"If the doctor told me I had six minutes to live, I'd type a little faster." --Isaac Asimov

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Book review: Brave New Girls (Anthology)

Brave New Girls: Tales of Girls and GadgetsBrave New Girls: Tales of Girls and Gadgets by Paige Daniels

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm always cautious about reading anthologies, because they can be a mixed bag--I much prefer collections by a single author. However, this anthology sparked my interest because of its theme, and the fact that the proceeds were being used to fund an effort to attract more young women to STEM fields.

Overall, the the quality of the writing was very good. A few stories fell prey to common issues like POV inconsistencies and a tendency to indulge in infodumping, but those could be fixed with tighter editing. Most of the stories portrayed realistic, gritty protagonists without pandering to common stereotypes and the dreaded love triangle that seems to pervade much of YA literature. For the most part, the stories showcased their characters' abilities to use their brains to solve problems, and that's the kind of science fiction I especially enjoy reading.

It's hard to pick favorites when there are so many good stories, but I enjoyed these the most: The Outpost by Paige Daniels; Blink by Kate Moretti; Graveyard Shift by Kimberly Giarratano; and Fledgling by Jason Kucharik. Overall, this anthology will appeal to most lovers of YA science fiction and speculative fiction.

Note: I received a free advance review copy of this book from the publisher.

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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Book review: All the Time in the World, by E.L. Doctorow

All the Time in the World: New and Selected StoriesAll the Time in the World: New and Selected Stories by E.L. Doctorow

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I didn't care very much for City of God when I read it around 18 months ago. However, I may have to give it another chance, because Heist, the short story on which it's based, is absolutely brilliant. Perhaps this is just more evidence for my belief that some stories simply work best in the short form. All the stories in this collection are very good, and Doctorow's settings are completely immersive. It's been a while since I visited New York, but within a paragraph or two of his stories, the memories came back in full force. He does justice to his setting in every story, whether it's an old farmhouse in a remote Illinois location or a run-down school building. The stories span a variety of styles, and Doctorow shifts gears with no apparent effort, keeping the reader enthralled as he spans distances and centuries. This book is definitely going on my "favorites" list.

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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Changes at the buffet

Ever since e-book subscription services debuted, I suspected that they would not be financially sustainable for long. Last month, Amazon confirmed this suspicion when they changed the payout terms for Kindle Unlimited. Yesterday, Scribd announced it was dropping most romance and erotica titles from its catalog. Apparently, these readers are the equivalent of Homer Simpson at an all-you-can-eat buffet.

I'm sure that Oyster and other services will follow suit, making changes either to their fees, payment system, or content. Regardless of what happens, these moves also conform what most of us have known for a while: the most popular genres, by an overwhelming margin, are romance and erotica.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Interview for Live Encounters magazine

I was recently interviewed by Natalie Irene Wood for Live Encounters magazine. It's probably my most in-depth interview to date.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Gateway of India (Book Two) now available

Gateway of India (Book Two) is now available for Kindle, iBooks, Nook, and more.

The Gateway of India, built in the early twentieth century, served as a ceremonial entrance to the city of Bombay. Today, it remains the city’s most famous landmark.

This collection of four linked short stories provides a gateway into the lives of the residents of Chughani Manor, a building in an affluent Bombay neighborhood. A retired cricketer gains a young protégé who helps him make an important choice. A research director reflects on how his childhood experiences influenced his career. A resident befriends an ayurvedic practitioner whose fame spreads throughout the neighborhood. Slum redevelopment efforts bring new meaning to a couple dealing with their empty nest. This second book in the series provides snapshots that capture a different side of India’s most cosmopolitan city.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Gateway of India (Book Two): Release date

If all goes well, Gateway of India (Book Two) will be available a week from today: Tuesday, June 2. The book continues the series, containing four linked stories. This time, the e-book will be available on Amazon as well as other major publishing channels.

Here's a preview of the cover:

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


The workshop of my imagination is littered with partially used tubes of caulk, dried out yet hoping to be reused but ultimately destined for the trash.

On the bright side, I'm finally making progress with Gateway of India, Book Two. I have rough drafts of four stories and am now starting the cycle of rewriting/revising/editing. I'm hoping for a release date early next month.

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