Books & Authors

Posts about books I love, authors I admire, and so on

Goodbye, Ray Bradbury

I’m not much for mourning celebrity deaths. I generally don’t care that you were in a few movies or TV shows, or that you wrote some catchy song I haven’t heard in six years. Such passings are sad, but they have little impact on my life. But Ray Bradbury, who passed away this morning at the age of 91, was more than a mere celebrity author to me. He was a tremendous influence on me both growing up as well as in later years when I began to pursue writing more seriously; a man whose work informed me, inspired me, and solidified my long clung-to dream of being a writer. Bradbury was a special kind of wordsmith. Unlike most modern authors, he rarely dabbled in…
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A very Wise interview on Geekdom

When Stephen Segal tapped me to take part in writing Geek Wisdom with his team of geeks, there really wasn’t any other answer but, “Yes.” After all, Stephen isn’t just a guy who was my editor on a previous book (Stuff Every Husband Should Know), he’s also a friend. Philosophically we come from very similar places, especially with regard to creativity, the human spirit, and our inner geekness. But better to let Stephen himself explain. In this interview with Wired, he lays out the spark that became the book, the philosophy we plunged into it with, and the great geekdom we left on the cutting room floor. I especially like this bit of insight: Whether in a religious or a scientific framework, knowledge and wisdom…
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Do Golden Age sci-fi authors still matter?

Science fiction is great, a genre associated with lasers and spaceships by the general populace but which historically has done a remarkable job of exploring big questions about who we are, why we’re here, and what we can accomplish as a species. The “science” part of the equation can be pesky, though. As our scientific understanding of the universe advances, stories that once seemed rooted in a potential reality — say, the existence of intelligent life elsewhere in our solar system — can now seem dated, quaint, or downright silly. So with that in mind, this blog post poses an interesting question: Are ‘Golden Age’ stories too dated and is it worth it to recommend Heinlein, Asimov, etc. to the new SF reader? The answer…
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J.R.R. Tolkien is the reason why I write

I’ve no interest in writing epic fantasy, have gotten past the days when I wanted to construct a complex mythology, and hell, haven’t even rolled a 20-sided die in many years. Yet I would not be writing today in any capacity were it not for the work of J.R.R. Tolkien. Middle-Earth first entered my consciousness in the sixth grade or so. The Hobbit was assigned reading. Unlike most students, I didn’t consider assigned reading a form of torture. (Well, except when the books sucked — which they often did.) I liked reading, and the books we had to read were often excellent. The Outsiders, Lord of the Flies, The Pigman, 1984, and many other books I still cherish today were introduced to me through school…
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PLUG: The (In)Complete Adventures of Sir Chuck

The (In)Complete Adventures of Sir Chuck I’ve run in some comic book circles over the years, and that means I’ve gotten to know a lot of people who have done their own comics. Many of these folks are far too talented for their own good, annoyingly so, and their work deserves to be seen. One of them is John Mietus. John did some excellent lettering on Pitched 1 and Pitched 2, but the fact is his quirky sense of humor doesn’t come out and play until you see his own work. The (In)Complete Adventures of Sir Chuck is many things, including a tome showcasing the growth and development of a comic creator — it begins when he was first starting and finishes when he’s developed…
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