THIS FEATURE HAS A TWO-FOLD PURPOSE: 1. TO ALLOW THOSE RECENTLY ADDED TO OUR FOLLOWER’S LIST TO LEARN ABOUT BOOKS THEY MIGHT HAVE MISSED AND 2. TO MAKE SURE PREVIOUSLY FEATURED AUTHORS AND THEIR WORK AREN’T FORGOTTEN. IF YOU’D LIKE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT ANY ONE OF THE BOOKS REVISITED HERE, SIMPLY CLICK ON THE “AUTHOR” PAGE, THEN ON THAT AUTHOR’S NAME.
“CALIFORNIA TRANSIT,” BY DIANE LEFER.
“Twenty years ago, I had just exiled myself from my birthplace, New York (driven out by the economy) and had relocated to Long Beach, CA in the southern part of Los Angeles County. I had to head back to the east coast to teach in the winter residency of the MFA in Writing Program at Vermont College. Just before I left my cousin handed me a Patricia Highsmith novel to read on the plane. That night in the dorm, I was jetlagged and couldn’t sleep. As I stared at the bare cinder block walls, still caught up in Highsmith’s dark and morally ambiguous universe, some lines popped into my head. A poem, I thought. I jotted the words down. When I got back to California, I unpacked and came across that page. I kept writing and the poem turned to prose and continued for over 100 pages – the title novella of the collection.
“SCORCHED EARTH, ALIEN WONDERS,” BY DELILAH JEAN WILLIAMS.
Scorched Earth, Alien Wonders is a fun, futuristic, eco-adventure about an unlikely group of aliens, humans and other critters that join forces in a last-ditch effort to save environmentally ravaged Earth.
The story is told from a unique, non-human perspective in the narration of alien leader Captain Stanley Memphis, who heads a small, quirky group of aliens disguised as prairie dogs—the only remaining animals left on the dying planet after most of the human population has relocated to Mars. Upon learning of plans by humans to move into the aliens’ quadrant of space, Memphis and his little team are sent to study how humans treat lower life forms and find out if they are savage bastards or a benevolent tribe. But the routine assignment soon turns into more than finding out what kind of creatures might be moving next door.
“THE WINTER DANCE PARTY MURDERS,” BY GREG HERRIGES
Writes Greg: “This is an alternate history of what became of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper when the plane went down that frigid night just outside of Clear Lake, Iowa, after their great show at the Surf Ballroom. But it is a lot more than that; I wanted to take all the 1950s and 1960s rock conspiracy theories and dovetail them into a spoof, and satire of rock culture and mania, conspiracy theories—connect them all somehow, and turn it into a comedy to make a sad song better. I saw it as a grand put-on. I think that is what it is.
“I was looking for an idea for a novel and I had seen The Buddy Holly Story. I always loved that period of Rock and Roll history. And because I am a wise-guy by nature, a fellow who can do comedy pretty well (just read my reviews) I invented a narrator and protagonist, Rudy Keen—an unreliable nobody who claims he was on the Winter Dance Party tour in February on 1959.”
“THE UN-FAMILIAR,” BY LYNNE HINKEY.
He’s back! The dog-god of Mercy, sometimes called the chupacabra, has returned, and Senora Milagros is ready to retire. But her apprentice, Carmen del Toro, is missing. Before she can curl up and enjoy her new life as Fifi, she’ll have to find and unite Carmen and the god.
Milagros knows the god is like a vortex, pulling people in to the events they must be part of, to fulfill a purpose that only He knows. With natural disasters occurring in a most unnatural manner, she suspects there’s a connection between Puerto Rico’s unusual weather, Carmen’s disappearance, and the god’s bigger plan.
Without his familiar, the god will remain weak and vulnerable to predation by other deities. Miagros needs to find and unite Carmen and the god before it’s too late. It’s not only her retirement at stake, but the whole world’s future.
“WATER: NINE STORIES,” BY ALYCE MILLER.
“I rarely write with “book” in mind. I’m drawn to characters and less to plot. What’s more interesting to me is why people do what they do, even if it’s not in their best interests. If I’m working on short stories, I do them one at a time and then take a look at what I see in the mix if I think some of them might work in a collection. The stories in this collection were written over several years.
THE GULLWING ODYSSEY,” BY ANTONIO SIMON, JR.
Marco’s life as a messenger isn’t great, but the work is easy and he gets retirement pay in thirty years. Little does he know his life teeters on the cusp of change.
When an unusual assignment sends him overseas, he finds himself stranded in foreign lands. With no way home and no hope of making his delivery, he sees sour prospects for attaining his modest retirement dreams, much less getting out of the whole mess alive. Even that wouldn’t be so bad if he weren’t constantly outrunning pirates, embroiled in international intrigue, and attacked by a hummingbird with an appetite for human brains – that’s just the start of his misadventures.
But lurking in the wings is a much greater threat than getting sacked from his job. The fate of an entire civilization may well rest upon his scrawny shoulders. In spite of himself and quite by accident, Marco may yet become the hero he strives not to be.