, $21.95, ISBN 0-312-85182-0)
It is far, far in the future, in a time where intelligence is measured
in ways we can't even understand. In fact, intelligence is dictated by
location in the universe. There is the Slow Zone, with primitive
creatures and simple technology; then there is the Beyond, with their
thousands of "smart" races; and there is the Transcend, the home of
superintelligent, godlike entities. When scientists discover and
release an ancient Transcendent artifact, it unleashes a power that
destroys thousands of worlds and enslaves all natural and artificial
intelligence. Only one ship, with one family aboard, escapes. It lands
on a planet in the Slowness, the parents are killed, and the two
children are taken captive. Now the fate of interstellar civilization
depends on a rescue coordinated by humans and aliens, an attempt to
trigger a Countermeasure that just might stop the Blight that will
otherwise bring a new dark age to the galaxy.
A FIRE UPON THE DEEP is a novel of ideas, and it's impossible to do
the story justice in anything under the 391 pages allotted to it by
Vernor Vinge. A massively impressive tale from a powerful imagination.
^ CHINA MOUNTAIN ZHANG
by Maureen F. McHugh
(Tor, March 1992, $19.95, ISBN 0-312-85271-1)
In this accomplished debut novel, China Mountain Zhang is a
hard-working, hard-playing New Yorker who looks Chinese, a definite
advantage in this 22nd century world dominated by Chinese Marxism.
Zhang's great dream is to visit China, and CHINA MOUNTAIN ZHANG
follows him on his quest, with detours to the stark Arctic and to a
Utopian farm commune on Mars. During his adventures, Zhang learns that
in a bureaucracy where the individual bows to the will of the many,
freedom can only be found by slipping through the cracks. CHINA
MOUNTAIN ZHANG is a fine addition to cyberpunk literature by a dynamic
new writer who has been compared to Samuel R. Delany and Kim Stanley
~THE PAPERBACK BOOKSHELF
^ COBRAS TWO
by Timothy Zahn
(Baen Books, April 1992)
The information given in the front of this book indicates that it was
formerly published in parts; as COBRA in 1985 and COBRA STRIKE in
1988. For me it was a new story and the two segments linked together
very well as a single adventure.
Jonny Moreau is the principal character and a somewhat reluctant and
self-effacing hero throughout the story. He is the product of one of
the newer, less developed of the many worlds that have been colonized
by Earth and that now coexist as The Dominion of Man. The long history
of human expansion through space has come to a sudden and unwelcome
halt as an alien species called Troffs begin attacking and occupying
human worlds. To counter the Troffs' aggression and to regain the
occupied worlds, the political leaders in The Dominion of Man create a
very special group of warriors called The Cobras. Through surgical and
biological procedures these men (there are no female Cobras) have had
their human capabilities enhanced dramatically--in essence they have
been rendered superbeings. Their bones have been given a protective
ceramic treatment that makes them virtually indestructible, hearing
and sight have been enhanced, strength has been multiplied with
mechanical implants and a computer has been wedded to the brain giving
them improved reflexes, while self-contained laser weapons and an
automatic self-protective system guard their life above all else.
With their superlative fighting abilities, The Cobras succeed in
regaining the occupied worlds and in generating an awe and fear among
the Troffs which ultimately leads to peace and coexistence with The
Dominion of Man.
Peace unveils a new and troubling question for the political leaders
who originally authorized the creation of Cobras. What do you do with
Cobras after the war is over? Their physiological enhancement cannot
be reversed and maybe, just maybe, the trauma and pressures of war
have produced psychological profiles that are different and perhaps
risky. Can these men with their special and dangerous abilities be
returned to a peacetime society?
After some trial and error, a solution is found which provides a
useful future for the Cobras. They are sent to the outermost reaches
of The Dominion of Man where new worlds are being claimed and where
their special talents are used to assist the pioneer settlers. This
portion of the story deals primarily with efforts of the Cobras in
protecting the settlers from "natural enemies", but there is an
interesting sub-theme built around the struggle among the Cobras to
suppress their dominant natures and abide within the consensus and the
politics of the community. The story ends on a happy note with these
special soldiers finding their proper place in society and with the
citizen body maturing to a level of intelligent and comfortable
A nice read, but it won't keep you up past your normal bedtime.
^ CARVE THE SKY
by Alexander Jablokov
(Avon, April 1992, $5.99, ISBN 0-380-71521-X)
Generally when I see 14 or so "I really loved this one" reviews about
a book by an author I don't immediately recognize, I have a tendency
to run for the Mystery section of the bookstore. That's because I have
been disappointed more often than not by those glowing superlatives --
now I KNOW that I probably often miss some good stuff the first time
around because of that but still...
Mr. Jablokov's novel is a real tour de force. I was absolutely grabbed
and held captive from beginning to end. Set in the mod 24th century,
humans have spread out a good bit and, in an effort to retain ties to
the mother world, adopted the trappings of old earth. That is:
Renaissance Italy and especially the Byzantine love of skullduggery.
Take a well thought out geopolitical system, add some of the stranger
elements of classic western civilization, some tantalizing hints of
the 21st century, and most importantly Art and Mystery, and you have
an outstanding story. The blend itself is unusual enough to warrant
attention. The author's skill is to be admired -- especially when you
consider that this is a first novel.
I won't even begin to try to tell you the story outline. Just dash
right out to your favorite bookseller and get a copy.
KQ = 5
^ THE NIGHT MAYOR
by Kim Newman
(Carroll & Graf, 1992, $3.95, ISBN 0-88184-768-2)
"It was two-thirty in the morning, and raining. In the City, it was
always two-thirty in the morning and raining." Thus begins this
entertaining, original novel of fantasy, film noir, and cyberpunk.
Archcriminal Truro Daine, imprisoned for life, has escaped by creating
the City, a computer-generated Dream world, where he is the undisputed
Night Mayor. To recapture him, and prevent him taking over the world
computer, two professional Dreamers must enter into his realm and beat
him at his own game.
THE NEW YORK REVIEW OF SCIENCE FICTION said: "In short, THE NIGHT
MAYOR is a tour de force of allusions spanning 50 years or so in film.
[This novel] is a pleasure to read (and even to reread)." You can
contact the publishers at: Carroll & Graf Publishers, Inc., 260 Fifth
Avenue, New York, NY 10001.
^ BLOOD TRAIL
by Tanya Huff
(DAW, February 1992, $4.50, ISBN 0-88677-502-7)
As regular readers will understand, I do not usually review "fantasy"
books. That's because I don't usually read them. This one came with a
recommendation from someone whom I have found that I can rely on, so I
tried it. Well, I'm not at all sure I'd classify this one as fantasy
anyway so my record stands almost intact!
BLOOD TRAIL is the third in a series of novels by Tanya Huff that deal
with a vampire, an almost blind detective, and in this one,
werewolves. After centuries of peaceful coexistence in rural Canada,
based on maintaining a very low profile, someone is killing members of
the wer. To get help they turn to the Toronto-based vampire (who
writes "bodice rippers" for a living). He then brings in the detective
-- need I go on?
I really enjoyed this one. It was just plane fun to read and well
KQ = 4
^ MARTIANS, GO HOME
by Fredric Brown
(Baen Books, May 1992, $4.50, ISBN 0-671-72120-8)
Martians. They're everywhere. In your closet. Under your bed. IN your
bed. Everywhere. They can't actually touch you, any more than you can
touch them; what they can do is blat out your secrets. Your every
little misdeed and petty hypocrisy (to say nothing of the condition of
your intimate under apparel) will soon be public knowledge.
You're not alone, of course; everyone on Earth from the Joint Chiefs
of Staff to your local stockbroker will be getting the same treatment.
Can the human race withstand this total overexposure? Of course not!
And that is the Invaders' Plan: to turn us into a bunch of lunatics,
and then steal our planet. Only one person knows how to neutralize the
Martians. And they've already driven HIM crazy...
First published in 1955, MARTIANS, GO HOME is classic SF humor.
^ THE KALIF's WAR
by John Dalmas
(Baen, June 1991, $4.95, ISBN 0-671-72062-7)
This is another novel by Mr. Dalmas set in the universe that spawned
his previous novels about THE REGIMENT. In a previous book human
invaders, from a previously unknown part of space, invaded one of the
lightly settled worlds and the regiment was brought in to defend the
planet. One Human female prisoner was taken when the invading fleet
fled for home.
This, then, is the story of the worlds from which the invader came and
then returned to. Using a religious/political composite for the
societal structure, the author has woven a believable story that
meshes nicely with the previous books and sets up the next couple of
novels. This is really the story of the ruler of the society (the
Kalif), the captive (who becomes his wife), and a story about the very
real problems of rule and the use of power. Some very nice allegories
come through about our own world as well.
Even if you have not read the previous books in the series this story
stands on its own very well. My guess is that after you read this one
you will go back and hunt up the author's previous books. Enjoy.
KQ = 4
^ ALIEN 3
novelization by Alan Dean Foster
based on a screenplay by David Giler, Walter Hill, Larry Ferguson
story by Vincent Ward
(Warner, June 1992, $4.99, ISBN 0-446-36216-6)
Here, even the wind screams. Abandoned hulks of machinery rust in the
colorless landscape. Dark, oily seas beat against a jagged black
shore. And the remnants of a reentry space vehicle crash into the
In it sleeps Ripley, a woman who has battled the Enemy twice. It
killed her whole crew the first time. The second time, it slaughtered
a spaceload of death-dealing Marines. Now, on this prison planet that
houses only a horde of defiant, captive men, she will have to fight
the ultimate alien horror one more time. Before it rips apart a whole
~ BOX SCORES
Title Author KQ
CARVE THE SKY Alexander Jablokov 5
CHAIN OF COMMAND Kevin Randle 4
VOICE OF THE WHIRLWIND Walter Jon Williams 4
STAR PRECINCT K. Randle & R. Driscoll 2
THE KALIF'S WAR John Dalmas 4
PEGASUS IN FLIGHT Anne McCaffrey 3
BLOOD TRAIL Tanya Huff 4
SCIENCE FICTION COMICS #3 Mike Benton 4
^ ACHILLES' CHOICE
by Larry Niven & Steven Barnes
(Tor, April 1992, $4.99, ISBN 0-812-51083-6)
The gods of Olympus offered a fateful choice to the warrior
Achilles--a short, glorious life, or a long, dull one. Achilles chose
glory. This is the story of the Eleventh Olympiad in the late 21st
century--a contest not only for glory but for survival--and of the
woman who dared to compete for the highest stakes of all: the future
of humanity. Dean Ing called ACHILLES' CHOICE "A frighteningly logical
tale of how we use up our best and brightest."
~BOOKS ON TAPE:
^ THE LONG DARK TEA-TIME OF THE SOUL
written and read by Douglas Adams
(Dove Books on Tape, $24.95, ISBN 1-55800-159-X)
Holistic detective Dirk Gently is going through a rough period. A
client, who has apparently sold his soul to someone or something, is
found decapitated, with his head revolving on a phonograph turntable.
A television-crazed child has broken his nose. He is being threatened
by a peculiar looking eagle. And his refrigerator is so full of
unspeakable things that he is afraid to open it. To top it all off, he
meets a woman who has recently been involved in an official Act of God
at Heathrow Airport and Dirk Gently wants to find out which God it
was. Wouldn't he be interested to know that the woman is being
followed around by Thor, the Norse god of thunder, who carries two
items with him everywhere: his legendary hammer and a Coca Cola
As I've said before, I wholeheartedly believe that these audio tapes,
read by the author himself, are the definitive way of experiencing the
Douglas Adams books. Actually, I am toying with the idea that having
Douglas Adams read them is the definitive way of experiencing all of
my books, but as I don't imagine he would agree to do it I don't
suppose it much matters. At the very least I can strongly recommend
that you get your hands on one of these Douglas Adams tape packages
from Dove Audio--this one or any of them. I think you'll see what I
mean, and don't be surprised if you find that you NEED to collect the
whole series of them. They are that good. (If you like to do things
simply, you can order any of the Adams tapes with a credit card and a
phone by calling Dove's Order Line at: 1-800-345-9945.
^ SERPENT MAGE
by Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman, performance by Roy Dotrice
Abridged, 2 cassettes, 180 minutes
(Bantam Audio, 1992, $15.99, ISBN 0-553-47044-2
In Volume 4 of the acclaimed DEATH GATE CYCLE, Haplo the Patryn is
sent out to further his explorations of the sundered realms, preparing
the way for the arrival of the Lord of the Nexus. He journeys this
time to Chelestra, the world of sea, where submerged islands encased
in bubbles of air drift around an inner sun. It is a place where
human, dwarf, and elf have learned to live in peace and have long
cooperated on a great venture: building the giant submersibles that
will take them to safety when their sun burns out. But the sudden
appearance of giant dragon-snakes who feed on fear threatens not only
their peace, but their very survival. As Haplo joins the struggle with
the serpents, Alfred the Sartan discovers his ancestors at last...and
finds that he can no longer accept the Sartan's exalted place as
The resulting titanic conflict will involve mortal and immortal
alike--humans and elves, Sartan and Patryn--and forces well beyond any
of these. The winner will control not only Chelestra, but perhaps the
Death Gate itself.
^ STAR WARS: DARK FORCE RISING
Features original STAR WARS music and sound effects
by Timothy Zahn, performance by Anthony Daniels
Abridged, 2 cassettes, 3 hours
(Bantam Audio, 1992, $15.99, ISBN 0-553-47055-8)
The #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling HEIR TO THE EMPIRE was the
publishing event of the year, the continuation of the adventures of
Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo, and the other heroes of the
most popular trilogy in movie history. Now comes DARK FORCE RISING,
the second part of an epic battle for Good and Evil.
The dying Empire's most cunning and ruthless warlord--Grand Admiral
Thrawn--has taken command of the remnants of the Imperial fleet and
launched a massive campaign aimed at the New Republic's destruction.
With the aid of unimaginable weapons long hidden away by the Emperor
on a backwater planet, Thrawn plans to turn the tide of battle,
overwhelm the New Republic, and impose his iron rule throughout the
Meanwhile, Han and Lando Calrissian race against time to find proof of
treason inside the highest Republic Council--only to discover instead
a ghostly fleet of warships that could bring doom to their friends and
victory to their enemies.
But most dangerous of all is a new Dark Jedi, risen from the ashes of
a shrouded past, consumed by bitterness...and thoroughly, utterly
insane. The Dark Jedi schemes to use his awesome mastery of the Force
to summon young Skywalker, allay his misgivings, cunningly enthrall
him, and ultimately corrupt him to the Dark Side.
DARK FORCE RISING is performed by Anthony Daniels, better known as
~ STAR TREK TERMINOLOGY
(from the Original Series, the Movies, TNG, and Gaming)
part II, continued from RFP #21
ANTIGRAV: These small, hand-held devices are used to move heavy
equipment easily from place to place by canceling its weight. Objects
attached to them have no effective weight, though, and can be "hung in
mid-air", unsupported. Attached with magnetic clamps or sticky pads,
one antigrav can cancel up to 100kg (about 220lbs) of mass. Several
may be used to move heavier items. Antigravs cannot be set to produce
a negative gravity effect.
AQUALANTERN (also BELT LIGHT): This small, hand-held light source is
worn as a belt around the waist, shining a light 10 meters ahead of
the wearer. These lights are used by landing parties because they
illuminate while leaving the hands free for other operations.
COMMUNICATOR: This transmitter/receiver is a small, palm-sized black
box with a flip-open lid that serves as an antenna grid. The voice
circuit is automatically opened with soft beeping sound when the lid
is flipped up. Several channels are available on a federation
communicator, and one can select which other communicators to call. If
a communicator is signaled, it beeps for attention. Communicators are
not usually used aboard ship because strategically placed
communications panels are more convenient
The maximum range of the communicator is about 26,000 km (16,000 mi).
It can be used on a planet's surface over line-of-sight distances, or
to contact a ship in standard orbit, but the signal may be blocked by
intervening terrain (like mountains), by atmospheric disturbances, or
dense materials (like ore deposits).
Though most frequently used for a voice communication, the
communicator also can trigger a homing signal, and so it serves as a
homing device for the ship's transporter. It can be attached to
portable data-gathering instruments to transmit data to ships
Most starfaring cultures use similar devices. The Klingon version,
which has been slightly altered by the Romulans, combines some of the
functions of the Federation communicator and the Tricorder, in that it
is capable of scanning for nearby energy sources.
EARPIECE RECEIVER: Used on the bridge and in engineering areas of
larger ships, this small earphone allows private reception of voice
transmissions without distracting outside noise. Molded to fit the ear
of a specific person's ear, the receiver is wireless. Its range is
limited, and it is never used out of the sight of a communications
panel. These are most often worn by communications officers on duty.
ENVIRONMENTAL SUIT: This suit, sometimes called a "space suit", is
used where maximum protection is required. It maintains a self
contained, artificial environment, providing air, temperature, and
pressure regulation for up to 24 hours. The suit is safe for
deep-space vacuum, for otherwise unlivable heat or cold, or for
The Environmental Suit is not particularly uncomfortable, but it is
bulky. The helmet is transparent, affording the wearer a clear, 360~
view. The suit is self-sealing; though it would be difficult to tear,
a standard spray hypo can be used right through the sleeve. It affords
no protection against modern weapons.
Use of the suit requires training, and unskilled persons should not
attempt to perform any but the most simple tasks. Persons with minimal
proficiency in Environmental Suit Operation can perform normal tasks.
Success at unusual tasks that require manual dexterity, or in such
strenuous actions as running, jumping, or fighting depends on the
skill of the individual in such operations.
Klingon, Romulan, and other starfaring cultures have similar suits.
FORCE FIELD BOX: This special box is used to transport antimatter
samples. Carried by two crewmen, it has an interior force field that
contains the antimatter safely. It can be switched on an off by remote
ID CARD: This credit-card-sized piece of plastic contains a 3-D
picture of and coded information about its bearer. It is used to
activate security locks on most Federation vessels and to provide
other data about the bearer quickly (retina patterns, blood type,
medical history, security clearances, etc.). It is made by the ship's
computer and is difficult to forge.
LIFE SUPPORT BELT: This wide belt provides its wearer with air,
temperature and heat regulation for about 4 hours. It generates a
glowing greenish-yellow force field around its wearer, and may be used
like the more bulky environmental suit in space, in hostile
environments, and underwater. Its main drawback, aside from the fact
that the glow makes it impossible to hide while wearing one, is its
vulnerability. A major impact can cause the belt to malfunction and
fail, and thus it is not used in combat situations. At the time of the
five-year mission of the USS ENTERPRISE under Captain Kirk, the belt
is somewhat experimental and is only in use by Federation personnel on
larger ships, such as the ENTERPRISE.
LIFE SUPPORT MASK: This breathing apparatus is worn where more bulky
or more heavy-duty life support equipment is not needed. It can remedy
the effects of a thin or thick atmosphere, and filter out harmful
atmosphere, but merely makes otherwise harmful atmosphere more
breathable. Thus, it will not provide oxygen where there is none. It
is powered by a tiny energy cell that needs to be recharged or
replaced once a month.
PSYCHOTRICORDER: In the hands of a competent technician, this complex
scanning device can scan the mind to obtain a detailed account of the
subject's experiences during the previous 24 to 48 hours. It is about
the size of a TV set, and can only be used safely by someone with
Professional-level skills in Psychology and Computer Operation.
Results of a psychotricorder scan are always correct. The operator and
the subject must have no distractions during the scan, and even then
starting a good scan can be difficult. Once a scan has begun, however,
the subjects true experiences will be revealed, despite any mental
effort made by the subject to conceal them. Federation law requires
that the subject agree to the scan.
The psychotricorder was developed at about the time of the 5-year
mission of the USS ENTERPRISE under Capt. Kirk. No other starfaring
race was known to have a similar device at the time.
SUBCUTANEOUS TRANSPONDER- This miniature transmitter, usually inserted
just below the skin of the arm, broadcasts a homing signal. With a
range of 26,000 km (16,000 mi), the device is used as a transporter
lock-on aid by landing parties in possibly hostile areas where a
standard communicator might be prohibited, taken away, or look out of
place. It cannot be used for voice communications.
A sharp blow to the area of the insertion usually will disable it.
Although a doctor must insert the device to insure safety to the
individual using it, the transponder may be removed safely by anyone
with a small pen-knife without significant harm.
TRICORDER: The tricorder is the most versatile and widely used data
gathering and recording mechanism in the known galaxy. It is an
invaluable tool for gathering information about the immediate
There are two major types of tricorder in widespread use on Star Fleet
vessels, the MEDICAL TRICORDER and the SCIENCES TRICORDER. They behave
similarly, but they are designed for different types of scanning. They
serve as simple sight and sound recorders useful for making
supplementary log entries, recording the observations of a landing
party on the scene, or gathering evidence about a location for later
viewing aboard ship. They can be set to record automatically, and they
can store up to 2 hours of continuous sight and sound data on each of
the 8 molecular memory discs normally installed in one.
Tricorders also scan for specialized data. A quick scan in one
direction only takes about 10 seconds, and rapid 360-degree scan takes
20 seconds. The range and exact performance depend on the type and the
kind of scan being made. Because the tricorder is an inherently
limited, portable device, analysis of samples taken aboard ship will
give much more accurate and detailed information about most substances
than tricorder readings.
Though the tricorder is not extremely delicate, it is possible to
break one with rough treatment. A fall, a hit by a projectile, or a
sharp blow can make a tricorder inoperative. Persons qualified in
Small Equipment Systems Technology frequently can make field repairs
to the unit.
SCIENCES TRICORDER: Data pickups for the sciences tricorder are
located in the flip-pen top of the unit, which also houses the main
controls, data lights, and the video display. The sciences tricorder
makes three basic types of scans, with several sensitivity levels
available for each. It can scan for energy sources, for physical
composition, and for life forms.
ENERGY SOURCES: A general scan for energy sources will reveal if any
major source of power exists within 1000 meters. A second scan will
pinpoint its direction and approximate distance. As long as the source
continues output, the tricorder scan may be made within 100 meters to
determine the type of energy being used (atomic power, fusion
reactors, electrical generators, stored battery power, etc). An even
narrower scan adjacent to machinery will pinpoint the source from
which the machinery draws power (power cables, wall socket, internal
battery, solar energy, etc).
PHYSICAL COMPOSITION: A general scan for concentrations of a desired
substance will reveal any present within 1000 meters. A second scan
will reveal the direction and the approximate distance. A specialized
scan may be made within 100 meters of an unknown substance to
determined what it is primarily made of. An even narrower scan within
1.5 meters of an unknown substance will give its complete chemical
composition. Only substances on which scans exist in the computer
banks will be analyzed, and substances that have never been scanned
before will be noted as unknowns.
LIFE FORMS: A general scan for the presence of other life forms will
reveal any within 500 meters. A second scan will tell direction and
approximate distance. A specialized scan made within 100 meters will
reveal the number of individual life readings and their general type
(humanoid, alien, mammal, reptilian, etc). More precise data requires
a medical tricorder.
MEDICAL TRICORDER: Data pickups for the Medical Tricorder are located
in the flip-open top of the unit, which also houses main controls,
data lights, and the video display. It also has a small hand-held
sensor attached by a cable, that can be used for finer control. The
Medical Tricorder will give more detailed information on chemical
composition and life form readings than the sciences tricorder, but
does not possess the sciences tricorder's range or versatility.
CHEMICAL COMPOSITION: The presence of a substance and its general
direction and distance can be determined at 100 meters. A narrow scan
within 1.5 meters not only will determine the chemical composition of
a sample, but also will give data on that substance's effects on
various life forms. For instance the Med-tri can scan a plant to
determine if it is poisonous or likely to be nutritious for humans.
LIFE FORMS: Within 10 meters, a life forms scan can identify any known
life form and give considerable biological data about even an unknown
form. A narrow scan within 1.5 meters reveals complete diagnostic
medical data. In addition, it can detect foreign materials in the
bloodstream, of aid in diagnosing cases of poisoning or drugging.
UNIVERSAL TRANSLATOR: This hand-held device contains a sophisticated
linguistics computer capable of translating most alien languages
spoken by humanoids; it looks like a flashlight with a microphone grid
at one end. The translator must record speech in a totally new
language to get the general idea of its syntax, word meanings, and so
on. The speech may be recorded live, it may be picked up from
recordings made from radio or other broadcasts, or it may be analyzed
from recordings made in other ways.
As many as 30% of the humanoid languages encountered are similar in
structure to a known language and can be translated almost
immediately. In many others, 30 minutes of speech is usually
sufficient with half of all languages being translated after 1 hour's
recording. Unusually difficult languages may require more recording
time, but even the most difficult tongue requires less than 4 hours.
Even some non-humanoid tongues can be translated with this device, as
long as the language is sound based.
The ship's linguistic computer bands can translate virtually any
tongue in a matter of minutes, and so broadcasts of a new tongue are
usually fed into the computer as they are encountered. If such
translation has taken place before a landing party is beamed down, the
language structure already will be programmed into their hand-held
~ * FRIGHTFUL FICTION *
Frightful Fiction is a division of Reading For Pleasure, published
bimonthly. This material is NOT COPYRIGHTED and may be used freely by
all. Catalogs, news releases, review copies, or donated reviews should
be sent to: Reading For Pleasure, 103 Baughman's Lane, Suite 303,
Frederick, MD 21702.
~ BRAM STOKER AWARD NOMINATIONS
The Bram Stoker Awards are given by the Horror Writers of America.
Winners will be announced the weekend of June 19 at the Park Meridian
Hotel in New York City.
THE M.D. by Thomas M. Disch (Knopf)
NEEDFUL THINGS by Stephen King (Viking)
THE DARK TOWER III: THE WASTE LANDS by Stephen King (Donald M. Grant)
BOY'S LIFE by Robert R. McCammon (Pocket)
SUMMER OF NIGHT by Dan Simmons (Putnam)
WINTER SCREAM by Chris Curry & L. Dean James (Pocket)
WILDERNESS by Dennis Danvers (Poseidon)
THE CIPHER by Kathe Koja (Dell Abyss)
UNEARTHED by Ashley McConnell (Diamond)
PRODIGAL by Melanie Tem (Dell Abyss)
FETISH by Edward Bryant (Pulphouse/Axolotl)
"Death Leaves an Echo" by Charles de Lint (CAFE PURGATORIUM, Tor)
"Advocates" by Suzy McKee Charnas & Chelsea Quinn Yarbro (UNDER THE
"Magpie" by Stephen Gallagher (FINAL SHADOWS, Doubleday)
"The Beautiful Uncut Hair of Graves" by David Morrell (FINAL SHADOWS,
"The Ash of Memory, the Dust of Desire" by Poppy Z. Brite (DEAD END:
CITY LIMITS, St. Martin's)
"Lady Madonna" by Nancy Holder (OBSESSIONS)
"Love Doll: A Fable" by Joe R. Lansdale (BORDERLANDS 2, Avon)
"The Braille Encyclopaedia" by Grant Morrison (HOTTER BLOOD, Pocket)
"Wolf Winter" by Maxine O'Callaghan (SISTERS IN CRIME 4, Berkley)
"Richard's Head" by Al Sarrantonio (OBSESSIONS)
WAKING NIGHTMARES by Ramsey Campbell (Tor)
PRAYERS TO BROKEN STONES by Dan Simmons (Dark Harvest)
SEXPUNKS & SAVAGE SAGAS by Richard Sutphen (Spine-Tingling Press)
AUTHOR'S CHOICE MONTHLY #24: THE NAKED FLESH OF FEELING by J.N.
VAMPIRES AMONG US by Rosemary Ellen Guillen (Puffin/Pocket)
CLIVE BARKER'S SHADOWS IN EVIL edited by Stephen Jones
PRISM OF THE NIGHT: A BIOGRAPHY OF ANNE RICE by Katherine Ramsland
THE SHAPE UNDER THE SHEET: THE COMPLETE STEPHEN KING ENCYCLOPEDIA by
Stephen J. Spignesi (Popular Culture Ink)
Life Achievement Award: Gahan Wilson
GOOD NEWS: Dell Abyss, that great line of horror paperbacks will also
be producing a few hardcovers in the future. They will continue to put
out one paperback per month, and will add to that about 2 or 3
hardcovers a year. The first will be LOST SOULS by Poppy Z. Brite,
coming in November 1992.
^ WOLF FLOW
by K.W. Jeter
(St. Martin's Press, April 1992, $18.95, ISBN 0-312-07125-6)
"One day the clouds parted and a fiery scroll appeared,
advising me that if my novels were horrifying so many people
unintentionally, I should try horrifying them deliberately;
I should write a horror novel."
Mike has committed a cardinal error. He thought that Aitch and Charlie
would never find out he was ripping them off. And he was wrong.
Brutally beaten and near death, Mike's bloodied body is tossed from
their speeding car and left to rot under the boiling desert sun. A
passing trucker helps Mike out, leaving him in a derelict, abandoned
clinic. "Thermalene" was a health spa that had been abandoned since
fire gutted it in the early part of the century. Wavering for days on
the verge of death, Mike drags his broken body to the clinic's
spa-room and submerges himself in the blackish sulfuric water. At
first, the healing effect is remarkable, and Mike is fully restored.
But soon, he begins to transform into something less than sane and
more than psychotic. Not being able to control the fits of rage that
consume him, he sets off to repay Aitch and Charlie for all they had
"done for him." Punctuated with hallucinations, dream sequences, and
gritty, odd-ball characters, WOLF FLOW gives a vivid depiction of a
human mind gone mad and a haunting portrait of the desolate Oregon
^ THE COUNT OF ELEVEN
by Ramsey Campbell
(Tor, June 1992, $19.95, ISBN 0-312-85350-5)
Jack Orchard has a wife, a daughter, and a successful video rental
business. He is also intrigued by numerology: assign each letter of
his name a number corresponding to its position in the alphabet, add
those numbers, and you get 92. Add the nine and the two and you get
eleven. One day a chain letter arrives in the mail, telling Jack to
"Turn Ill Luck Into Good" by sending copies to others. Jack laughs at
this and ignores the letter. Then his shop burns down, his credit card
is over the limit although he hasn't used it, and he discovers that
the shop's insurance is no good. Jack rereads the letter, numbers
"Turn Ill Luck Into Good" and comes up with---eleven! Carefully he
picks recipients from the phone book, but his luck gets even worse.
Jack decides something must be done, and people begin to die.
THE COUNT OF ELEVEN is a serial killer story from one of the world's
greatest horror writers--a chilling treat not to be missed. Ramsey
Campbell's last novel was MIDNIGHT SUN.
^ A FOOT IN THE GRAVE
by Joan Aiken & Jan Pienkowski
(Viking, 1991, $15.95, ISBN 0-670-84169-2)
In this collection of unusual and chilling tales, ANYTHING can happen,
and anywhere. On the banks of the River Thames, a ghost baby abandoned
200 years ago is adopted and brought home--with frightening results.
In New York, a young woman is SURE that creepy manikins are watching
her with her boyfriend. And in Ireland, a brother and sister have the
same dream--but is the land they dream of only imaginary? Conjuring a
number of eerily believable ghosts--some friendly but more of them
sinister--and letting them loose in modern settings, Jan Pienkowski's
images and Joan Aiken's words are a rare and bewitching combination.
^ DARK CHANNEL
by Ray Garton
(Bantam Falcon, May 1992, $4.99, ISBN 0-553-29190-4)
Hester Thorne is the beautiful and charismatic leader of the Universal
Enlightened Alliance--and the channel for a centuries-old spirit named
Orrin. From across the country and around the world, thousands gather
at her retreat in northern California, to hear Orrin's soothing
message of peace and love. Most donate only their money, but a chosen
few will make a much greater contribution...
Jordan Cross came to investigate the disappearance of a reporter who
got too close to the unspeakable truth. Lauren Shroeder was looking
for the husband who joined the Alliance and then kidnapped their
4-year-old son. Together they would uncover the Inner Circle and a
horror far more devastating than anything of human invention. For
behind the meditation and sensitivity workshops lay an ancient cult of
evil whose terrifying secret threatened to throw open the door between
hell and earth--a cult whose dark rites of passage have already begun.
^ FEAST OF FEAR: Conversations with Stephen King
edited by Tim Underwood & Chuck Miller
(Carroll & Graf, 1992, $18.95, ISBN 0-88184-811-5)
FEAST OF FEAR collects interviews with Stephen King that were
originally published in a wide variety of publications: BANGOR DAILY
NEWS, FANGORIA, COSMOPOLITAN, FILM COMMENT, etc. In them, King talks
about writers (like Peter Straub, Herman Melville, Ray Bradbury, Fritz
Leiber), about writing, about DRACULA, the Catholic Church,
spirituality and spiritualism, and, of course, about himself. He
discusses his past, his books, the movies that have been made from his
stories, and everything else any journalist could think of to ask him
about. He's as eloquent, candid, and provocative in speech as he is on
paper. FEAST OF FEAR is certain to please any Stephen King fan.
^ THE HOWLING MAN
by Charles Beaumont, edited by Roger Anker
(Tor, March 1992, $4.99, ISBN 0-812-50552-2)
Charles Beaumont (1929-1967) wrote short stories, comics, and
screenplays throughout the 1950s and the early 1960s. He wrote
episodes for ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS, ONE STEP BEYOND, NAKED CITY,
THRILLER, and WANTED DEAD OR ALIVE. He wrote more episodes of THE
TWILIGHT ZONE than anyone except Rod Serling. He wrote movie
screenplays too: THE PREMATURE BURIAL (with Ray Russell); BURN, WITCH,
BURN (with Richard Matheson); THE HAUNTED PALACE; THE SEVEN FACES OF
DR. LAO; and THE MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH (with R. Wright Campbell).
Charles Beaumont, despite the brevity of his career (he died at the
age of 38 of Alzheimer's Disease), truly earned his position as one of
the giants in the history of weird fiction.
In the pages of THE HOWLING MAN (a Bram Stoker Award winner, by the
way) you get not only the title story but also such classics as "Miss
Gentilbelle", "Black Country", "The Crooked Man", "The Hunger", "Free
Dirt", and many more, including 5 that have never been published
before. In addition to Beaumont's fiction, the reader is treated to
introductions by such people as Robert Bloch, Dennis Etchison, Harlan
Ellison, Ray Bradbury, Richard Matheson, and Roger Corman. THE HOWLING
MAN is a classic volume that should be on every Dark Fantasy shelf.
^ CUT! HORROR WRITERS ON HORROR FILM
edited by Christopher Golden
(Berkley, April 1992, $8.95, ISBN 0-425-13282-X)
CUT! is a pretty neat book of people you know talking about the movies
you love, and who's gonna argue with that? The individual essays,
interviews, or conversations, are arranged in alphabetic order, which
by some odd coincidence placed the two weakest pieces at the beginning
and saves some of the very best ones for the end. But, whatever your
particular point of view, here's what you get:
Clive Barker discussing non-horror movies that are nevertheless
largely horrific (not his best interview). Stephen R. Bissette giving
an academic overview of the recent shift to "transcendent fantasies"
like FLATLINERS, JACOB'S LADDER and so on (very capable, but makes dry
reading). Gary Bradner telling what happened when his books were
turned into movies: THE HOWLING I-VII, CAMERON'S CLOSET, WALKERS,
FLOATER (very interesting). Ramsey Campbell recalls his favorite
terrifying moments in the theater (guy knows his horror). Nancy
Collins mourns the old-time movie theaters (so do I). John Farris
talks about his movie experiences. Craig Shaw Gardner, a humor and
horror writer, discusses humor in horror films.
Ray Garton compares the two versions of CAT PEOPLE (1942 & 1982), and
analyzes how different horror movies appeal to adults and children
(this piece is fun). Ed Gorman briefly discusses filmmaker Wes Craven.
Charles L. Grant champions black-and-white films. Melissa Mia Hall
talks about FATAL ATTRACTION (she liked it--many women I know didn't).
Nancy Holder discusses THE HAUNTING (one of my favorites). Joe R.
Lansdale covers, what else, low-budget horror movies (just about
anything this guy writes wins my Best In Volume award, or at least a
tie with S&S--see below). T. Liam McDonald recalls Hammer Films.
Thomas F. Monteleone explains why horror movies aren't as good as they
used to be. Philip Nutman considers the films of Cronenberg. Kathryn
Ptacek recommends two cannibal movies (this is one unusual woman).
Katherine Ramsland gives an extensive academic treatise on ANGEL HEART
(how can you be so boring about such an unboring movie?). Anne Rice
enthuses over her favorite horror movies (her taste is great).
Paul M. Sammon provides an overlong essay about David Lynch. John
Skipp & Craig Spector theorize that horror is the driving force in all
good movies, and give more than 200 examples (co-winner of my Best In
Volume award). Stanley Wiater shares his list of The Most Disturbing
Horror Films Ever Made, movies that "make us regret having watched
them" (how can you resist something like this?). Douglas E. Winter
provides the best meld of academic coverage and fascinating prose in
his essay about Dario Argento, and he even gives a handy filmography.
And lastly, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro says that she doesn't like horror
films, but she does greatly admire Tod Browning's FREAKS (?!), which
she talks about here.
Not all deathless prose, but much of CUT! HORROR WRITERS ON HORROR
FILM is really very interesting, and you'll probably get some good
recommendations for your next videotape rental trip.
NEW FROM CHAOSIUM INC.: This product is so timely and so irresistible
that we decided to reproduce Chaosium's entire ad.
^ CTHULHU FOR PRESIDENT
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The CTHULHU FOR PRESIDENT kit contains everything you need to join the
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sticker, a colorful campaign button, newspaper articles covering the
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CTHULHU FOR PRESIDENT (#5109) ISBN 0-933635-89-3 $14.95
Read H.P. Lovecraft's books, play the famous role-playing game from
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Party ticket. Chaosium, 950-A 56th St., Oakland, CA 94608-3129;
510/547-7681; FAX: 510/547-2651.
^ MAMA'S BOY
by Charles King
(Pocket Books, April 1992, $20.00, ISBN 0-671-74469-0)
They seemed like the picture-perfect family: Roger and Mandy Harrow of
Skokie, Illinois, and their three children, including their adopted
son Winston, a 9-year-old refugee from Trinidad. Perfect, that is,
until the day that they are all found dead, and it is assumed by the
police that Roger went nuts and slaughtered his family then committed
suicide. But Roger's brother Jake, a New York City detective,
convinces the police to launch a real investigation, and he finds the
first real piece of evidence: Winston, alive but too traumatized to
talk, who had been hiding in a closet during the massacre.
Jake finds that three other families have been killed in a similar
fashion, and he begins a personal quest to find the high-tech sadist
responsible for the grisly crimes. His investigation goes into high
gear when the killer finds out that he has left a witness behind, and
targets Jake and Winston as his next victims. MAMA'S BOY is a
high-speed thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat. In a
market flooded with psycho killer stories, MAMA'S BOY stands out as
one of the very few that will survive the fad and become word-of-mouth
favorites. Don't miss it.
^ A QUESTION OF TIME
by Fred Saberhagen
(Tor, May 1992, $19.95, ISBN 0-312-85129-4)
Private Detective Joe Keogh and his old friend Mr. Strangeways are
hired to find 17-year-old Cathy Brainard, who disappeared a month ago
in the Grand Canyon. They have been hired by Cathy's great aunt, who
is also the widow of sculptor Edgar Tyrrell, who "died" in the Grand
Canyon in the 1930s. I say "died" because Tyrrell is really a vampire,
and you can never be too sure about them. But that's okay, because Mr.
Strangeways is a vampire too. A QUESTION OF TIME is another great romp
with Saberhagen's likable vampire, a story that expertly mixes horror,
detection, suspense, and romance.
^ THE SCREAM FACTORY
Issue #8, Winter 1991-92
edited by Peter Enfantino, Bob Morrish, John Scoleri
It's been a couple of years since I've seen a copy of THE SCREAM
FACTORY, and I'm happy to be able to say it's looking pretty good.
This issue is the "Special Giant Monster Issue!", and I dare say you
won't find more monster lore anywhere else this year. John Scoleri
gets things off to a good start with a long "Godzilla Viewing Guide"
containing absolutely everything you never knew that you wanted to
know about everyone's favorite movie monster. Lawrence McCallum
provides a profile of Bert I. Gordon, a director of low-budget
SF-horror movies, as well as an article about Eiji Tsuburaya, the man
responsible for the special effects in the original Godzilla movie.
Finishing out the movie coverage is a column of reviews of old sf and
horror movies, and a short article from James Gordon White about
writing scripts for low-budget horror movies.
My really favorite part of this issue is the book coverage. Randall D.
Larson has an article about "Natural Horrors and Killer Critters"
which includes a fascinating Family Tree of animal horrors in fiction
and an annotated reading list of "The Best of the Beasts". Bob Morrish
starts a "What the Hell Ever Happened To...?" column, and chooses
writer Jere Cunningham, author of THE LEGACY (1977), THE VISITOR
(1978), THE ABYSS (1981), and LOVE OBJECT (1985). Then William Schoell
takes a look at Giant Monster Novels, which also comes with a reading
list. Bob Morrish covers small press magazines and Michael D. Winkle
serves up Part 2 of his 3-parter on The Cthulhu Mythos, a great way
for you to catch up if you've always wondered what this guy Lovecraft
was always going on about. Finally, William Schoell has a few words
about the old horror pulps, and sprinkled throughout THE SCREAM
FACTORY are loads and loads of book reviews, most of them older books
that you could find in your used-book store.
There are a couple of short stories, but the focus here is on
nonfiction articles, most of which are very interesting. The Larson
article alone is worth the cover price--I mean where else are you
going to get competent, serious coverage of books about giant slimy
things? And let's be honest, sometimes a novel with a giant slimy hero
is just exactly what is called for. Some of us just aren't cut out for
Scarlett O'Hara stories. THE SCREAM FACTORY has a cover price of
$4.95, which is exactly what they'll ship you a sample copy for
(postage is on the house). For the daring, a 4-issue subscription will
run you $19. Make the check payable to THE SCREAM FACTORY and mail it
to: Deadline Press, 4884 Pepperwood Way, San Jose, CA 95124.
~BOOKS ON TAPE:
^ CAUGHT IN TIME
by Matthew J. Costello, read by Reg Green
1 cassette, 90 minutes, 3-D sound effects
(Spine-Tingling Press, $9.95, ISBN 0-87554-493-2)
Spine-Tingling Press must be the finest supplier of audio horror, and
CAUGHT IN TIME is another winner. Wallace Porter, a very rich man, has
commissioned a computer simulations firm to create a holotank version
of Jack the Ripper's London, as absolutely accurate as possible. The
simulation is so elaborate that Porter can even take part in it,
actually talking to contemporary people. As the holotank simulation
begins on a dark night of November 1888, Porter goes in search of Mary
Kelly, due to be Jack's victim in a matter of hours.
The story is a fascinating combination of futuristic science and
nineteenth century horror, and the 3-D sound effects are terrific!
From the whirs and hums of the holotank to the street sounds of a cold
and dismal London night, the sound effects make the story come alive.
And Reg Green, with an appropriate British accent, turns in a subtly
brilliant performance with a variety of just-right voices. Matthew J.
Costello's latest horror novel is WURM. He is also a columnist for
MYSTERY SCENE magazine and a contributing editor at GAMES magazine.
CAUGHT IN TIME can be ordered directly from the publisher (order
#ST109). Contact the publisher at: Spine-Tingling Press, Box 186,
Agoura Hills, CA 91376; 818/889-1575.
WANT MORE? A previous Spine-Tingling Press release that is worth
buying is BONE THROWER by Richard Sutphen (reviewed in RFP #18).
^ STAINED BLACK: Horror Stories
by Kristine Kathryn Rusch, read by Jean Roylance
2 cassettes, 3 hours, 3-D sound effects
(Spine-Tingling Press, $14.95, ISBN 0-87554-490-8)
Four creepy horror tales are collected on these two tapes: "Stained
Black", about an artist seeking inspiration by 'entering' an
electrically reanimated corpse; "Phantom", about an unknown killer who
stalks the Dixie Theater; "Inspiration", in which a romance novelist's
number-one fan has violent craziness on his mind (where have I heard
this one before--never mind, Rusch tells it very differently); and
"Fugue", about a boy who kills to create art and the non-human spirit
that inhabits him. All four make superior nightmare-inducing bedtime
stories (my favorite was "Phantom"). The 3-D sound effects are very
good, and the use of background music is excellent. Spine-Tingling
Press' productions keep getting better.
^ HUNTER'S MOON: & Other American Gothic Tales
by Kevin J. Anderson, read by Ashton Smith
2 cassettes, 3 hours, 3-D sound effects
(Spine-Tingling Press, $14.95, ISBN 0-87554-492-4)
HUNTER'S MOON contains six chilling stories by Anderson, evocatively
read by Ashton Smith's pleasantly deep voice. The title story is about
Clinton Tucker, who barely survived a wolf attack during a Hunter's
Moon as a boy, and who now faces one more Hunter's Moon as an adult.
And the wolves are sounding so awfully close... Two bored boys
invented a killer train, all black with one yellow eye. Now, years
later, the train is real and is due for one last deadly run
("Loco-Motive"). In "Drilling Deep", Arn Christianson's new well is
dug so deep that it taps into a long-gone planetary past. Clancy is
moving, and he's "Bringing the Family", even mom and dad snug in their
coffins. In "A Glimpse of the Ankou", Ray has seen the Ankou, the
harbinger of death, but Ray starts to wonder if he could maybe make a
deal. And in "Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall", a writer discovers a
mirror that reflects a tragedy from the 19th century.
These six stories span two American centuries and a wide variety of
myths and legends. An excellent collection, made particularly
enjoyable by the 3-D sound effects. The wolf howls, train whistles,
and thunderstorms add an extra dimension to these scary stories.
BY THE WAY: Spine-Tingling Press has more great tapes planned for the
near future, titles like-- RETURN OF THE NEON FIREBALL by Chet
Williamson, NOT SO DEAD by Steve Rasnic Tem, FIGHTING WITH GHOSTS by
Bentley Little, and UNTCIGAHUNK: LITTLE BROTHERS FROM HELL by Rick
Hautala. Get on their mailing list by writing to: Spine-Tingling
Press, Box 186, Agoura Hills, CA 91376.
^ DARK DIXIE: Tales of Southern Horror
by Ronald Kelly, read by Reg Green
1 cassette, 90 minutes, 3-D sound effects
(Spine-Tingling Press, $9.95, ISBN 0-87554-489-4)
The five stories in this audio collection are a mixed bag. "The
Cistern" begins well, with an old cistern that was sealed up tight in
the 18th century, but has now cracked and apparently let loose the
demon trapped within. Unfortunately the story doesn't so much end as
it stops, as if the last page was missing from the recording script.
"Papa's Exile" is a short-short about the banishment of a drunk from
his house, and "Black Harvest" is a light-weight tale about a country
boy who picks the prettiest girl at the harvest celebration and gets
more than he bargained for. The most memorable stories here are,
without question, "Miss Abigail's Delicate Condition" and "Yea, Though
I Drive". The first concerns a woman who's been sickly all her life,
ever since drinking from a local stream. If you have a snake phobia,
this story could push you over the edge. If you don't have a snake
phobia, this could give you one. The last tale is about a serial
killer loose on the interstate. It's not particularly original, but
there are enough twists to keep a listener happy. This is not one of
the better packages from Spine-Tingling Press, but I think it might be
a major hit with younger horror fans.
^ THESE DREAMS THAT SLEEP DISTURBS
by David B. Silva, read by Reg Green & Jean Roylance
2 cassettes, 3 hours, 3-D sound effects
(Spine-Tingling Press, $14.95, ISBN 0-87554-491-6)
David B. Silva was the editor of the much-missed magazine, THE HORROR
SHOW, as well as the author of more than fifty short stories and two
horror novels: CHILD OF DARKNESS and COME THIRTEEN. This tape package
from Spine-Tingling Press presents audio readings/performances of four
of Silva's best short stories. "Brothers" is a moving story of a boy
and his beloved older brother. Thunderstorms play a big part in the
story, so the sound effects come in handy here. "Alone of His Kind" is
a searing story of loss and loneliness, about two grieving men who
meet in a soup kitchen. "Placenta in Black" is about what must be the
ultimate dysfunctional family. It's an unpleasant story, but haunting.
Finally, the very best--worth buying the tape for--is the nightmarish
"Slipping" about an advertising man who begins losing pieces of time.
In addition to being a really first-rate story, "Slipping" benefits
greatly from being performed, and Reg Green, Jean Roylance, and the
sound effects all deserve a round of applause. If you can't decide
which Spine-Tingling Press tape to buy first, THESE DREAMS THAT SLEEP
DISTURBS would be a very fine choice.
^ MONSTERS: Three Tales
by Joseph A. Citro
1 cassette, 90 minutes, 3-D sound effects
(Spine-Tingling Press, $9.95, ISBN 0-87554-488-6)
While not precisely horror, as might be inferred from the title
MONSTERS, these are three interesting tales from the author of the
novels THE UNSEEN, DARK TWILIGHT, SHADOW CHILD, GUARDIAN ANGELS, and
the forthcoming DEUS-X. "Soul Keeper" tells about what happens to Carl
when he leaves his born-again religious-fanatic wife only to fall into
the hands of a religious nut who is a true crazy. Picture MISERY's
Paul Sheldon being nursed back to health by CARRIE White's mother. The
story has a pretty cute punch line too. "Them Bald-Headed Snays" mines
some of the same ground as Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery": how people
project their problems and pains on others. My favorite story here,
though, is "Kirby" about an unusual childhood best friend with an
extraordinary talent. Citro evokes the world of the small child
wonderfully, making it easy to believe in the characters. All in all,
MONSTERS is a very entertaining collection of three suspenseful audio
stories. Well worth a listen.
~COMING IN JULY!
^ THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB
by Thomas F. Monteleone
(Tor, July 1992, $22.95)
At Lourdes, in Medjugorje, and throughout the world millions of people
are seeking miraculous cures. Debates rage over reported visions of
the Virgin Mary. In the early 1990s, the first stirrings of Millennial
Fever are felt--the fever which a thousand years ago drove people to
sell all their possessions, climb mountains and wait for God to come
and carry them to Heaven.
THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB is a riveting novel of the Millennium. It
centers on Peter Carenza, a handsome, charismatic young priest. In his
thirtieth year Father Carenza discovers he has apparently miraculous
powers--to heal the sick, raise the dead, walk unscathed through fire.
Then Peter discovers that he can kill as easily as he can heal. The
Vatican conspirators who plotted his birth feel the first twinges of
fear. Exactly what have they created by bringing science to bear on
the works of God? Is Peter Carenza the returned Christ, or is he a
creature of unholy evil?
~ : NONFICTION :
^ JEFF BALL'S 60-MINUTE VEGETABLE GARDEN
by Jeff Ball
(Collier, May 1992, $13.00, ISBN 0-02-030376-9)
JEFF BALL'S 60-MINUTE VEGETABLE GARDEN brings together the author's
ten years of research and his unsurpassed expertise to create an
innovative vegetable-growing system. This system not only extends the
growing season from early spring to early winter, but requires just
sixty minutes of work each week. Jeff includes labor-saving techniques
and designs for twenty unique, time-saving devices for gardeners to
build themselves, including vertical trellises, boxed raised beds,
growing tunnels, and drip irrigation systems. This book is ideal for
beginners as well as homeowners who want to be able to enjoy
fresh-picked vegetables for nearly eight months of the year.
^ HARD DRIVE
Bill Gates and the Making of the Microsoft Empire
by James Wallace & Jim Erickson
(Wiley, May 1992, $22.95, ISBN 0-471-56886-4)
At the age of 36, with a net worth of over $8 billion, Bill Gates is
the richest man in America and Microsoft Corporation, which he
co-founded in 1975, is currently the most successful software company.
All should be right with Bill Gates' world. Yet two allies from the
early years of Microsoft's stunning success have turned against the
company: Pre-trial hearings have just begun in Apple's $5 billion
copyright infringement lawsuit and IBM is fiercely trying to displace
Microsoft's DOS with its own OS/2. More ominous still, the Federal
Trade Commission is investigating the House That Gates Built and could
possibly break up Microsoft as it did AT&T. How did Microsoft get to
the top and will it stay there? To what extent does Microsoft's
corporate personality reflect that of its eccentric and hard-driving
chairman and CEO, Bill Gates?
HARD DRIVE is the first biography of the controversial Microsoft
chairman. Despite Gates' attempt to discourage people from talking,
authors James Wallace and Jim Erickson, reporters for THE SEATTLE
POST-INTELLIGENCER, have interviewed his closest friends, associates,
and former employees, as well as many of his business rivals, to
provide a comprehensive portrait of this complex computer wunderkind,
of the company he made, and the industry he continues to shape.
^ CATS AND THEIR WOMEN
by Barbara Cohen & Louise Taylor
(Little, Brown, May 1992, $10.95, ISBN 0-316-15046-0)
Endearing kittens, scrappy strays, tigers, calicoes, tabbies, cats of
every kind--and the women who love them--are featured in this
heartwarming collection of photographs. The accompanying words of the
women themselves capture every aspect of the unique bond between a
woman and her cat: the unspoken understandings, the temperamental
similarities, the mutual affection. In these pages you'll meet Bud,
who communicates through sign language; Cyrus, who enjoys an
occasional nap with the hens in the henhouse; and Prudence, a black
leopard who spent her formative months sleeping in her trainer's
kitchen sink. CATS AND THEIR WOMEN is sure to captivate any woman who
has ever been mystified, amused, bossed, or touched by a cat.
^ THE LIZZIE BORDEN SOURCEBOOK
by David Kent in collaboration with Robert A. Flynn
(Branden, 1992, ISBN 0-8283-1950-2)
The Borden murders of a century ago in Fall River, Massachusetts,
captured the imagination of the world as had the Jack the Ripper
murders a few years earlier in London's West End. Beginning the
following year, book after book appeared on the market, each stressing
the bias of the writer or nominating another candidate for the role of
villain. Until this sourcebook, no one has been content to present the
chronicling of events as they unfolded and leave the verdict to the
Here you will find reproductions of 41 newspapers, from Fall River to
New Orleans to San Francisco, official correspondence and transcripts,
as well as information on the plays, opera and ballet inspired by the
EDITOR'S NOTE: This is a beautiful, high quality, oversized hardcover
that would be absolutely irresistible to any true crime fan. It would
also make a spectacular and breathtakingly luxurious gift. You can
contact the publisher at: Branden Publishing Company, Inc., 17 Station
Street, Box 843 Brookline Village, Boston, MA 02147.
Celebrity Performers and the American Public
by Jib Fowles
(Smithsonian, April 1992, $21.95, ISBN 1-56098-123-7)
Stars underpaid? Given the enormous fees paid to Madonna, Frank
Sinatra, or even sprinter Carl Lewis for public appearances, it might
seem preposterous to suggest that celebrities are underpaid. But
that's just one of the assertions made by sociologist and popular
culture critic Jib Fowles in his book, STARSTRUCK.
In STARSTRUCK, Fowles surveys the lives and careers of 100 performers
chosen from the ranks of Hollywood films, sports, the comedy circuit,
television, and popular music. His cast includes some of the
best-known names of this century: actors from John Barrymore to Rock
Hudson, Theda Bara to Ingrid Bergman; sports legends such as Ty Cobb
and Jackie Robinson; comedians Groucho Marx, John Belushi, and Lucille
Ball; and musical stars from Liberace to John Lennon, Nat "King" Cole
to Jimi Hendrix--all whose careers have completed a full cycle.
Fowles asserts that stars perform many important cultural functions
for the American public, such as modelling personality traits,
physical appearance, and social life for people, especially for the
young. But Fowles believes that no amount of money can ever compensate
stars for the relentless, intense scrutiny that they must endure by
STARSTRUCK reveals why some performers get to be stars and why others
never can. It details the role of the star and relates what the
experience of being a star is like from the star's point of view. The
book discloses that the occupation of star is perilous--stars die on
average 13 years younger than typical Americans.
Fowles, a professor of media studies at the University of Houston,
Clear Lake, spent over 7 years researching and analyzing the careers
of 100 leading performers because no other objective, systematic study
of the occupation of "star" has ever been published. The publisher can
be contacted, and a catalogue can be requested, by writing to:
Smithsonian Institution Press, Marketing Department, 470 L'Enfant
Plaza, Suite 7100, Washington, DC 20560.
^ THE SECOND FIFTY YEARS
A Reference Manual for Senior Citizens
by Walter J. Cheney, William J. Diehm, Frank E. Seeley
(Paragon House, June 1992, $21.95, ISBN 1-55778-531-7)
The first thing you'll think of when you see this book is that the
WHOLE EARTH CATALOG has produced another edition. That book and this
one have a similar size, appearance, and spiritual center. But whereas
the WEC pointed you in the direction of information, THE SECOND FIFTY
YEARS provides the actual information itself. This is no less than a
comprehensive encyclopedia of just about everything you need to know
to be a senior citizen in America today. Here are some of the things
you'll find in THE SECOND FIFTY YEARS:
* ASSISTANCE FOR SENIORS: Senior rights under the Older American Act,
where to go for housing, meals, legal assistance, care and support.
* FINANCIAL MATTERS: All about auto, home, long term care, Medicare
and Medigap insurance, social security, SSI, SS disability, limiting
health costs, investments, pension protection, consumer rights.
* HEALTH & NUTRITION: Eating right, keeping fit, staying well, diet,
exercise, vitamins, fiber, salt, calcium, cholesterol, etc.
* HELP: Senior organizations, mutual-health groups, medical hotlines,
agencies on aging, where to call or write for more information.
* HOUSING: Staying in your home, using home equity, real estate
brokers, housing options, retirement communities, nursing homes and
protecting spousal assets.
* LEGAL CONCERNS: Getting help, giving others the right to make
decisions for you, living will, estate planning, wills, trusts.
* CREATIVE RETIREMENT: Starting a new career, working part time,
hobbies, retirement planning.
* TRAVEL: In-depth info on travel preparations, health precautions,
tips on air travel, cruises, package tours, tipping and shopping,
baggage concerns, traveling with pets, security on the road, travel
ideas for seniors.
WIDOWHOOD OR BEING ALONE: Dealing with loneliness, meeting new
friends, getting support, information on funerals.
THE SECOND FIFTY YEARS is a unique and valuable collection of
information, suggestions, and advice for older Americans. Highly
recommended. You can contact the publisher at: Paragon House, 90 Fifth
Avenue, New York, NY 10011.
^ INDIANS OF NORTH AMERICA
by Geoffrey Turner
(Sterling, 1992, $12.95, ISBN 0-8069-8616-6)
Their names--Big Foot, Geronimo, Crazy Horse, Red Cloud--ring out from
a history that we have finally begun to piece together. Their
tribes--Paiute, Seminole, Papago, Iroquois--emerge, each with its own
distinct cultural richness. Their traditions, rituals and crafts are
all part of our heritage.
Now this fascinating, fully illustrated encyclopedia brings it all
together--the names, the places, the conflicts, the anguish and the
survival. Filled with more than 64 full-color photos and illustrations
and more than 70 rare black-and-white photos from the 19th and early
20th century, this guide traces the voyage from Asia across the Bering
Strait to North America more than 5,000 years ago and continues right
through to the courageous struggles of Native Americans today.
The complex and engrossing tapestry that includes the basket weaving
and pueblos of the Anasazi Indians of New Mexico, the dugout canoes of
the Chumash Indians of the Santa Barbara Channel coast, and the vision
quest of the young Arapaho and Cheyenne Indians of the high plains
will come together for you in a stirring and exciting chronicle of
history and culture.
The publisher can be contacted at: Sterling Publishing Co., Inc., 387
Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10016-8810.
^ DO-IT-YOURSELF ADVERTISING
by David F. Ramacitti
(AMACOM, May 1992, $18.95, ISBN 0-8144-7743-7)
According to communications expert and author David Ramacitti, any
small business or organization--even without a hefty budget--can put
together a cohesive advertising plan using paid local media.
DO-IT-YOURSELF ADVERTISING provides small businesses, clubs, and
nonprofit organizations with the practical tools to do everything from
placing a single ad in a newspaper to producing an entire advertising
campaign. And it will help ensure that the results are creative,
effective, and affordable.
A companion book to Ramacitti's highly successful DO-IT-YOURSELF
PUBLICITY, DO-IT-YOURSELF ADVERTISING is basically an advertising
agency's tool kit rolled up in a book. This comprehensive guide
includes step-by-step instructions for building and executing a
complete advertising plan, including budgets. Readers will learn how
to set advertising goals for their product or service, identify the
right target audience, and choose where to advertise. They'll be able
to answer such important questions as: Should we be running an ad at
this time? Who is the ad going to and what do we want to say? Should
we use print, TV, or radio? What are the basic design and copy tricks
that will draw attention to our message? How much will the advertising
cost? Can we afford it?
You can contact the publisher at: AMACOM, A Division of American
Management Assoc., 135 West 50th Street, New York, NY 10020.
^ COUNTRY BOUND!
Trade Your Business Suit Blues for Blue Jean Dreams
by Marilyn & Tom Ross
(Communication Creativity, 1992, $19.95, ISBN 0-918880-30-0)
A recent Gallup Poll reveals that three out of four Americans say they
would prefer NOT living in a metropolitan area. Given their choice,
29% would live in a city of 10,000 to 100,000 residents; 52% prefer a
rural area or small town. While trading the fast lane for a country
road is the dream of countless millions, most have been thwarted by
lack of rural job opportunities. Now COUNTRY BOUND! comes to the
rescue with hundreds of practical, thought-provoking ideas to help
people prosper in paradise.
This one-of-a-kind book shows disgruntled urbanites how to effectively
escape the big city rat race, create a successful business in the
boonies, and experience an enhanced quality of life. A business book
as well as a lifestyle guide, it details how to earn a good living in
Small Town America. Readers discover ways to turn avocational pastimes
into regular paychecks--telecommute to their existing jobs--set up an
"information age" home-based business--buy an existing rural
enterprise--or create their dream job in the country. Dozens of maps,
tables, quizzes, and checklists make relocating easy and fun.
This 433-page guide is available in bookstores, or can be ordered from
the publisher by calling 1-800-331-8355, or by sending the list price,
plus $3 shipping to: Communication Creativity, Box 1500-NRL, Buena
Vista, CO 81211.
^ A WORLD LIT ONLY BY FIRE
The Medieval Mind and the Renaissance: Portrait of an Age
by William Manchester
(Little, Brown, May 1992, $24.95, ISBN 0-316-54531-7)
A WORLD LIT ONLY BY FIRE is William Manchester's grand journey into
one of the most fascinating periods in the history of the Western
world, that pivotal moment when the grime of the Middle Ages was
brightened by the Renaissance. From tales of chivalrous knights to the
horrific barbarity of trial by ordeal, nothing has been a greater
source of awe, terror, and wonder than the medieval mind.
The explosion of energy known as the Renaissance produced some of the
world's most spectacular villains, including Cesare Borgia, a model
for Machiavelli's THE PRINCE, and his lewd sister, the lovely
sensualist, Lucrezia. Here, too, is the Dominican monk Tomas de
Torquemada, who presided over the Spanish Inquisition and masterminded
some of history's most intricate torture chambers for the thousands of
innocents accused of heresy.
Yet here also are the world's most courageous pioneers: Copernicus,
Leonardo da Vinci, and the mightiest explorer in history, Ferdinand
Magellan, the ultimate mariner, who in his epic quest for the Spice
Islands circled the globe and proved the world was a revolving sphere.
Magellan's voyage, explains Manchester, brought the world's boundaries
into sharp new focus, and so ushered in the modern age.
And, indeed, one of the most striking aspects of the Renaissance is
that many of its influences, innovations, and masterpieces survive to
this day. Manchester describes vividly Martin Luther's thunderous
Reformation, which split Europe into warring religious camps and
changed the face of Christianity forever. A WORLD LIT ONLY BY FIRE
also documents the staggering achievements of Renaissance artists and
writers. The Sistine Chapel's frescoes and Raphael's Madonnas
ornamented Rome; Florence was transformed into a living museum. Da
Vinci's forays into modern cartography, anatomy, and applied science,
made as he put the finishing touches on the Mona Lisa, were felt all
over Europe. In France, Rabelais met with literary triumph, and in
Germany and Belgium, Durer and Brueghel portrayed a whole new world.
In the great tradition of the Durants and Barbara Tuchman, William
Manchester has captured a pivotal moment in human history in a
fascinating and accessible narrative.
^ MURDER & MADNESS: The Secret Life of Jack the Ripper
by David Abrahamsen, M.D., F.A.C.Pn.
(Donald I. Fine, May 1992, $21.00, ISBN 1-55611-279-3)
In a ten-year study of all the evidence available to Scotland Yard,
including never-before-released files, Dr. David Abrahamsen pursued a
psychiatric perspective on the question of not only WHO "Jack the
Ripper" was, but also WHY he was compelled to do what he did. His
examination and analysis of the data lead him to previously unexplored
avenues of investigation, and to uncover startling new evidence that
persuasively suggests that Jack the Ripper was actually two people,
one of whom was a member of the royal Family of England. This
ground-breaking theory and the convincing reasoning behind it make for
a fascinating new look at a classic mystery.
^ CARNIVAL CULTURE: The Trashing of Taste in America
by James B. Twitchell
(Columbia UP, April 1992, $24.95, ISBN 0-231-07830-7)
The dynamic cultural critic James Twitchell turns his penetrating eye
on the impact of mass media on contemporary culture in his latest
book, CARNIVAL CULTURE. Here's an excerpt from his Introduction:
"An apt analogy for American show business might be the Holy
Roman Catholic Church of the early Renaissance. The Church's
great power was its willingness to pay attention to its
audience and to provide a steady stream of images that were
comforting and inspiring. It never forgot that every act was
an exchange: audience attention and support were traded for
promises of purpose and hope. But even the Church pales in
comparison with modern mass media. Perhaps a better analogy
might be that institution which grew up alongside the Church
and both subverted and reinforced its doctrines--the
Carnival. Here the barter is simpler: pay up and see what
you want. Redemption can wait. If modern culture may be seen
in terms of competition for audience between high and low
entertainment, between art and vulgarity, between the Church
and the Carnival, then the Carnival is having its day. Mardi
Gras is less and less dependent on Lent. The paperback book,
the Cineplex 16, the audiocassette, the videocassette, the
compact disc, and the coaxial cable have allowed a huge
audience to attend the ceremonies of entertainment, and a
huge amount of money to be made by those who can gauge what
the mass audience desires. In the twentieth century,
especially since the 1960s, the gatekeeper/cleric has
wandered away and the carnival barker/programmer has taken
his place. 'Step right up, folks, right this way and see...'
In the beginning was the Word, but in the end it will be the
Always thought-provoking, always provocative, James Twitchell is also
the author of:
THE LIVING DEAD: THE VAMPIRE IN ROMANTIC LITERATURE
ROMANTIC HORIZONS: ASPECTS OF THE SUBLIME IN ENGLISH POETRY AND
DREADFUL PLEASURES: AN ANATOMY OF MODERN HORROR
FORBIDDEN PARTNERS: THE INCEST TABOO IN MODERN CULTURE
PREPOSTEROUS VIOLENCE: FABLES OF AGGRESSION IN MODERN CULTURE
You can contact the publisher of CARNIVAL CULTURE at: Columbia
University Press, 562 West 113th Street, New York, NY 10025.
^ EUROPEAN CUSTOMS AND MANNERS: Revised & Expanded
by Nancy L. Braganti & Elizabeth Devine
(Meadowbrook Press, 1992, $8.00, ISBN 0-671-76030-0)
TEST YOUR "E.Q."
1) What should you NEVER do to your food or your wine when dining in a
2) Why should you be careful when you shake your head in Bulgaria?
3) What is the proper etiquette at a Finnish sauna?
4) When DON'T you drink tea in England?
5) What common driving practice can get you arrested in France and
6) What will you get if you order "Scotch" in Belgium?
7) At a business meeting in Germany, is it better to get right down to
brass tacks or start with pleasantries and small talk?
8) What common American gesture is considered insulting in Greece?
9) What common American gesture is considered obscene in Spain?
10) If you ask directions for the nearest "bathroom" in most European
countries, where are you likely to be sent?
11) What must you do before entering a Russian home?
12) What common American clothing item should you NEVER wear in
You can find the answers to these questions, and thousands of
interesting facts about European behavior in EUROPEAN CUSTOMS AND
MANNERS. You can contact the publisher at: Meadowbrook Press, 18318
Minnetonka Blvd., Deephaven, Minnesota 55391.
1) Don't add salt or pepper to your food or sparkling water to your
wine. Both are seen as insults.
2) The way Americans shake their head for "yes" and "no" is reversed
in Bulgaria. Up-and-down means "no" and back-and-forth means "yes".
3) Be subdued--act as if you were in a house of worship.
4) You don't drink tea in England after lunch or supper.
5) Honking your horn.
6) In Belgium, "Scotch" is a brand of beer. To get Scotch whiskey,
7) There may be a very small amount of "small talk" (about your flight
or accommodations, e.g.) at a German business meeting, but that's
8) In Greece, don't wave with your palm open and fingers extended.
Instead, raise your index finger only and keep your palm closed.
9) In Spain, never use the American hand gesture for "OK".
10) In Europe, a request for a bathroom may get you just that: a room
with a bath and NO toilet.
11) Take off your shoes before entering a Russian home.
12) In France, NEVER wear shorts.
^ LETTER FROM NEW YORK: BBC Woman's Hour Broadcasts
by Helene Hanff
(Moyer Bell, April 1992, $16.95, ISBN 1-55921-064-8)
For six years, Helene Hanff--the bestselling author of 84, CHARING
CROSS ROAD--held captive audiences all over the world with her monthly
broadcasts on the BBC Woman's Hour. In five-minute vignettes, she
manages to convey the essential New York City: life in a highrise
apartment building; the annals of Chester-the-Sheepdog, Duke the
German shepherd, and their friends; the tree lighting, magic, and
music of Christmas in New York.
Here's a sample from her script for August, 1980:
"I will be very glad when summer is over and my vacationing
neighbors come home. I am the eighth floor's Keeper of the
Keys. I had to water the plants in 8-E while Susan was on
her honeymoon; I had to let the painters into 8-H and lock
up after them; and when Blossom, in 8-A, went to Egypt, she
gave me a spare key in case the friend who was coming daily
to feed the two cats lost her key. So naturally, when the
man in the flat next to Blossom's thought he smelled gas
escaping--at six o'clock on a Saturday morning--I was the
one the super woke up. I staggered down the hall with him
and let them into Blossom's apartment whereupon the two cats
streaked out and down the hall to my place and hid in my
kitchen broom closet, and it took me half an hour to find
them, catch them and carry them back to their empty
Full of the same warmth and zest that made 84, CHARING CROSS ROAD so
special, LETTER FROM NEW YORK is a delight. The publisher can be
contacted at: Moyer Bell Limited, Colonial Hill, RFD 1, Mount Kisco,
^ GONE WITH THE WIND AS BOOK AND FILM
edited by Richard Harwell
(Univ. of South Carolina, April 1992, $12.95, ISBN 0-87249-836-0)
One of the foremost authorities on GONE WITH THE WIND, Richard Harwell
has gathered into one collection the most significant writings on the
book, the film, and author Margaret Mitchell. Harwell brings special
depth and understanding to these writings because of his personal
acquaintance with Mitchell and his long-time study of GWTW phenomena.
(Harwell built one of the world's largest collections of GWTW volumes
and memorabilia, and is responsible for other books on the subject:
MARGARET MITCHELL'S "GONE WITH THE WIND" LETTERS 1936-1949 and GONE
WITH THE WIND: THE SCREENPLAY.)
The first section of GONE WITH THE WIND AS BOOK AND FILM records the
reception of the novel as a giant in the book world. The second
section discusses Margaret Mitchell and how this novel altered the
course of her life. Section three describes the social background
against which GWTW made its appearance and looks at some theological,
political, and psychological aspects of its impact. The fourth section
details the creation of the film. GONE WITH THE WIND AS BOOK AND FILM
is the definitive volume on Margaret Mitchell's unique accomplishment
and the book's impact on American literature and film.
You can contact the publisher at: University of South Carolina Press,
1716 College Street, Columbia, SC 29208; 803/777-5243.
^ ANARCHIC HARMONY
The Spirituality of Social Disobedience
by William J. Murray
(Loompanics, 1992, $11.95, ISBN 1-55950-082-4)
"Looking around, we seem to be the only creatures, the
only ENTITIES, no matter how complex or simple, that cannot,
by and large, live in harmony with the rest of the planet.
EVERYTHING ELSE, whether it be 'alive' or 'inert,' fulfills
a purpose and is a harmonious part of the whole.
"What's our problem?"
---from ANARCHIC HARMONY
Are you living your life according to standards, information, and
conditioning that have been virtually forced on us by a toxic society?
Do you ever wonder why "nice guys finish last", why following the
rules doesn't seem to get you anywhere, why rhetoric doesn't match
reality? William Murray explains it very well in this fascinating new
book from Loompanics Unlimited.
Murray explains why your programmed ego is holding you back from true
happiness, how scientific knowledge isn't as reliable as scientists
would have you believe, how society gets you to behave the way it
wants by teaching you its two favorite terms: RESPONSIBILITY and
SECURITY. ANARCHIC HARMONY is provocative, stimulating, and just might
change your life. Wouldn't it be nice to start living your OWN life
for a change?
You can order ANARCHIC HARMONY directly from the publisher by sending
the list price, plus $4 shipping and handling, to: Loompanics
Unlimited, PO Box 1197, Port Townsend, WA 98368. Be sure to ask for a
copy of their enormous catalog of books, a $5 item itself, free with
^ THE CASABLANCA COMPANION: The Movie and More
by Jeff Siegel
(Taylor, 1992, $10.95, ISBN 0-87833-796-2)
** "We'll always have Paris."
** "Major Strasser's been shot. Round up the usual suspects."
** "Play it once, Sam, for old times' sake...Play it, Sam. Play 'As
Time Goes By.'"
** "Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship."
Just about everyone knows all the famous lines from CASABLANCA by
heart. It is certainly one of the best-loved movies of all time. But
do you know how close CASABLANCA came to never being made at all? Or
being made without Ingrid Bergman? Or with Rick being played by Ronald
Reagan? Did you know that they almost cut "As Time Goes By" out of the
movie because it was such a lousy song? THE CASABLANCA COMPANION is a
treasure trove of behind-the-scenes stories, trivia, photographs,
quizzes, and biographies of those involved. It's an essential volume
for any fan of CASABLANCA, Bergman, or Bogart, and would make a great
gift (wrapped up with a copy of the CASABLANCA videotape, perhaps?).
Here's looking at you, kid.
You can contact the publisher at: Taylor Publishing Company, 1550 West
Mockingbird Lane, Dallas, TX 75235.
^ THE MAESTRO MYTH
Great Conductors in Pursuit of Power
by Norman Lebrecht
(Birch Lane Press, April 1992, $22.50, ISBN 1-55972-108-1)
"He plays no instrument, produces no noise, yet conveys an
image of music-making that is credible enough to let him
take the rewards of applause away from those who actually
created the sound."
---from THE MAESTRO MYTH
In this engaging study of the conductor, Lebrecht surveys the major
practitioners of the art from the 19th century to the present in order
to demonstrate that behind the mythical image of the conductor lies a
complex matrix of social, political, and above all, commercial forces.
Lebrecht contends that the supreme example of the omnipotent conductor
was Herbert von Karajan, the richest musician in history. With the aid
of previously inaccessible material, he exposes the roots of Karajan's
career in the Third Reich and on New York's 57th Street. He reassesses
the mercurial Arturo Toscanini, looks behind Sir Thomas Beecham's wit
and patrician charm, dissects the myriad legends surrounding Leonard
Bernstein and examines the fierce professional rivalry between
Riccardo Muti and Claudio Abbado.
Portrayed here, too, are the obstacles faced by black, female or
openly gay conductors. The author also highlights the phenomenon of
the "semi-conductor" in the newly fashionable world of "early music"
and lays bare the mounting crisis in a profession where real talent
grows ever scarcer--with rare exceptions like Simon Rattle. A lively
chronicle of individual ambition and achievement, THE MAESTRO MYTH
delves into conducting's social, psychological, political and economic
dynamics. For music lovers who enjoy having their opinions and
prejudices challenged, here is a refreshing iconoclastic history of a
profession which has too often been the object of sycophantic
Norman Lebrecht writes on music for THE SUNDAY TIMES in London and is
a regular contributor to OPERA NEWS in New York. He is the author of
six books, most recently MAHLER REMEMBERED.
^ LAURENCE OLIVIER: A Biography
by Donald Spoto
(HarperCollins, 1992, $23.00, ISBN 0-06-018315-2)
On the surface, Laurence Olivier was the most respected actor of his
day, possibly the greatest actor of all time. Privately, he was often
lonely, confused, and insecure. In this definitive biography, Spoto
reveals the man behind the image, basing his account on formidable
international research, access to many previously unpublished
documents, and more than 160 interviews with those who knew and worked
with Olivier. He tells of Olivier's relationships with his three
wives, as well as his less well-known associations with Noel Coward
and Danny Kaye. LAURENCE OLIVIER is a compelling book about a
fascinating person. Donald Spoto is also the author of THE DARK SIDE
OF GENIUS: THE LIFE OF ALFRED HITCHCOCK.
^ DOLLHOUSES: The Collector's Guide to Selecting, Restoring,
and Enjoying New and Vintage Dollhouses
by Valerie Jackson
(Courage Books, 1992, $12.98, ISBN 1-56138-120-9)
The dollhouse has a long and fascinating history, which is outlined in
this volume and illustrated with many beautiful color photographs.
Jackson discusses the evolution of the structures themselves, along
with a history of those who have created miniatures and those who have
collected them. Separate chapters cover miniature rooms and shops,
dollhouses owned by royalty, and 20th century dollhouses (which
includes pictures of famous ones like Titania's Palace and Colleen
Moore's Castle). DOLLHOUSES is a gorgeous book sure to peak the
reader's interest in these tiny worlds in miniature.
If you can't get DOLLHOUSES at your local bookstore, you can order it
directly from the publisher by sending the list price, plus $2.50
postage and handling, to: Running Press Book Publishers, 125 South
Twenty-second Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103.
^ LOVING AND LEAVING THE GOOD LIFE
by Helen Nearing
(Chelsea Green, 1992, $19.95, ISBN 0-930031-54-7)
Helen and Scott Nearing, authors of LIVING THE GOOD LIFE and many
other books, lived together for 53 years until Scott's death at age
100. LOVING AND LEAVING THE GOOD LIFE is Helen Nearing's memoir of
their life together and an inspiring testimonial to the ideals they
stood for: self-sufficiency, simplicity, social justice, and peace.
May Sarton says, "LOVING AND LEAVING THE GOOD LIFE is a tonic for any
young person dismayed by the state of the world, and a drink at the
fountain of youth for any old person depressed or discouraged."
The Nearings moved to Vermont in 1932, where they created their
legendary homestead described in LIVING THE GOOD LIFE: HOW TO LIVE
SIMPLY AND SANELY IN A TROUBLED WORLD. Originally published in 1953,
this book is often called the WALDEN of the 20th century. It has sold
over a quarter of a million copies and inspired several generations of
young people to move back to the land.
If you can't get LOVING AND LEAVING THE GOOD LIFE at your local
bookstore, you can order it by calling the publishers Order Line at:
^ THE SUPERPOLLSTERS
How They Measure and Manipulate Public Opinion in America
by David W. Moore
(Four Walls Eight Windows, April 1992, $21.95, ISBN 0-941423-74-3)
A timely book for an election year, THE SUPERPOLLSTERS presents a
lively history of polling and profiles of pollsters like:
Shere Hite: author of THE HITE REPORT, the groundbreaking and
controversial work on sexuality.
George Gallup: the man who broke polling practice with his 1936
prediction of Hoover's defeat and FDR's victory, the man who pioneered
modern polling practices.
Lou Harris: JFK's pollster, the first of the television pollsters.
Robert Teeter: pollster for Nixon, Ford, and past and current pollster
for President Bush.
Pollsters have a great deal of influence in this country; on what
politicians say, how they say it, and even on how we think. THE
SUPERPOLLSTERS takes the reader on a fascinating insider's tour of the
crucial art of polling.
If your local bookstore can't get THE SUPERPOLLSTERS for you, you can
order it directly from the publisher by sending the list price, plus
$3 postage per order, to: Four Walls Eight Windows, PO Box 548,
Village Station, New York, NY 10014-0548. Or you can call their Order
Line at: 1-800-444-2524, ext. 48.
^ THE FUTURE OF THE BODY
Explorations Into the Further Evolution of Human Nature
by Michael Murphy
(Jeremy P. Tarcher, May 1992, $30.00, ISBN 0-87477-686-4)
Anthropologists study where mankind has been, but in this monumental
study Michael Murphy examines where we might be going. What kind of
changes might lie ahead for our bodies, our minds, our spirits?
Murphy, co-founder of the Esalen Institute, draws on more than 3,000
sources in his exploration of the existence of "metanormal
functioning", manifestations of extraordinary abilities that hint at
the potential of human beings. He looks to medical science, sports,
parapsychology experiments, anthropology, religious studies, and
dozens of other disciplines to show that we are not what we might be.
THE FUTURE OF THE BODY is far more than fuzzy New Age wishful
thinking, it is an encyclopedia of human potential, with all the
academic rigor that implies. Sources are carefully noted, and data is
given provenance. Beyond this, THE FUTURE OF THE BODY makes utterly
fascinating reading, and just about anyone with an active curiosity
could spend weeks going through the almost 800 pages of this
remarkable volume. Sure to be a cornerstone of breakthrough thinking,
THE FUTURE OF THE BODY, even at $30, has got to be considered a Best
Buy. It's a mind-altering experience not to be missed.
You can contact the publisher at: Jeremy P. Tarcher, Inc., 5858
Wilshire Blvd., Suite 200, Los Angeles, CA 90036.
^ TALENTS AND TECHNICIANS
Literary Chic and the New Assembly-Line Fiction
by John W. Aldridge
(Scribners, April 1992, $18.00, ISBN 0-684-18789-2)
TALENTS AND TECHNICIANS is a superior example of old-style literary
criticism--concerned largely with deflating reputations and keeping
the hollowed ground of Literature properly exclusive--applied to
modern writers such as Ann Beattie, Donald Barthelme, Louise Erdrich,
Anne Tyler, and even Bret Easton Ellis. Maintaining that literary
reputations today are mainly the product of "book reviews, literary
gossip, and publishers' advertising", Aldridge subjects a variety of
current writers and their works to "serious criticism". It's rabidly
exclusionary, ill-tempered, and actually quite a lot of fun. Taking it
seriously, however, is best left to academics and the determinedly
pretentious. If you're into Reading For Pleasure, a good book is a
good book and it doesn't matter in the slightest whether it's
Literature, or "only" literature.
^ RETIREMENT ON A SHOESTRING
by John Howells
(Gateway Books, May 1992, $6.95, ISBN 0-933469-13-6)
RETIREMENT ON A SHOESTRING doesn't tell you what to do, it suggests
what you need to think about, what the important factors are, and what
your options are. For instance, when you retire, do you want to live
in the house you've been living in, or do you want to sell the house
and move into an apartment? Most people feel more secure owning their
own home, but Howells shows the reader how renting may be a much wiser
decision financially. Also considered is just where you should retire
to, and Howells pinpoints two of the larger issues: weather and crime.
Weather can make a lot of difference financially (who wants all their
retirement dollars going for heating and cooling costs?), and nobody
wants to live out their final years in fear of violent crime. Howells
gives some very clever advice about how to determine where your
perfect retirement haven might be found.
Howells also explores: working after retirement, living full- or
part-time in an RV, and the possibility of finding a retirement haven
outside of the U.S. The message is encouraging, as Howells finds that
it is possible to live decently on nothing but Social Security,
provided that you make a few intelligent decisions up front.
Particularly helpful is a chapter he devotes to the unique problems
faced by unmarried retired people. And, finally, he gives an annotated
list of his favorite retirement places, good for getting your search
off the ground. You may not have to live on a shoestring, but it's
very empowering to feel that you could. RETIREMENT ON A SHOESTRING is
a thought-provoking, helpful book. John Howells is also the author of
WHERE TO RETIRE, CHOOSE LATIN AMERICA, RV TRAVEL IN MEXICO, and the
co-author of CHOOSE MEXICO and CHOOSE SPAIN, all available from
Gateway Books. If your local bookstore can't get RETIREMENT ON A
SHOESTRING for you, you can order it directly from the publisher by
sending the list price, plus $1.75 postage, to: Gateway Books, 13
Bedford Cove, San Rafael, CA 94901; 415/454-5215; or you can call
their Order Only line (with credit card handy): 1-800-669-0773.
^ MOMS SAY THE FUNNIEST THINGS!
by Bruce Lansky
(Meadowbrook Press, May 1992, $6.00, ISBN 0-88166-178-3)
Lansky, co-author of DADS SAY THE DUMBEST THINGS!, has collected an
impressive number of Momspeak, a language that crosses all cultural
barriers. How many of the following examples of Momspeak did you hear
from your mom, and how many are your children hearing from YOU?
* I'm not your (a) maid (b) short-order cook.
* Because I'm your mother, that's why.
* If your friends jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge, does that mean you
have to jump, too?
* Just wait till you have kids of your own.
* As long as you live under this roof, you'll live by our rules.
* Don't make a mountain out of a molehill.
* If you're sick, you'll have to stay in bed all day--no TV. (Modern
version: "no Nintendo")
* Were you born in a barn?
* Don't talk with food in your mouth.
* Don't worry, he (or she) is probably just as nervous as you are.
MOMS SAY THE FUNNIEST THINGS! makes a nice gift for new mothers, and
is funny, nostalgic reading for anyone who ever had a mother.
^ THE CLUB RULES
Power, Money, Sex, and Fear--How It Works in Hollywood
by Paul Rosenfield
(Warner, April 1992, $19.95, ISBN 0-446-51528-0)
Paul Rosenfield began his Hollywood career working for gossip
columnist Joyce Haber, which is when he learned about The Club, the
exclusive group of people who control Hollywood. They are producers,
actors, agents, etc. They all know each other and protect each other,
yet when someone falls out of the club, they're OUT. Rosenfield went
on to spend twenty years as a journalist for the LOS ANGELES TIMES,
rubbing elbows with film industry insiders. Now he's ready to tell
what he knows.
Find out why Jane Fonda is known as the "Ultimate Club Child", Al
Pacino is the "Club Comeback", Debra Winger is the "Club Holdout",
Mike Nichols is the "Club Genius", and Johnny Carson is the "Club
Recluse. THE CLUB RULES is very likely the ultimate summer reading
entertainment. It's got sex, it's got power, it's got money, greed,
fame, paranoia, and best of all--it's nonfiction.
^ WRITING: THE STORY OF ALPHABETS AND SCRIPTS
by Georges Jean
(Abrams, April 1992, $12.95, ISBN 0-8109-2893-0)
WRITING is a lavishly illustrated introduction to the history of
written communication, from the first carvings on rocks and cave
walls, through the manufacture of books, up to modern efforts to
decipher ancient writings, bringing the story full circle. In the back
of the book, supplementary readings cover such subjects as written
music, advertising, typography, fun and games with letters and words,
and how the Chinese have combined writing and art. WRITING is
readable, the full-color illustrations are lovely, and it's all
packaged as an affordable yet hefty paperback.
^ THE PERFECT FIT: How to Achieve Mutual Fulfillment
and Monogamous Passion Through the New Intercourse
by Edward Eichel & Philip Nobile
(Donald I. Fine, June 1992, $19.95, ISBN 1-55611-320-X)
The breakthrough Coital-Alignment Technique--C.A.T.--has already
received much press coverage. THE PERFECT FIT, by the man who
developed C.A.T., is the first and only book to cover in depth this
amazing new technique. THE PERFECT FIT reveals "how to please a woman
(and a man) every time". A variation on the missionary position with
coordinated rhythmic movements, C.A.T. benefits include more and
recurrent orgasms for women, an increased frequency of simultaneous
orgasms, and heightened sexual pleasure and desire. Edward Eichel
perfected this technique in over 15 years of research with hundreds of
^ ON THE WILD SIDE
by Martin Gardner
(Prometheus Books, April 1992, $24.95, ISBN 0-87975-713-2)
"I have always been intrigued by fringe science, perhaps for
the same reason that I enjoy freak shows at carnivals and
circuses. Pseudoscientists, especially the extreme cranks,
are fascinating creatures for psychological study. Moreover,
I have found that one of the best ways to learn something
about any branch of science is to find out where its
crackpots go wrong."
---Martin Gardner (Preface, ON THE WILD SIDE)
ON THE WILD SIDE collects 32 articles by Gardner, many of them having
first appeared in THE SKEPTICAL INQUIRER, THE NEW YORK REVIEW OF
BOOKS, and FREE INQUIRY. Originally a religious fundamentalist (which
the reader discovers in a fascinating autobiographical essay written
especially for this book), Martin Gardner has since become one of the
world's most popular debunkers of pseudoscience. In this collection
you'll find articles on ESP, rainmaking, UFOs, Oral Roberts,
creationism, trance-channeling, levitation, ghosts, and a whole lot
more, as Gardner pokes holes in a wide variety of ignorance and faulty
logic. Sure to fascinate some readers and annoy others, ON THE WILD
SIDE pulls no punches and tolerates no fools. It's a lot of fun to
read. (You can contact the publisher at: Prometheus Books, 700 East
Amherst Street, Buffalo, NY 14215; 716-837-2475.)
^ WINDOWS 3.1 POWER TOOLS
2nd Edition (For Windows 3.0 and 3.1)
by The LeBlond Group
(Bantam Computer Books, 1992, $49.95, ISBN 0-553-35406-X)
After the initial purchase of Windows (or getting it free with some
other purchase), WINDOWS 3.1 POWER TOOLS could be the wisest money you
spend. In addition to more than 1,000 pages of great information,
helps, and hints to get the most out of Microsoft Windows, there is a
disk included with some absolutely mind-bogglingly great software.
Here are just a few of the great programs you get:
BigDesk, a virtual desktop manager.
Paint Shop, an image-management utility.
Command Post, an alternative Windows shell and file manager.
BackMenu, a customizable desktop menu for Windows.
But the very best piece of software included is Oriel for Windows, a
graphics-based batch language for Windows. You get a fully licensed
version of Oriel when you buy WINDOWS 3.1 POWER TOOLS, and it is
really worth the price of the book all by itself. If you want to
really make Windows your own, you need Oriel. Since many of the
included programs are Shareware (meaning that you are expected to pay
for them if you decide to use them), it isn't too surprising that
you'll find discount coupons in the back of POWER TOOLS for several of
these programs. I already had one of these programs, and was just
about to register my copy when I got WINDOWS 3.1 POWER TOOLS, so this
coupon was like a gift out of the blue.
Take my word for it: if you use Windows, you will *love* WINDOWS 3.1
POWER TOOLS. As a combination of documentation, tutorial, tips and
helps for every facet of Windows, and a great selection of incredibly
useful software, POWER TOOLS just can't be beat. You can order your
copy by calling their Order Line: 1-800-223-6834, ext. 9479 (in New
York call 212-492-9479).
^ THE ESSENTIAL CONFUCIUS
translated and presented by Thomas Cleary
(HarperCollins, 1992, $18.00, ISBN 0-06-250157-7)
Confucius said, "Be dutiful at home, brotherly in public; be discreet
and trustworthy, love all people, and draw near to humanity. If you
have extra energy as you do that, then study literature."
Confucius was a philosopher, teacher, social critic, and political
scientist. In his ANALECTS he addressed some of humanity's most
fundamental issues: morality, diplomacy, business ethics, proper
behavior, and spirituality. In THE ESSENTIAL CONFUCIUS, Thomas Cleary
has arranged the sayings of Confucius in the order of the 64 class I
CHING hexagrams, an order which Confucius produced personally and
supplemented with his own commentaries. This arrangement adds an extra
layer of meaning, clearly intended by the original author, to the
recorded ideas of one of mankind's greatest thinkers. In THE ESSENTIAL
CONFUCIUS, Thomas Cleary has produced a worthwhile addition to the
body of works by and about this ancient sage.
^ THE ESSENTIAL TAO
translated and presented by Thomas Cleary
(HarperCollins, 1991, $18.00, ISBN 0-06-250162-3)
When superior people hear of the Way,
they carry it out with diligence.
When middling people hear of the Way,
it sometimes seems to be there, sometimes not.
When lesser people hear of the Way,
they ridicule it greatly.
If they didn't laugh at it,
it wouldn't be the Way.
---TAO TE CHING
This volume contains Cleary's translation of two great religious,
philosophic, and literary classics: the TAO TE CHING and CHUANG-TZU.
Written more than 2,000 years ago, they describe and illuminate the
Way, a path for living that works as well today as it did back then.
Cleary's new translation is a major recommendation for this volume. In
comparison to previous texts, Cleary's English words have a lyric
power that gives the form as much beauty as the content. THE ESSENTIAL
TAO is an important new version of two very worthy texts.
^ HOW TO BACK UP YOUR PC
by Patrick Bultema
(Mike Murach & Assoc., 1992, $15.00, ISBN 0-911625-63-1)
Long-time RFP readers may remember hearing about the hard disk crash
suffered at RFP Central during the summer of 1990. A hard disk expert
was called in, and it was several days before it was discovered that
part of the disk could be saved, and several more before it was known
exactly which files were recoverable. I happen to know that Cindy had
just spent a week of 12-hour days working on one single file, a file
that hadn't yet been "backed up", and she was might mighty nervous
until she found out that that particular file was among the saved.
All of that anguish could, of course, have been avoided if she had
maintained regular backups, a fact she, of course, knew, but then who
thinks anything bad could possibly happen to them? How about you? If
your hard drive suddenly keeled over, how awful would it be? What
would you do? Wouldn't you be sitting there wishing that you had made
more frequent back ups? Well, here's your chance to learn everything
you need to know to provide yourself with as much data security as is
HOW TO BACK UP YOUR PC takes you through everything you need to know
about your hard drive and your data, so don't worry about being new to
the world of computers. Bultema explains how to make backups, when you
should back up, and gives you 10 important guidelines for fast and
effective backups. He even devotes a chapter to backups for disk
drives that are hooked into a network. All of that is the first
section of the book. The second section gets down to the specific
how-tos, with a discussion of backing up with DOS commands (ugh!), as
well as how to use the four most popular commercial backup utilities
(Central Point Backup, Norton Backup, PC-Fullbak+, FastBack Plus). For
users with the new gigantic hard drives, the last chapter covers how
to use a tape drive for backups.
HOW TO BACK UP YOUR PC will make a backup expert out of anyone. It's
not a glamorous position, at least not until the office's hard drive
coughs. Then you may find that you're the most popular employee in the
building. Patrick Bultema's HOW TO BACK UP YOUR PC is a definite Best
Buy for every computer user with important data. (I'm giving a copy to
Cindy.) If your local bookstore can't get HOW TO BACK UP YOUR PC, you
can order it directly from the publisher by calling their Order Line:
1-800-221-5528. You can contact them at: Mike Murach & Associates,
Inc., 4697 West Jacquelyn Avenue, Fresno, CA 93722-6427.
^ UP & RUNNING WITH WORD FOR WINDOWS, Version 2.0
by Bob Campbell
(Sybex, 1992, $10.95, ISBN 0-7821-1005-3)
Anyone who uses computers should know about Sybex's terrific "Up &
Running" series. Each Up & Running book is designed to get you going
with one program--here it is the fine word processing software from
Microsoft called Word. The text is divided into 20 "steps", each of
which has a time estimate, and each of which takes you through one
major software function. Nothing essential is left out, nothing
trivial is included. And, best of all, there is no need to proceed in
numerical order. Each step is complete unto itself, so you only need
to read the parts you're interesting in right now. Here's what you
learn to do in UP & RUNNING WITH WORD FOR WINDOWS:
* Setup (15 minutes)
* Face to Face with Word (30 minutes)
* Creating a Document (30 minutes)
* Working with Blocks of Text (30 minutes)
* Finding and Replacing (15 minutes)
* Proofing Your Work (30 minutes)
* Simple Printing (15 minutes)
* Document Formatting (45 minutes)
* Formatting Paragraphs (30 minutes)
* Formatting Characters (15 minutes)
* Quick Formatting (15 minutes)
* Global Formatting (30 minutes)
* Outlining (45 minutes)
* Document Review and Revision (30 minutes)
* Adding Documentation (30 minutes)
* Including Pictures (15 minutes)
* Advanced Printing (15 minutes)
* Including Tables (45 minutes)
* Making Model Documents (45 minutes)
* Designing Form Letters (30 minutes)
This is the best way to get up to speed with a new piece of software
in the shortest amount of time. Spend your learning time wisely, and
get the most out of your software. You can contact the publisher (and,
by the way, get a complete catalog of their publications) at: SYBEX,
Inc., 2021 Challenger Drive, Alameda, CA 94501; 510/523-8233; Order
Line: 1-800-227-2346; Fax Line: 510/523-2373.
^ UP & RUNNING WITH WINDOWS 3.1
by Joerg Schieb
(Sybex, 1992, $10.95, ISBN 0-89588-843-2)
The latest volume in Sybex's great "Up & Running" series is possibly
the most valuable. Windows may be a powerful and easy to use system
once it's installed and you've figured out basically how everything
works, but getting to that point can be very frustrating. UP & RUNNING
WITH WINDOWS 3.1 takes you from Installing Windows 3.1 through
Optimizing Windows 3.1 in 20 short steps. In between you'll learn:
* How to use dialog boxes and pull-down menus
* The anatomy and usefulness of the The Program Manager, The File
Manager, the Task Manager, and the Control Panel
* How to start applications and move data from one to another
* How to print, use fonts, and work the PIF editor
* How to use the Write word processor, Paintbrush, the Multimedia
applications (Sound Recorder and Media Player), and other Windows
* How to configure (and REconfigure) Windows to reflect your changing
If you bought Windows 3.1 because you like life to be simple, you NEED
this book. You can get UP & RUNNING WITH WINDOWS 3.1 at your local
bookstore, or you can call Sybex's Order Line: 1-800-227-2346.
^ SUPERCHARGING WINDOWS (with 2 disks)
by Judd Robbins
(Sybex, 1992, $49.95, ISBN 0-89588-862-9)
Once you have Windows 3.1 up and running, become a Windows Master with
SUPERCHARGING WINDOWS, a comprehensive handbook of information, tips,
and ready-to-run utilities--guaranteed to make your Windows system
faster, more powerful, and easier to use. The most complete,
step-by-step Windows troubleshooting guide available anywhere,
SUPERCHARGING WINDOWS has answers to common questions; details on
coping with Unrecoverable Application Errors; and a concise guide to
Windows error messages, including causes and cures.
SUPERCHARGING WINDOWS contains full coverage of version 3.1
enhancements: OLE, TrueType fonts, multimedia extensions, etc, as well
as dozens of expert tips and techniques to make both Windows and
non-Windows applications run more efficiently. With SUPERCHARGING
WINDOWS you'll be able to customize and optimize every aspect of your
Two ready-to-install high-density diskettes are included, containing
the best in Windows shareware and freeware: 37 hand-picked programs,
including tools to increase your productivity, simplify customization,
enhance performance, provide entertainment, and more. You can get
SUPERCHARGING WINDOWS by calling Sybex's Order Line: 1-800-227-2346.
^ 101 WINDOWS TIPS & TRICKS
by Scott Dunn, Charles Bermant, Jesse Berst
(Peachpit Press, 1992, $12.95, ISBN 0-938151-55-X)
When a big, fat, read-it-cover-to-cover book isn't what you need, 101
WINDOWS TIPS & TRICKS is probably *exactly* what you need. Whatever,
your situation, TIPS & TRICKS is the first computer book I've ever
seen that's suitable for bedtime browsing. The layout is crisp and
attractive, the prose is snappy, and the advice is enormously helpful.
In 101 WINDOWS TIPS & TRICKS (covering Windows 3.0 and 3.1) you'll
find: shortcuts for launching, managing, and closing Windows
applications; advice on the best way to run your regular DOS
applications from Windows; techniques for working with fonts and
speeding up printing; tips on customizing the appearance and
operations of Windows itself; memory management secrets; games, screen
savers, and other fun and functional Windows add-ons. You can order
101 WINDOWS TIPS & TRICKS directly from the publisher by sending the
list price, plus $4 shipping, to: Peachpit Press, Inc., 2414 Sixth
Street, Berkeley, CA 94710. Or call their Order Line: 1-800-283-9444.
^ THE BEETHOVEN COMPENDIUM
A Guide to Beethoven's Life and Music
Barry Cooper, General Editor
(Thames and Hudson, 1992, $40.00, ISBN 0-500-01523-6)
THE BEETHOVEN COMPENDIUM is a comprehensive and readable guide to
every significant part of Beethoven's life and work. Included are a
calendar of his life, works, and related events; a family tree; a
who's who of his contemporaries; essays explaining the historical
background in which he worked, his musical background, his
personality; source material (including letters, diary entries, his
"conversation books" and the heartrending "Heiligenstadt Testament");
lavish consideration of every part of Beethoven's compositions, as
well as their contemporary reception; and the volume finishes with an
examination of available literature on Beethoven. THE BEETHOVEN
COMPENDIUM is essential for any serious music library, and would make
a terrific gift for any enthusiast. (You can contact the publisher at:
Thames and Hudson, 500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110.)
^ BEETHOVEN: THE COMPOSER AS HERO
by Philippe A. Autexier
(Abrams, April 1992, $12.95, ISBN 0-8109-2832-9)
BEETHOVEN: THE COMPOSER AS HERO is part of Abrams new series called
"Discoveries", a series of affordable, heavily illustrated trade
paperbacks, each covering a pivotal area of history, art, music,
science, nature, or archaeology. In this volume, Autexier covers the
life and work of the tragic hero who became one of the world's
greatest composers, a man gifted with a talent for sound who was
stricken with deafness at age 26. The text is engaging and the
illustrations are fascinating. There are many portraits of Beethoven
and his contemporaries, reproductions of original scores, artists'
renditions of relevant locales, photographs of significant artifacts,
and other mood-setting artwork. In the back is a collection of
writings about Beethoven and his music, to expand a reader's
perspective. BEETHOVEN: THE COMPOSER AS HERO makes a fine introduction
to a musical genius and a very interesting man. (You can contact the
publisher at: Abrams, 100 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10011.)
^ ASIMOV LAUGHS AGAIN
More Than 700 Favorite Jokes, Limericks, and Anecdotes
by Isaac Asimov
(HarperCollins, 1992, $22.00, ISBN 0-06-016826-9)
At a science fiction convention, a woman said to me, "Dr.
Asimov, I have just finished your book CHILDHOOD'S END. I
liked it, but I didn't think it was as good as your other
Maintaining a straight and solemn face (with an enormous
effort), I said, "yes, ma'am. I was frightfully disappointed
in that book, which I thought was quite inferior. I
therefore insisted it appear under the pseudonym of Arthur
C. Clarke, Jr."
---from ASIMOV LAUGHS AGAIN
Asimov, who died in early April, was not only a man of science, and of
science fiction, he was also dedicated to humor in almost any form.
ASIMOV LAUGHS AGAIN is a large, rambling book containing a multitude
of quotes, limericks, classic-style jokes, and personal anecdotes.
There are off-color song parodies, mother-in-law jokes, ethnic jokes,
etc., but I think my favorite are the funny bits from Asimov's life,
like the above. Another of those concerned fellow writer Harlan
Ellison, with whom Asimov shared a long and friendly battle of words:
I met a young man once at a convention--young, extremely
quick, and intelligent. In fact, except that he was
considerably taller, he seemed to me to be another Harlan
I pointed this out enthusiastically to Robert Silverberg,
a grave, almost dour science fiction writer, who is a great
wit just the same. I said, "There's a fellow who's a new
And Bob said, "Shall we kill him now?"
I could go on excerpting funny stories for pages, but you should read
them yourself. ASIMOV LAUGHS AGAIN is a very, very funny collection
that will expand both your personal joke library, and your knowledge
of Isaac Asimov. Yet another terrific Asimov book.
It is comforting to note that Asimov lived his life entirely as he
wished. One time Barbara Walters asked him if he didn't have any
regrets about his cloistered lifestyle, which brought a negative
response. She then asked, if he had only 6 months to live, what would
he do? Asimov's answer: Type faster.
^ THE SCIENCE GAP
Dispelling the Myths and Understanding the Reality of Science
by Milton A. Rothman
(Prometheus Books, March 1992, $24.95, ISBN 0-87975-710-8)
It wasn't so very long ago that the average educated person could know
just about all the science that even the scientists knew. Now that is
no longer possible, and yet there is a danger in just throwing up our
hands and deciding to ignore the sciences, because basic scientific
understanding is *important*. In THE SCIENCE GAP, former physicist and
professor Milton A. Rothman tackles 16 popular myths, myths that have
arisen largely because the average person has grown so distant from
the world of science. Here are some of the myths he covers:
* Nothing exists until it is observed.
* Nothing is known for sure.
* Nothing is impossible.
* Whatever we think we know now is likely to be overturned in the
* Advanced civilizations of the future will have the use of forces
unknown to us at present.
* Advanced civilizations on other planets possess great forces
unavailable to us on earth.
* All scientists are objective.
* All problems can be solved by computer modeling.
* More technology will solve all problems.
THE SCIENCE GAP explains the errors in these myths and the scientific
knowledge and theories necessary to understand these points. This is
an interesting book about science (and clear thinking) accessible to
the average reader. You can contact the publisher at: Prometheus
Books, 700 East Amherst Street, Buffalo, NY 14215.
^ BE YOUR OWN DICK: Private Investigating Made Easy
by John Q. Newman
(Loompanics Unlimited, 1992, $12.00, ISBN 1-55950-083-2)
Newman, the author of THE HEAVY DUTY NEW IDENTITY and UNDERSTANDING
U.S. IDENTITY DOCUMENTS (both also available from Loompanics) shows
the reader how to collect information on just about anybody. He
explains where different kinds of data are and how to get your hands
on them. Does the person have a driver's license? a car? a house? a
bank account? a credit card? Does the person work? belong to a
licensed profession? a union? Information is literally everywhere, and
most of it is a lot easier to get than you think. Newman takes the
reader through the "paper trail" left by just about everyone in the
United States, showing you where to go for what. Appendices give
addresses, and frequently phone numbers, for State Motor Vehicle
Department Offices, Independent Search Firms, a Directory of Highway
Patrol Accident Reports, State Vital Statistics Offices, State Tax
Records, as well as giving a list of Social Security numbers divided
by states, a list of state regulated businesses, and a sample Military
Record Request Form.
Like many such books, BE YOUR OWN DICK is of interest for a variety of
people: people with a legitimate reason to snoop, people with an
illegitimate reason to snoop, and people who are concerned about all
the snooping in general. You may be surprised at all the companies and
agencies that have information about you, and who they are giving that
information to. Did you know that your state's Motor Vehicle
Administration is probably selling your name, address, phone number,
etc., to insurance companies? Did you know that, even if you are
paying for an unlisted phone number, your number is still available in
certain kinds of phone directories that are often available to anyone
at the local library? Did you know that while your credit history can
be acquired by practically anybody, the privacy of the record of your
videotape rentals is ensured by federal law? All this and a whole lot
more can be found in the pages of BE YOUR OWN DICK.
If you can't get BE YOUR OWN DICK at your local bookstore, you can
order it directly from the publisher (Order Number 55090) by sending
the list price, plus $4 shipping and handling to: Loompanics
Unlimited, PO Box 1197, Port Townsend, WA 98368. Be sure to ask for a
copy of their catalog, a gigantic $5 tome that's free with an order.
^ MASTERING CorelDRAW: 2nd EDITION (w/Disk)
by Chris Dickman
(Peachpit Press, 1991, $32.95, ISBN 0-938151-36-3)
MASTERING CORELDRAW is a comprehensive tutorial and reference book for
learning how to get the most out of CorelDRAW, one of the very best
drawing packages for IBM computers and compatibles. Dividing the book
into many small chapters devoted to a specific subject makes MASTERING
CORELDRAW not only a great tutorial, but also makes it easy to use as
a reference tool: a quick scan of the Table of Contents will isolate
the appropriate section to solve any imaginable CorelDRAW question. In
the back of the book is a list of firms that offer training courses on
CorelDRAW, also a glossary of CorelDRAW and desktop publishing terms.
Copiously illustrated, MASTERING CORELDRAW is a superior tutorial,
guide, and reference tool.
The enclosed disk contains a variety of Windows and CorelDRAW
utilities, reference charts, templates, 68 clip art images, and
tutorial files that accompany particular chapters in the text. The
disk is a 5-1/4" floppy. If you're getting MASTERING CORELDRAW
directly from Peachpit Press and need a 3-1/2" disk, you should
mention it when ordering.
You can contact the publisher by writing to: Peachpit Press, 2414
Sixth Street, Berkeley, CA 94710; 800/283-9444; 510/548-4393;
^ HOW DID I GET HERE SO FAST?
Rhetorical Questions and Available Answers From a Long and Happy Life
by Chalmers M. Roberts
(Warner, November 1991, $14.95, ISBN 0-446-51651-1)
"Wendell Holmes at 93 received as a gift a book on the
immortality of the soul. When Holmes's clerk, James Rowe,
suggested reading it to him by asking, 'Aren't you
interested in the immortality of the soul?' Holmes replied,
'No. I used to be when I was young, but now the subject
bores me. Let's read that detective story.'"
---from HOW DID I GET HERE SO FAST?
If you want to know about growing old, don't ask a philosopher, don't
ask a gerontologist, ask an old person. Chalmers Roberts, at 80, has
the necessary qualifications for writing an informal guide to the
aging process, which he does with charm and wit in HOW DID I GET HERE
SO FAST? A retired journalist for the WASHINGTON POST, Roberts has an
abiding interest in politics, which shows in the numerous anecdotes
from American political history. While he is short on specific advice,
he identifies the essentials as "keeping your heart pumping, your
noodle active, and your mood cheery". HOW DID I GET HERE SO FAST? is
upbeat, level-headed, and completely engaging.
^ THE SIGNED ENGLISH STARTER
A Beginning Book in the Signed English System
by Harry Bornstein & Karen L. Saulnier
(Gallaudet University Press, 1984, $13.95 ISBN 0-913580-82-1)
This is the clearest, best organized, and easiest to use textbook for
learning Signed English that I have ever seen. Divided into 12
chapters, it introduces 940 basic signs, along with the 14 sign
markers (signs that are not words but which modify other words). Signs
are grouped topically, and at the end of each chapter is a page of
exercises for practice. There is also a glossary of terms, and a
discussion of the differences between manual and spoken English. The
words included were carefully selected to be of value to children, but
they serve as a fine base vocabulary for all ages. You can order THE
SIGNED ENGLISH STARTER directly from the publisher by sending the list
price, plus 10% or $3 (whichever is greater) for shipping and
handling, to: Gallaudet University Press, 800 Florida Avenue, NE,
Washington, DC 20002-3695. You can also call their order-only line:
800-451-1073 (V/TTY) or their FAX number: 202-651-5489.
^ IN YOUR OWN BACKYARD
How to Create and Enjoy Your Own Private Retreat
written and illustrated by A. Cort Sinnes
(Andrews and McMeel, 1992, $14.95, ISBN 0-8362-7988-3)
"If you're concerned about keeping visible manifestations of
your eccentricities to a minimum, secret retreats can be
constructed under the guise of any number of practical
purposes--a toolshed, lath house, potting shed, greenhouse,
or just an anonymous 'outbuilding'."
---from IN YOUR OWN BACKYARD
If you have a backyard, you have a whole world of possibilities for
creating your very own personal haven that is near, but detached from,
your everyday living quarters. What would you like most? A beautiful
garden with the shimmering sound of a fountain? An old-fashioned
hammock for summer dozing? An barbecue area? A gazebo? Whatever you'd
like, it's probably not as difficult to arrange as you might think.
And you'll find loads of great ideas and helpful hints in IN YOUR OWN
BACKYARD. If you can do it in a backyard, Sinnes has most likely
thought of it, and can point you in the right direction to make your
personal dream a reality. I particularly liked his Backyard Olympics
idea, with a list of physical challenges for the whole family that can
be performed with a minimum of equipment and fuss in the average
backyard. IN YOUR OWN BACKYARD is a terrific idea book for taking
advantage of the space you already own, and don't have to fight
traffic to get to. The watercolor illustrations make it as beautiful a
volume as it is helpful.
^ THE ARTISTIC CAT: Praise, Poems, and Paintings
A Running Press Miniature Edition
(Running Press, 1992, $4.95, ISBN 1-56138-091-1)
"How many times have I rested tired eyes on her graceful
little body, curled up in a ball and wrapped round with her
tail like a parcel... if they are content, their contentment
is absolute; and our jaded and wearied spirits find a
natural relief in the sight of creatures whose little cups
of happiness can so easily be filled to the brim."
---Agnes Repplier, American essayist
This diminutive (2-3/4" x 3-1/4") hardcover makes a perfect small gift
for feline fanciers, small enough to enclose in the same envelope with
a greeting card. Along with a variety of quotes and verse, there are
32 full-color reproductions of cat art, my favorite being "The Face at
the Window" by Fannie Moody. A beautiful tiny book. If your local
bookstore can't get THE ARTISTIC CAT for you, you can order it
directly from the publisher by sending the list price, plus $1 postage
and handling, to: Running Press Book Publishers, 125 South
Twenty-second Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103.
Running Press have more Miniature Editions. Also new this spring:
Audubon's Birds (128 pp., ISBN 1-56138-090-3)
Baseball Wit and Wisdom edited by David Plaut (144 pp., ISBN
The Miniature Mother Goose (128 pp., ISBN 1-56138-105-5)
Miniature Bookplates (24 full-color bookplates, gift boxed, $3.95,
^ THE WOMAN'S COMFORT BOOK
A Self-Nurturing Guide for Restoring Balance in Your Life
by Jennifer Louden
(HarperCollins, 1992, $13.00, ISBN 0-06-250531-9)
In the hectic modern shuffle of home, career, and motherhood, the
first thing women tend to neglect is the care of their own inner
spirit. But how can they properly care for others when they're working
from around a hollow core of need deep inside? THE WOMAN'S COMFORT
BOOK is a veritable catalog of ways and means to get back in touch
with yourself, to renew your energies and gain some perspective. Maybe
what you need is a plant, or a visit to a museum, or a long hot bath,
or just some time to be with yourself alone. One of my favorite ideas
is the Comfort Journal. It's more than just paper and a pen, it's art
paper, paints, clay, sequins, crayons, beads, feathers, whatever you
need it to be. At the center of THE WOMAN'S COMFORT BOOK is a chart
that prescribes specific treatments for specific spiritual or physical
THE WOMAN'S COMFORT BOOK is enormously positive, practical, and, well,
comforting. This is the *perfect* gift for your favorite female,
whether she's a high-powered corporate executive, a hard-working
mother, or maybe she's even...you.
^ A MISCELLANY OF COOKS' WISDOM
by Diana Craig
(Running Press, 1992, $12.95, ISBN 1-56138-092-X)
A MISCELLANY OF COOKS' WISDOM is a beautiful hardcover volume, with a
red ribbon marker, heavy cream-colored paper and lovely old-fashioned
illustrations. Inside is a wealth of information about selecting,
storing, and cooking foods, knowledge culled from many old cookery
books. As the author explains, we have greater access to a variety of
foods today, but cooks of yesteryear knew far more about cooking than
we do today. A MISCELLANY OF COOKS' WISDOM makes a perfect gift for
anyone who is interested in food or cooking.
If you can't get A MISCELLANY OF COOKS' WISDOM at your local
bookstore, you can order a copy directly from the publisher by sending
the list price, plus $2.50 postage and handling to: Running Press Book
Publishers, 125 South Twenty-Second Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103.
^ ENOUGH'S ENOUGH: And Other Rules of Life
by Calvin Trillin
(Ticknor & Fields, 1990, $9.95, ISBN 0-395-61160-1)
Calvin Trillin is a syndicated columnist, and this is a collection of
more than 75 of his essays. He's funny, witty, sardonic, satiric,
sarcastic, and observant. Actually, it's very difficult to describe a
Trillin column, as he himself notes in the Introduction, where he's
trying to explain to an acquaintance what it is exactly that he does
for a living:
"Actually, what I do is make snide, underhanded, and often
unfair remarks about public officials and other decent
citizens," I say. "When I don't have a public official to
cuff around, I'll admit, I dump the irritations of daily
life on innocent readers I don't even know. If all else
fails, I write about the trouble I'm having with my teeth."
"Aren't you ashamed of making a living that way?" he says.
"Well, I'll say just one thing in my defense," I tell him.
"It's not much of a living."
ENOUGH'S ENOUGH is a grab bag of delights, as Trillin tries to figure
out just what the latest news MEANS, and what it is that young people
are doing, and why people behave the way they do. If you like humor
with relevance, this is the book to get.
^ SEASONAL GUIDE TO THE NATURAL YEAR: Mid-Atlantic
by Scott Weidensaul
(Fulcrum, April 1992, $15.95, ISBN 1-55591-105-6)
"In the mid-Atlantic region, convention sometimes stands on
its head. Here, it is possible to find cypress swamps, those
symbols of the Deep South, that are almost 150 miles farther
NORTH than the red spruce forests on Mount Rogers,
emblematic of the North Woods. East and West mix as well,
with relict prairies drifting in a sea of forest. It is a
rich and fascinating place for a naturalist to explore--and
I hope that this book encourages you to experience it for
---from SEASONAL GUIDE TO THE NATURAL YEAR
Combining the most useful elements of a regional nature guide, an
almanac, and a travel guide, Weidensaul's SEASONAL GUIDE TO THE
NATURAL YEAR: MID-ATLANTIC covers the year month by month, discussing
what of special note is happening with the flora and fauna of the
mid-Atlantic states (Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware,
Virginia, West Virginia) and exactly where you should go to get the
best experience of it. This is a must-have for any local resident, and
will be very helpful for nature-loving visitors as well. An appendix
lists the addresses of places to write for more information about
organizations, parks, preserves, agencies, and wildlife refuges. You
can contact the publisher at: Fulcrum Publishing, 350 Indiana Street,
Suite 350, Golden, CO 80401; 303/277-1623.
^ THE NONTOXIC HOME & OFFICE
Protecting Yourself and Your Family from Everyday Toxics
and Health Hazards
by Debra Lynn Dadd
(Jeremy P. Tarcher, March 1992, $10.95, ISBN 0-87477-676-7)
Commonly used household and office chemicals have been linked with
headaches, dizziness, rashes, sinusitis, fatigue, depression,
sterility, cancer, and birth defects, among other complaints. Now,
Debra Lynn Dadd updates her guide to household toxins, THE NONTOXIC
HOME (1986), including new information on previously unknown health
hazards and expanding the scope of the book to include toxins found
around the office as well.
Identifying hazardous substances is not what makes this book so
valuable, however. The real value lies in Dadd's practical
recommendations for eliminating the toxins from your life. I'm sure
you already realize that many of the products you use at home and at
the office are hazardous, but until you find an acceptable alternative
it's tough to stop using them. Often that alternative goes publicly
unheralded because it's not commercially advantageous. Why should
deodorant manufacturers tell you that plain old (cheap) baking soda
does just as good a job as their expensive product? Luckily for us, we
have Debra Lynn Dadd to point out the dangers of commercial products
and suggest practical, workable alternatives. THE NONTOXIC HOME &
OFFICE is a fascinating, educational book that will very likely
improve your health and save you money as well. You can contact the
publisher by writing to: Jeremy P. Tarcher, Inc., 5858 Wilshire Blvd.,
Suite 200, Los Angeles, CA 90036.
^ AMONG FRIENDS: Hospice Care for the Person with AIDS
by Robert W. Buckingham, Dr.P.H.
(Prometheus Books, May 1992)
Hardcover: $19.95, ISBN 0-87975-720-5
Paperback: $13.95, ISBN 0-87975-759-0
AIDS is quickly becoming the most critical health-care problem in the
United States: more than 130,000 people with AIDS have already died,
and an estimated 1,000,000 Americans are presently infected with the
virus. Currently there is no known cure or viable vaccine, so the need
for hospice care for AIDS victims is great. Hospitals are in the
business of providing aggressive and regimented treatments, not daily
care and comfort for dying patients.
AMONG FRIENDS shows how hospice care can provide for the medical,
psychological, and spiritual needs of AIDS patients and their loved
ones. In addition to a history and philosophy of hospice care, AMONG
FRIENDS considers the more difficult subjects, such as organizing
hospice care for the increasing number of children born with AIDS, and
a compassionate discussion of suicide and the AIDS patient. AMONG
FRIENDS is a much-needed guide to the care of the AIDS patient,
valuable for the patients themselves, their loved ones, as well as for
health professionals and those who provide caregiver support services.
^ WINNING!: The Awesome & Amazing Book of Windows Game
Tips, Traps, and Sneaky Tricks
by John Hedtke
(Peachpit Press, 1992, $14.95, ISBN 0-938151-77-0)
Everyone who uses Microsoft Windows knows what it's best feature is:
the ability to play great games and hide them completely with the
flick of a mouse. Picture this--you're deep in the middle of a great
game of Taipei (or maybe it's Pipe Dream, or Fuji Golf, or Tetris, or
Reversi) when you hear footsteps behind you. Quick! You click the
mouse and your game disappears as though it were never there. Instead,
your screen is filled with a spreadsheet showing the figures from last
quarter. But here's the best part: your game isn't actually gone. It's
underneath that spreadsheet, just waiting for the intruder to leave.
This is the kind of software design upon which empires are built.
But back to that game. Microsoft, in its infinite wisdom, knew that we
needed games to play at the office. Not gigantic Ultima-type games
that require hours to play, but small yet intellectually satisfying
games that can fill up 10 or 15 minutes. The answer: the Microsoft
Entertainment Packs, of which, as I type this, there are three, called
"I", "II", and "III". Combined with the two games that are provided
with every Windows installation (Solitaire and Reversi), these three
game packs pretty much cover the short-game spectrum. And now that you
have the software, you need the companion book--John Hedtke's WINNING!
A chapter covers each game, from Solitaire and Reversi through each of
the three game packs. Hedtke will show you how to play, and give you
many strategy hints, but the very best part are the sections called
"Tips, Traps, and Sneaky Tricks". These are undocumented features that
can add a new dimension to your play. Some of them could even be
called cheating. Like, for instance, would you be interested in a key
sequence for Minesweeper that puts a very subtle white pixel in the
upper left corner of the screen whenever your pointer is over an
unmined square? Why, if you were an unscrupulous type, you could
challenge a friend to a Minesweeper tournament, allowing yourself to
just barely win. It's a lucky thing for your friend that you're not
that type of person.
WINNING! is almost more fun than the games themselves, and if you'd
like to join in, you can get Hedtke's book at your local bookstore, or
call the publisher's order line: 1-800-283-9444. Peachpit Press, 2414
Sixth Street, Berkeley, CA 94710; 510/548-4393; Fax: 510/548-5991.
^ THE MAKING OF MIDDLEBROW CULTURE
by Joan Shelley Rubin
(Univ. of North Carolina Press, 1992, $34.95, ISBN 0-8078-2010-5)
The rise of a middle class in the U.S. was followed, in the years
after World War I, by the rise of a middle class culture, popularly
called "middlebrow". Referring mostly to a person's contact with
literature, this culture was encouraged by a variety of elements, five
of which were selected by Rubin for in depth analysis here: the NEW
YORK HERALD TRIBUNE'S BOOKS section, the first days of the
Book-of-the-Month Club, the "great books" movement, the popularity of
the "outline" volume, and the book-oriented programming on the radio.
Rubin also gives consideration to the people who were involved in this
democratization of culture, people like Alexander Woollcott, Clifton
Fadiman, Irita Van Doren, Stuart Pratt Sherman, Dorothy Canfield
Fisher, John Erskine, Henry Seidel Canby, and William Lyon Phelps.
THE MAKING OF MIDDLEBROW CULTURE combines academic rigor with clear,
accessible prose for a fascinating exploration of America's
intellectual history. You can order THE MAKING OF MIDDLEBROW CULTURE
directly from the publisher by sending the list price, plus $3 postage
and handling, to: The University of North Carolina Press, PO Box 2288,
Chapel Hill, NC 27515-2288. Or call their order line 1-800-848-6224.
(There is also a paperback edition of THE MAKING OF MIDDLEBROW
CULTURE, $14.95, ISBN 0-8078-4354-7.)
^ BOOKLIST'S GUIDE TO THE YEAR'S BEST BOOKS
Definitive Reviews of Over 1,000 Fiction & Nonfiction Titles
edited by Bill Ott, American Library Association
(Triumph Books, April 1992, $14.95, ISBN 1-880141-08-6)
The American Library Association's BOOKLIST MAGAZINE screens some
50,000 titles each year, reviewing them and advising libraries on the
purchase of new books. They have gathered the reviews of the top 1,000
or so titles and bound them up in a book for anyone's bedtime
browsing, at $14.95 a reference book Best Buy. This is not to say that
I agree with all of their choices, or the opinions of their reviewers
(who are various and specifically credited). In fact, I would argue
with quite a few of the reviewers, and I think they left out some of
the year's best books. (Which ones? Check the 1991 copies of RFP.) But
that's the nature of opinions, and within these lively and generally
very well-written reviews you'll come up with a great deal of hard
information that will point you to some very fine reading.
If Reading For Pleasure wasn't enough for you--is there any such thing
as "enough" books to read?--be sure to get yourself a copy of
BOOKLIST'S GUIDE TO THE YEAR'S BEST BOOKS. If you can't find a copy
locally, you can order it directly from Triumph Books by calling their
toll-free order line: 1-800-626-4330.
^ HONEY, I'M HOME!
Sitcoms: Selling the American Dream
by Gerard Jones
(Grove Weidenfeld, February 1992, $24.95, ISBN 0-8021-1308-7)
"The sitcom is a corporate product. It is a mass consumption
commodity, designed, like a sedan, to be constructed decade
after decade on the same safe, reliable pattern, yet
allowing enough surface variations to be resold as a new
product every few years."
Like most of the rest of my Baby Boomer generation, I grew up in front
of the television set, and my favorite entertainment was always the
situation comedies. I missed THE GOLDBERGS and AMOS 'N' ANDY, but I
toddled to the TV in plenty of time to catch I LOVE LUCY, FATHER KNOWS
BEST, LEAVE IT TO BEAVER, THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW, and, best of all,
THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW. I never questioned why the networks displayed
these shows and not others, never knew anything of television
economics. I just watched. Gerard Jones (co-author of THE BEAVER
PAPERS, THE COMIC BOOK HEROES, and a *very* funny comic book series
called THE TROUBLE WITH GIRLS), however, wondered why the networks
served up these particular bits of comic fare, and HONEY, I'M HOME! is
a fascinating account of what he has learned about television: the
writers, the producers, the actors, the networks, the sponsors, and
The most important determining factor in network television is, of
course, the sponsors. And, as Jones tells it, the sitcom is
"commercial broadcasting's perfect product". He outlines the birth of
the sitcom (and of sponsors) back in radio days, and follows its path
through the first years of live television from New York, the move to
California, censorship and the days of Family Hour, up to the present
day of network confusion. Jones discusses why certain shows appeared
when they did, and why they disappeared. You'll find out why Fonzie
moved into the room over the Cunningham's garage, and why you won't
see any more sitcoms with a really topical theme. (Of course TV has
never harmonized with reality. Remember the 60s? Vietnam, Kent State,
the Summer of Love, etc.? Know what the most popular TV show of the
60s was? According to Jones it was THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES.) But
despite sitcom's function as a corporate tool, Jones understands its
entertainment value to viewers:
"The sitcom is a daydream. In an age when the family is
threatened and co-workers are opponents and neighbors are
strangers, it's pleasant to have an imitation family to
retreat into. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to go, as one
theme song puts it, 'where everybody knows your name, and
they're always glad you came'? For a half hour a week the
sitcom can make that possible."
HONEY, I'M HOME! is fascinating reading for anyone interested in the
history of American popular culture, broadcasting, or your own
personal past. The book contains 16 pages of black-and-white stills
from some of the most popular and influential sitcoms. You can contact
the publisher at: Grove Weidenfeld, 841 Broadway, New York, NY
~BOOKS ON TAPE:
^ BRAIN MASSAGE
by Kelly Howell
(Barr Audio, 1 cassette, 60 minutes, $11.95, ISBN 1-881451-00-3)
The very latest thing in relaxation and mind control is the
synchronizing of brain waves with sound or sound-and-light
combinations. Brain salons are opening up in the more progressive
areas, where you can, for a price, spend some time enjoying alpha or
even theta brain waves. This is not another example of New Age
nonsense, this brain-wave "entraining" really works, and is apparently
completely harmless. As a matter of fact, you can now buy home
versions of the commercial sound-and-light devices, but only if you're
willing to spend hundreds of dollars. The good news is that the sound
and light devices are only slightly more effective than sound alone.
(There is a training effect at work here, and each time you use one of
these devices--sound-and-light or sound alone--your brain will respond
faster.) The really good news is that you can experiment with brain
wave alteration simply by playing one of the Brain Sync tapes from
Barr Audio--for only $11.95 each. The six tapes available are:
Brain Massage: Revitalize Mind and Body (ISBN 1-881451-00-3)
Total Relaxation: Release Stress and Tension (ISBN 1-881451-03-8)
High Focus: Activate Lucid Thinking (ISBN 1-881451-01-1)
Sound Sleep: Relax for Deep Sleep (ISBN 1-881451-05-4)
Deep Insight: Expand Awareness (ISBN 1-881451-04-6)
High Coherence: Ascend to Higher Levels (ISBN 1-881451-06-2)
You can contact the publisher at: Barr Audio, 12801 Schabarum Ave.,
Irwindale, CA 91706.
^ THE EMPEROR'S NEW MIND
Concerning Computers, Minds, and the Laws of Physics
by Roger Penrose, read by Michael Jackson
Abridged, 4 cassettes, 6 hours
(Dove Audio, 1992, $24.95, ISBN 1-55800-472-6)
Artificial intelligence is a very hot topic, and Roger Penrose has
quite a few interesting things to say about it, specifically to those
who are awaiting a computer version of the human brain. According to
Penrose, a mathematical physicist, there are at least certain facets
of the human brain that computers will never been able to duplicate,
because computer are fundamentally algorithmic and brains are not. In
this dense work, Penrose uses mathematics, physiology, quantum
mechanics, and intuition to illuminate his inquiry into the functions
of the brain and the nature of consciousness. THE EMPEROR'S NEW MIND
is not for casual listening, but Michael Jackson's superb inflections
and pacing keep the meanings of even the longest sentences on track.
You can order THE EMPEROR'S NEW MIND directly from the publisher by
calling 1-800-345-9945, and you can get a free color catalog of all
available tapes from Dove Audio by calling 1-800-328-DOVE or
^ MEMORIES: THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF RALPH EMERY
with Tom Carter, read by Ralph Emery
(Soundbooks, 2 cassettes, $15.95, ISBN 1-881109-02-X)
As a radio and TV broadcaster, Ralph Emery has launched the career's
of some of country music's greatest performers. After a broken home,
four marriages and amphetamine addiction, Ralph Emery climbed from
tragedy to triumph. His uplifting autobiography tells all about the
celebrities he knows so well and about himself, whom he now knows even
better. Ralph Emery is currently the host of TNN's NASHVILLE NOW on
national cable television.
You can contact the publisher at: Soundbooks Publishing Group, 310
Greenwich St., New York, NY 10013.
^ YOUR MYTHIC JOURNEY
Finding Meaning in Your Life Through Writing and Storytelling
by Sam Keen & Anne Valley-Fox, read by the authors
Abridged, 2 cassettes, 120 minutes
(Bantam Audio, 1992, $15.99, ISBN 0-553-47054-X)
Bestselling author Sam Keen (FIRE IN THE BELLY) and poet Anne
Valley-Fox (SENDING THE BODY OUT) discuss how myths and stories give
meaning to our lives, and how you can change that meaning by changing
the stories. Suggested exercises involve writing and tell stories
about yourself and your experiences, and realizing that there are
different ways to approach the material of your life.
^ JONATHAN WINTERS: FINALLY CAPTURED
(1 cassette, 41 minutes, $9.95, ISBN 1-55800-095-X)
^ JONATHAN WINTERS IS TERMINATOR 3
(1 cassette, 50 minutes, $10.95, ISBN 1-55800-456-4)
both from Dove Audio
Imagine you've just come home from work and the light is blinking on
your answering machine. You punch the playback button to find that
your good friend Jonathan Winters called while you were out and left a
message that is a little to the left of weird, just around the corner
from deranged. Maybe he pretended to be Gorbachev, F.D.R., L.B.J., or
a representative of the American Take Company. Or maybe it was Grandma
Frickert, Chester, or Grandpa Bellencourt. That's the way it is with
Jonathan Winters, you never can tell who he's going to be next. Both
of these tapes collect phone messages left by Winters on the machine
of his longtime friend Jim B. Smith. This is improvisational humor at
its wackiest, pure Jonathan Winters gold. You can order either tape
directly from Dove Audio by calling their order line 1-800-345-9945.
^ IF IT AIN'T BROKE...BREAK IT!
And Other Unconventional Wisdom for a Changing Business World
by Robert J. Kriegel & Louis Patler, read by Robert J. Kriegel
(Barr Audio, 1992, $15.95, ISBN 0-8043-4012-9)
Robert J. Kriegel, one of the world's leading authorities in the field
of human performance challenges the conventional thinking and offers
guidelines for an Unconventional Wisdom more suited for these
This enlightening audio reveals how "Break-It" Thinkers have gotten
the edge by overstepping traditional boundaries and creatively paving
new paths for achieving their goals and dreams. Using examples from
the author's experience with leaders ranging from the Fortune 500 to
Olympic teams, these tapes show you how to excel in tough times by
stoking fires rather than putting them out, and by encouraging
passion, dreams, and daring.
You can contact the publisher at: Barr Audio, 12801 Schabarum Ave.,
Irwindale, CA 91706.
^ A GUIDE TO NIGHT SOUNDS
by Lang Elliott
(Chelsea Green, 1992, $13.95, ISBN 1-878194-03-8)
Have you ever wondered just what is making those bizarre noises
outside your bedroom window at night? There are so many nocturnal
creatures that we never get to see during the daytime, but we can hear
them at night when they're active. Picture books aren't any help, and
frankly I've never been able to understand written descriptions of
animal sounds. So I was really glad to hear about Lang Elliott's GUIDE
TO NIGHT SOUNDS, an audio tape of recordings made "on location", with
natural background sounds that make you feel like you're really out
there in the woods in the dark.
The package includes a cassette tape and a booklet, but either work
just fine by themselves. Voiceovers on the tape explain what you're
listening to, and the booklet contains extra information about the
wildlife heard on the tape. You'll hear the sounds made by: 4 kinds of
thrushes, 4 kinds of "nightjars", 4 kinds of shorebirds, Mallard
ducks, Canadian geese, 6 kinds of owls, 10 kinds of frogs and toads, 8
kinds of "rails", an American alligator, 3 kinds of herons, 2 wrens,
the White-throated Sparrow, the Gray Catbird, the Common Loon, 7 kinds
of insects, coyotes, raccoons, beavers, porcupines, otters, and deer.
Lang Elliott's GUIDE TO NIGHT SOUNDS is a fascinating way to meet the
vocal inhabitants of the nighttime. A great gift item.
Coming this September: THE CALLS OF FROGS AND TOADS ($12.95), a guide
to the sounds made by 40 species of frogs and toads ranging east of
the Great Plains. You can order either A GUIDE TO NIGHT SOUNDS or THE
CALLS OF FROGS AND TOADS (when available) from: Chelsea Green
Publishing Co., Rt. 113, PO Box 130, Post Mills, VT 05058-0130. You
can call their order line at 1-800-639-4099. You can contact the
author personally by writing to: Lang Elliott, NatureSound Studio, PO
Box 84, Ithaca, NY 14851-0084.
^ NEANDERTHALS AT WORK
How People and Politics Can Drive You Crazy...And What
You Can Do About Them
by Albert J. Bernstein & Sydney Craft Rozen
read by Albert J. Bernstein
Abridged, 2 cassettes, 3 hours
(Soundbooks, 1992, $15.95, ISBN 1-881109-03-8)
Dividing corporate employees into three groups: the Rebel, the
Believer, and the Competitor, NEANDERTHALS AT WORK uses examples,
exercises, and quizzes to show readers/listeners how the three types
operate, and how they often misunderstand each other. If you'd like to
become a big-time executive game-player, you may find a number of
helpful tips here. You can contact the publisher at: Soundbooks
Publishing Group, 310 Greenwich St., New York, NY 10013.
~ TAPES FOR YOUR CAT FROM GREAT AMERICAN AUDIO
Great American Audio has release two interesting new cassette tapes
especially for your cat:
^ HOME ALONE --FOR CATS-- An Audio Companion
(1 cassette, 60 minutes, ISBN 1-55569-552-3)
^ POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT --FOR CATS--
(1 cassette, 60 minutes, ISBN 1-55569-550-7)
The HOME ALONE tape is designed to be played when your pet has to be
left alone for a time. The tape has 60 minutes of soothing music that
is very heavy on bass tones for comforting vibrations. This would be
especially good for a new kitten or a cat who is ill or disturbed; the
music provides a bit of background noise, and the bass vibrations
simulate the purr of a companion cat. The POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT tape
contains 30 minutes of reassuring messages ("I'm so glad you're a
cat." "You're a good cat." "You're my best friend." etc.) recited in a
soft lilting tone. The second side is left blank for you to record the
positive messages of your choice in your own voice. This tape isn't as
ridiculous as it may first sound. You cat probably has a small
vocabulary of English words, the words you use most often: cat, kitty,
good, bad, tuna, and so on. And we've found, around the cat preserve
known as RFP Central, that the most potent word of all is the cat's
own name. A recording that repeats the cat's name, along with words
that the cat can associate with happy times ("good cat" as opposed to
"bad cat"), all rendered in an upbeat tone of voice (cats understand
tone of voice perfectly) could very well do your pet a lot of good.
Once again, this would particularly be a good idea with a new, sick,
or disturbed cat.
If you're local book store or pet store doesn't carry these tapes, you
can contact the publisher at: Great American Audio Corp., 33 Portman
Road, New Rochelle, NY 10801; 914/576-7660; 914/576-7584 (fax).
~LAST MINUTE ADDITIONS!
^ DETECTIVE STORIES FROM THE STRAND MAGAZINE
selected by Jack Adrian
(Oxford UP, 1991, ISBN 0-19-212306-8)
The STRAND MAGAZINE, launched in January 1891, was one of the most
successful and influential popular magazines of its time. It ran until
1950, selling in its heyday half a million copies a month. Making its
mark immediately with the publication of the first Sherlock Holmes
stories, the magazine continued to publish high-quality detective
fiction. Gathered here are 24 classic stories of mystery and
detection, all first published in the STRAND, and many being rare
tales that have never appeared in book form before. There are stories
by: Somerset Maugham, E.C. Bentley, G.K. Chesterton, Agatha Christie,
Sapper, Arthur Conan Doyle, Aldous Huxley, Edgar Wallace, Ronald Knox,
and A.E.W. Mason, among others. An excellent anthology for any
^ STRANGE TALES FROM THE STRAND MAGAZINE
selected by Jack Adrian
(Oxford UP, 1991, ISBN 0-19-212305-X)
A companion volume to the book above, this one collects 29 weird tales
from the pages of the STRAND, among them stories by: Arthur Conan
Doyle, E. Nesbit, Graham Greene, W.W. Jacobs, D.H. Lawrence, Edgar
Wallace, L.T. Meade, and H.G. Wells, among others. Another excellent
anthology of fascinating fiction from one of the world's most famous
^ TROLLOPE: A BIOGRAPHY
by N. John Hall
(Oxford UP, 1991, $35.00, ISBN 0-19-812627-1)
Already being hailed as the definitive biography of one of the most
underappreciated writers, Hall's text is an intriguing look at the man
behind some of the best fiction ever written. A Civil Servant working
for the Post Office, Trollope created novels that dissected the social
structures of his society with a biting wit, stories that seem as
timely today as the day they were first published. TROLLOP: A
BIOGRAPHY offers rewarding insights into this tireless and most
private man. A must for all libraries and Trollope students.
^ ORGANIZED OBSESSIONS
by Deborah M. Burek & Martin Connors
(Visible Ink, 1992, $9.95, ISBN 0-8103-9415-4)
ORGANIZED OBSESSIONS wins the RFP Summer 1992 Award for Most
Irresistibly Browsable book. It's an annotated listing of 1,001
(actually, 1,003) unusual associations, fan clubs, and
"microsocieties" that you can join, for your own personal edification,
enrichment, education, and enjoyment. Each group listed comes with a
description of its purpose, any publications they produce, how you can
join, and other strange and entertaining facts. There are serious
groups included (animal rights groups, nuclear disarmament groups,
etc.), silly groups (Institute of Totally Useless Skills, Committee
for Immediate Nuclear War, etc.), and everything in between. There are
groups for just about every imaginable ideology, hobby, and
collectible, some more inscrutable than others: the Ronald Reagan
Philatelic Society? Whatever your peculiarities, you're sure to find
some like-minded people through the groups listed in ORGANIZED
OBSESSIONS. You can contact the publisher at: Visible Ink, PO Box
33477, Detroit, MI 48232-9852, or call their Order Line: