BookWorks has selected me as their weekly “Featured Author.”
When I first started writing the kernel of what ultimately became Adam’s Stepsons, the multiple/mixed genre story The General in His Labyrinth had just been published, by Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
I’d been searching for character names, desperate not to have them all sounding like the people I knew at the time (i.e., white guys in my rural hometown).
So “Marquez” sounded like a great name. I had a general in the story. General Marquez fit. Why not. Continue reading
The main character of my new SF novella Adam’s Stepsons, Dr. Johann Heimann, was modeled after a professor at my undergraduate college named…ah…let’s name him Professor R. He had the biggest office on campus, and he kept Sam Adams in a small fridge tucked under his desk. And he shared them liberally with students who stopped by. And he told great stories about Chevy Chase. A perfect model for a fictional scientist.
Prof. R. was a teacher of social economics. Which is why he spent all his free time keeping careful track of tiny pieces of paper from the 17th to the 19th century detailing who was responsible for maintaining what part of what county and state roads in nearby towns.
By “careful,” I mean of course hundreds of cardboard boxes haphazardly stacked around his office and often mislabeled or labeled with handwriting so cramped that medical doctors would be proud. Couldn’t help wondering if Sam Adams were to blame. Continue reading
It’s been a productive couple of winter months. I got over my sickness (contracted from my daughters), finished the academic year (classes end in mid-January here), brought a group of students on a study abroad trip to Hawaii, and completed editing my long-awaited novelette/novella, Adam’s Stepsons.
Long-awaited in the sense that the nucleus of the story was written in 1994. So if anybody complains, “This has been done before,” you can tell them, “Yeah, but he did it first.”
Clones are nothing new in science fiction. In fact, the idea of creating human-like beings dates back literally thousands of years. The concept of the golem influenced ideas in Adam’s Stepsons; golems have been made famous in popular culture through D&D and fantasy games, but originally stem from Jewish mysticism. Continue reading
Since becoming sick this past November (first a momentary, sudden illness in the pit of my stomach…), I’ve found it difficult to stay 100% healthy as winter has well and truly set in. It’s not terribly cold where I live (the middle of Honshu, the main island of Japan), but the up-and-down irregular temperature pattern this year has made it easier to catch colds, influenza, and other upper respiratory sicknesses.
So while down in the dumps with the mumps (which I contracted over New Year’s from my two children, despite having been vaccinated against it as a child…different strain here, perhaps), I’ve tackled a reading book list compiled from last summer. Even managed to finish one or two! Continue reading
Finally, a post after two and a half months! Yes, I was/am/will be busy. And so it goes.
As requested, I have finally managed to put some previews of my work online. The new page of “Freebies” has one short story so far (The Lost Bunny Shrine of Annandale), which is currently available as a .mobi download for Kindle. One commenter on Goodreads complained that it was about a bunch of drunken college guys.
Yep. And a bunny shrine is, of course, involved. The horror…
I don’t view that as much of a criticism, to be honest. It is what it is. Check it out for yourself!
I can make other formats available (maybe, if I can figure out how to convert it) if people ask. Other stories have a pic but now file right now. (Coming soon!)
Some people have asked me on FB for some previews of Notes from the Nineties. It’s difficult to prepare excerpts from short stories (which are already short). So while I’m thinking of what’s appropriate as a teaser, here’s another poem from the volume. It appears right after the story “Boys Will be Boys” together with the poem “Grandmother.”
Summers of my Upstate youth were spent
in the family station wagon, the six of us, or was it seven,
traveling to the great St. Lawrence
Seaway of a thousand islands.
The first time we stayed one night at Mosquito Heaven,
sleepless in a brown canvas tent,
and four nights on the biggest island—
half in the US,
I learned how to gut a fish, how to swim,
how to roll up a sleeping bag,
and where to buy fireworks—
I mean sparklers.
On my 12th birthday, I got a wallet,
put in a year’s allowance,
then when I forgot it in the campsite bathroom,
got advice in return the next morning—
“I told you so.”
Looking back, it makes sense
to me now
that I hate dressing.
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