Neuromancer by William Gibson

This novel made me fall back in love with science fiction.  Gritty future noir set amidst AI, evil multinationals, and organized crime.  The novel glitters with beautifully written passages, amalgamating techspeak with Japanese, Haitian creole, and back-alley slang.  Sure, it’s been criticized as “surface and gloss,” but what surface, what gloss!  When most speculative fiction writers — including some Grandmasters who will go unnamed — became prolific typists with good ideas, Gibson took a well-worn idea (hard-boiled crime fiction), gave it a spin, and produced a spectacular gem. To top it off, Gibson wrote it on a typewriter — how … Continue reading Neuromancer by William Gibson

Rate this:

Flood by Andrew Vachss

Reads like a cold bullet out of Hell. Taut, razor sharp prose; tough ferocious heroes and even more ferocious villains. Imagine the bastard stepchild of Jim Thompson and Mickey Spillane fighting the good fight on the edge of the socioeconomic abyss. Yet above the bleakness, violence, and viciousness aimed at the weak and defenseless, there’s a glimmer of hope. Burke, the hero of these novels, offers that hope, especially when the law can’t or won’t help those who need it the most. Continue reading Flood by Andrew Vachss

Rate this:

From the Vault: The Feejee Mermaid: The Milwaukee Taxidermied Treasure & Others

This is an article I wrote in 2005 when I was a graduate student in the Museum Studies program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  My course work involved classes at the Milwaukee Public Museum. One assignment was researching a specific artifact.  It turns out that the Milwaukee Public Museum has a Feegee Mermaid.  This article, posted on Showhistory.com, was a distillation of the research I did for that assignment. Introduction The Feejee Mermaid represents humanity’s attempt to deal with its myths. This physical manifestation of ancient myth hearkens back to other works of art, but over time became a myth … Continue reading From the Vault: The Feejee Mermaid: The Milwaukee Taxidermied Treasure & Others

Rate this: