Story Tags

The Buntline Special: a weird west tale by Mike Resnick

The Weird Wild West

I wouldn't call myself a fan of westerns. I don't dislike them, I'm just not crazy about them. What I am a fan of is weird. Add some ghosts or aliens to anything and I'm on board.  Here are a few weird westerns that I can't get enough of. Outer Dark by Cormac McCarthy

The Stranger cover

The Struggle is Real

Let's tackle a difficult question. One that's hounded us since humans first had the unique audacity to ask: Why are we here and what's the point of all of this? The books below offer clues and opinions - at best. If it is existential themes you seek, some of my favorites are below.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Magically Real

There are memories that seem magical in hindsight, plus everyday occurrences that are magical when a person possesses the right frame of mind to perceive it so. The following tales contain fantasy and magic, but also beautifully depict elements of the extraordinary in everyday life. 

Cover of the book Going Postal

It's Not Funny if I Have to Explain It

"Always remember that the crowd that applauds your coronation is the same crowd that will applaud your beheading. People like a show." -  Going Postal

Cover of the book Redshirts

The Future is Now

On New Year's Eve in the year 2000, my father and I sat down to watch the classic science fiction movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. While watching it, we commented on how many of the technologies in the movie had either been surpassed or were still too fanciful to have occurred. We decided, in short, that we were living in the future. With each new generation, the future changes but even more fantastic ideas get presented in science fiction. Take for instance, the comparison of communicators in the original Star Trek TV series to iPhones.

Book Cover of Edgar Allen Poe

Classic American Horror

What is about that the horror genre that beguiles us? Is it a fascination with the unknown or is it a delight in the senses that accompany fright? I was enthralled by this genre at an early age. Who among us remembers Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark? Regardless of our motivation, there are many books that inspire a love of chillers; here are a few American classics that will keep you peering under your bed at night.

Agony of Alice by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor cover

Challenge Accepted: Read Harder 2017

Challenge # 10: Read a book set within 100 miles of your location

A new year means new year resolutions and challenges. One reading challenge that I love to do is Book Riot's 2017 Read Harder challenge. Instead of having people focus on a specific number of books, Read Harder challenges people to read different genres or authors that they may overlook. This year, there are 24 prompts for readers, and a complete list may be found here on the Book Riot Goodreads page.

California

Not with a Bang. . .

Post-apocalyptic books not about the Apocalypse

Post-apocalyptic stories - a sub-genre of science fiction - usually are misnamed. Instead of focusing on what happens after society collapses, they narrate the dramatic, action packed moment of crisis in which the world as we know it ends. These books are often very plot focused, moving at a quick pace with little character development. But there is another kind of post-apocalyptic book: one that is not really about the apocalyptic event at all. These books - a few of which are listed here - tend to be more literary fiction.

4 3 2 1 book cover

They Contain Multitudes

Novels with varying narratives

What shapes a life? What defines it? And what agency does an individual have? These questions echo throughout each of the following novels, all of which play with narrative to present multiple possibilities for their characters' lives.

The Weirdness

The Devil and His Pets

In many stories about the Devil, a pet helps him with his mischief, like a witch's familiar.  After all, being the ultimate evil in the world must be tiring, lonely work. Or perhaps the Devil is just a misunderstood character. Whichever the case may be, sometimes he needs the comfort and help that only a pet can bring. I originally wanted this list to be all about the Devil's cat, but I could only find a couple of examples, so I expanded the parameters to include other pets. 

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