“When I go, let me go after I’m done with the book I’m reading or after that last bite of cheesecake, but before the waiter brings the bill.” – John Kraft
The latest from Smorgasbord – Variety is the Spice of Life —
Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore: New Book on the Shelves – The Genie Hunt by M.C. Tuggle.
A welcome to M.C. Tuggle to the bookstore with his latest book The Genie Hunt (Spook Hunters Book 1) published on May 8th 2017. Thank you for popping today and it would be great if you could pass on the word about Mike’s new book.. thanks Sally.
Smorgasbord features book reviews, author interviews, and music reviews. Check it out!
From Natural News:
The idea of heading out to space and traveling to the red planet is thrilling but consider this for a moment: Going to Mars significantly increases your chances of acquiring cancer. That’s what the latest study published in Scientific Reports concluded. Cancer risk for humans who go on a mission to Mars or on long-term space missions doubled because of exposure to radiation from cosmic rays. Being away from the protection of Earth’s magnetic field increased the risk of radiation because cosmic rays which contain iron and titanium atoms severely damage the cells due to very high rates of ionization.
That’s a fascinating and well-done article, so you’ll want to read the whole thing, but here’s the bottom line: There is no Planet B.
Occasionally, I’ll hear from science fiction aficionados who fancy that one day, humans will spread out across the galaxy. We must, they say, because when Earth dies, we’ll just blast off and leave this old burned-out hulk behind for new, more exciting worlds. Problem is, even if we proved Einstein wrong and developed faster-than-light travel, we can’t just pack up and leave Earth the way we can move to other states or countries.
The beautiful planet we’re on is where we originated, and where we live. We used to think people were autonomous entities, but in fact, our lives depend on Earth’s many processes. It hasn’t been that long that we’ve come to appreciate the existence and our relationship with gut flora, which help regulate our immune system, our digestion, and even the way our minds work. And look at the essential relationship we have with mitochondria, those living things with their own DNA, and without which we could not function.
We’re not monads, those free-floating, ultimately simple entities cooked up by rationalistic philosophers. We’re humans, evolved beings with deep, deep roots in the natural world, and here is where we were meant to be.
The author does a great job at combining real-life scenarios with elements of fantasy. The novella reads like a combination of the television shows “Law & Order” and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” The writing and content made it so I never knew what to expect; with each turn of the page came a new surprise and boy, does that make for fun reading. It was not at all a “horror” book, but rather a suspenseful mystery with a healthy dose of the supernatural.
I also enjoyed how Tuggle maintains the strong friendship between Buddy and Coot, even though the events in their lives seem to keep going from bad to worse. Even though everything happening could tear them apart, their bond never breaks. They remain loyal to one another and even are able to joke around and make the best of what is surely a terrible situation. I found myself endeared by their friendship, and I was rooting for them the entire time.
This was not my first M.C. Tuggle book–I reviewed a novella of his called “Aztec Midnight” sometime last year–so I knew there was going to be more to the story than what initially met my eye, but even I was surprised at the extent of the uniqueness and creativity which flowed from the beginning of the book to the very last page. I can confidently say I have never read anything like “The Genie Hunt” before, and I am looking forward to what Tuggle comes up with next.
Check out the entire review at Manhattan with a twist.
It’s called the Fermi paradox, named after physicist Enrico Fermi. It refers to the apparent contradiction between the lack of evidence and high probability for the existence of extraterrestrial civilizations. Finally, the Journal of the British Interplanetary Society has an explanation, which it has released in a paper entitled The Aestivation hypothesis:
Maybe we are not seeing alien civilizations because they are all rationally “sleeping” in the current early cosmological era, waiting for a remote future when it is more favourable to exploit the resources of the universe. We show that given current observations we can rule out a big chunk of possibilities like this, but not all.
Makes sense to me. But then, spec fiction fans have guessed this to be the case for quite some time:
“Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn.”
Yep. That explains it.
John Milius was once a force of nature in Hollywood. He co-wrote the first two Dirty Harry films, received an Academy Award nomination as screenwriter of Apocalypse Now, and wrote and directed The Wind and the Lion, Conan the Barbarian and Red Dawn.
Here’s an interesting anecdote about Milius, from the Castalia House blog:
My all-time favorite Milius story concerns his frequent battles with producers and other movie executives.
One day, Milius was describing the concept of a movie he was writing to a woman who was high up on the studio chain. It was a macabre tale of a soldier betraying his king, filled with murder, sex, and madness.
At the end, the female movie executive gets up and exclaims; “Mr. Milius, what you have told me is absolutely disgusting and awful! We have no interest in making any film like that, and hope you will work hard to come up with something better!” She walks off.
Milius then looks at a man who witnessed all this, shrugs his shoulders, and says “Some people just don’t dig Shakespeare.” He had described Macbeth to her.
Good thing he didn’t pitch Coriolanus.
I must confess I am not familiar with Jamaica Kincaid or her works, but this collection of her quotes in Literary Hub makes me hunger for more. Here’s a small sample:
- A professional writer is a joke. You write because you can’t do anything else, and then you have another job. I’m always telling my students go to law school or become a doctor, do something, and then write. First of all you should have something to write about, and you only have something to write about if you do something.
- Life has a truth to it, and it’s complicated—it’s love and it’s hatred. Love and hatred don’t take turns; they exist side by side at the same time. And one’s duty, one’s obligation every day, is to choose to follow the nobler one.
- I want to write until I die, and I hope to live a long time. I don’t want to reach a plateau; what I am interested in is living, living.
Ha! Love it. Want to read more? Check out the rest at Literary Hub.