Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Monday, June 18, 2012


I started the week off getting a lot of gaming tie-in novels and ended with some SF, mysteries, and children's books.
  • Sherman Alexie, War Dances.  Eleven stories and twelve poems from the National Book winner.
  • Piers Anthony and Clifford A. Pickover, Spider Wars.  Crustacean-oriented fantasy.
  • Gerald Earl Bailey, Sword of the Nurlingas.  Heroic fantasy, the first book of The Saga of Thorgrim.
  • James Baen, editor, The Best from Galaxy, Vol. IV.  SF anthology of ten stories from 1975-6.
  • John Blackburn, A Wreath of Roses,  Cold war thriller.  Blackburn was one of the better British mystery/thriller/"menace" witers of the Fifties and Sixties.  The cover of this 1966 Lancer paperback proclaims "SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE."  Well, perhaps not, at least there is no indication of it on IMDB.
  • L. M. Boston, The Children of Green Knowe.  Classic children's fantasy book, the first in the series.
  • Brigid Brophy, Michael Levey, and Charles Osborne, Fifty Works of English Literature We Could Do Without.  The title page adds an asterisk to the word English, and adds "and American."  Interesting concept, guaranteed to provoke an argument, starting with the Forward:  "We have...excluded translations. That is why the Bible is not listed."  Among those listed, however, are Hamlet, Beowulf, Jane Eyre, Huckleberry Finn, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and (I can hear George Kelley raging now) Trollope's The Warden.
  • Orson Scott Card, Wyrms.  SF.
  • A, Bertram Chandler, John Grimes:  Reserve Commodore.  An omnibus from the Science Fiction Book Club, including three Grimes novels and six uncollected Grimes short stories.  The novels are The Last Amazon, The Wild Ones, and Catch the Star Winds, books 14-16 according to the series' inner chronology. Chandler has always been a favorite.
  • "K. C. Constantine" (Carl Kosak), Saving Room for Dessert.  A Rocksburg mystery novel.  I love his use of language.
  • Mildred Davis, The Third Half.  Mystery.  The author would be a great subject for Friday's Forgotten Books some week.
  • [Detective Book Club], Omnibus volume with Jimmy the Kid by Donald E. Westlake (a Dortmunder novel as well as a bad Gary Coleman film), The Brownstone House by Rae Foley (whom see below), and The Olmec Head by David Westheimer (crime novel by the author of Von Ryan's Express and My Sweet Charlie).
  • David Drake, The Military Dimension, eleven military SF stories, and Starliner, a SF novel.
  • Malcolm Edwards and Robert Holdstock, Tour of the Universe.  Coffee table SF art book, the conceit is indicated in the subtitle:  "The Journey of a Lifetime:  The Recorded Diaries of Leio Scott and Caroline Luranski."
  • Dean Feldmeyer, Cut-Through Valley.  A Dan Thompson mystery involving (to start) the murder of a rabbit hunting beagle.  I enjoyed the first Dan Thompson book and I'm looking forward to this one.
  • Rae Foley, Curtain Call (also published as It's Murder, Mr. Potter).  A "romantic  mystery by another "Forgotten" author.
  • William R. Forstchen, Magic the Gathering:  Arena.  Gaming tie-in novel
  • Alan Dean Foster, Sentenced to Prism.  SF.
  • Craig Shaw Gardner, Back to the Future Part III.  Movie tie-in novel.
  • Julian Gloag, Lost and Found.  Thriller.
  • Christie Golden, Instrument of Fate.  Fantasy
  • Glen Grant, McDougal's Honolulu Mysteries:  Case Studies from the Life of a Honolulu Detective.  Supposedly a collection of oral reminences of a Honolulu private detective, some which may blur into fantasy.
  • Tim Hallinan, Teenage Ghost Stories, Volume 1.  Slim paperback put out by Tiger Beat.  In the front matter is advertised The Donny Osmond Mystery, "Catch the greatest mystery ever as Donny Osmond disappears right in the middle of a lunch date!  Join Debbie Preston and Jay, Alan, Wayne and Merrill Osmond as they search Hollywood for the missing Donny."  The greatest mystery ever!  Gosh, I need to get one real soon!
  • Nancy Holder, Emerald Fire.  So shoot me, it's a romance -- Loveswept #173, to be exact.  I enjoy Holder's writing.
  • William Johnson with J. A. Johnson, Home Invasion.  Paranoid thriller.  Those danged liberals use the town of Home, Texas, to strike down the Second Amendment.  The Texans don't go gently into that unarmed night...and Mexican drug cartels really want those arms.  If you cheered at Red Dawn, you'll love this, but if you ever given a good look at the Second Amendment, you'll take this with a grain of salt.
  • David C. Knight, Best True Ghost Stories of the 20th Century.  Speaking of a grain of salt, consider the word "True" in the title.
  • Mercedes Lackey, editor, Sword of Ice and Other Tales of Valdemar.  Shared world fantasy anthology with eighteen stories.
  • Mercedes Lackey & Josepha Sherman, The Bard's Tale: Castle of  Deception.  Gaming tie-in fantasy novel.
  • Holly Lisle, Curse of the Black Heron.  Gaming (The Bard's Tale) tie-in fantasy novel.
  • Holly Lisle and Aaron Allston, A Bard's Tale:  Wrath of Princes.  Gaming tie-in fantasy novel.
  • Holly Lisle & Chris Guin, Mall, Mayhem and Magic.  Fantasy novel, evidently written by Guin from an outline by Lisle.
  • John Lutz, In for the Kill.  A Frank Quinn mystery novel.
  • George MacDonald, At the Back of the North Wind.  Classic children's fantasy.
  • Hubert Monteilhet, Andromache; or, The Inadvertent Murder.  Mystery.  Translated from the French by Patricia Allen Dreyfus.
  • Andre Norton, Search for the Star Stones.  SF omnibus of two novels:  The Zero Stone and Uncharted Stars.
  • T. V. Olsen, McGivern.  Western.
  • Otto Penzler, editor, Murder Is My Raquet.  Fourteen tennis-related crime stories.
  • Frederik Pohl, Mining the Oort.  Sf novel from one of the true greats.  Pohl is 92 now and still going strong.  I recommend that everyone check out his blog, The Way the Future Blogs, which includes some fascinating memories and some feisty opinion.
  • Robert J. Sawyer, FlashForward.  SF novel.  Winner of the Aurora, the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Award.  Remember the short-lived TV series based on this book?  I was bummed when they cancelled it.
  • S. E. Schlosser, reteller (?), Spooky Maryland:  Tales of Hauntings, Strange Happenings, and Other Local Lore.  Stories evidently told to the author by local Marylanders.
  • Mark Shepherd, Elvendude and Spiritride, shared world (created by Mercedes Lackey) fantasy novels, and A Bard's Tale:  Escape from Roksamur.  A gaming tie-in fantasy novel.
  • Josepha Sherman, The Bard's Tale:  The Chaos Gate.  A gaming tie-in fantasy novel.
  • Josepha Sherman, editor, Lammas Night.  Eighteen stories in a shared world fantasy anthology, based on a supernatural ballad written by Mercedes Lackey. 
  • Susan Shwartz & Martin H. Greenberg, editors, Sisters in Fantasy 2.  Fantasy anthology with twenty-three stories.
  • E. E. "Doc" Smith, First Lensman and Gray Lensman.  Classic space Opera.
  • "James Tiptree, Jr." (Alice Sheldon), Brightness Falls from the Air.  Tiptree was one of the brightest lights in science fiction; this was her last novel.
  • Tom Tierney, Royal Family of Britain Paper Dolls.  I picked this one up for Kitty who is fascinated with English history and the royal family.  This one has paper dolls of the young Elizabeth and Philip, following the royal couple through the years to the early 1990s, so Diana and Fergie and young Wills and Harry are represented -- but  no paper Nazi costume for Harry, alas.
  • Daoma Winston, Seminar in Evil.  A mystery/novel of menace by another "Forgotten" writer.


  1. Great haul, Jerry! There are so many good books in this lot but if I were to pick any one to read I'd go for A WREATH OF ROSES by John Blackburn. I love World War and Cold War novels. I'm going to have to look out for Blackburn.

  2. Blackburn is an underrated writer today, Prashant. He wrote over thirty books, all but one in the mystery/horror/thriller genres. I've enjoyed those books of his that I've read and I'm looking forward to reading more. One of his novels, based on the notorious "Blood Countess" Elizabeth Bathory was suggested to him by horror movie icon Christopher Lee. His one historical novel features the son of Pontius Pilate.