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Book Introduction: Riker's Calling

It has been awhile since we've had a Book Introduction guest post. This one has been in my "to do" box for awhile, but had to wait for me to return from vacation and get caught up with things. Today's introduction is of a crime thriller set in Los Angeles.

Riker's Calling book cover


Riker's Calling

by Rico Lamoureaux

As Good As New

As Good As New book cover

This is a fun story about a woman who is the sole survivor of an apocalypse. Really! To tell you much more about the plot of this light-hearted short story would ruin some of the fun, so I won't do that. But if you enjoy speculative fiction at all, this short story is worth your time.


Charlie Jane Anders

Ghosts in the Forest

Ghosts in the Forest book cover

This is a remarkable story about a group of people who hid in the forest from the Cambodian war for 25 years after it ended. The story itself is amazing, and it is extremely well told. Putrill both captures the extreme circumstances that pushed the group to decide to disappear into the forest for so long and makes the story speak to what is common in us all. It is a page turner that will stay with you for a long time.


Corinne Purtill

Underwater Restorations

A fun heist caper... set in a dystopic future in which a lot of the things worth heisting are underwater and the authorities are even less sympathetic than usual. This is a well-executed sci fi story with interesting characters, set in an intriguing world.


Jeffery A. Ballard

After the Beauties

After the Beauties book cover

This is a slightly surreal story, set on an island paradise that was "discovered" by the global 'in" crowd... then abandoned when a disease hit. Now, one islander is trying to find the lost dog of one of the rich former guests so that he can collect the reward money and maybe put his life back together, but a hurricane is coming. It is a thoroughly entertaining story that sneaks in a couple of things for you to think about while you're distracted by the action.


Julia LoFaso


This is a fun and informative collection of essays and cartoons about life in academia, specifically pre- and post-tenure at a research university in a science field. The tone is conversational, and often light-hearted, but the information imparted is real and useful for anyone pursuing or considering a career in academia, particularly in the sciences.


Sydney Phlox

A Dead Djinn in Cairo

A Dead Djinn in Cairo book cover

This is a fast-paced mystery set in Cairo, in a world in which a portal has been opened allowing magical creatures like djinn to coexist with humans. Fatma is an investigator with the Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments and Supernatural Entities, called in to investigate a dead djinn. The plot unfolds from there much like a "regular" mystery/action story, but set in a world that is as interesting as the mystery. This story has some aspects of alternate history, some aspects of steampunk, some aspects of fantasy...


P. Djeli Clark

Book Introduction: Drawing in the Dark

Time for a Book Introduction post! Today's post comes from Jeremy Baker, introducing his story collection, Drawing in the Dark. I love the image of using writing to turn yourself into a damp washcloth, so you can wring out some of the emotions.

Drawing in the Dark book cover

Why I Write

by Jeremy Baker

Kandahar, Spring 2002

The September Letters

The September Letters book cover

This is a charming short story about strangers who happen to meet in an airport: a woman breaking up with her boyfriend, an older couple who help her, and the bartenders who witness it all. They decide to keep in touch and exchange letters once a year. This chance meeting and the subsequent letters catalyze change in all their lives, and the charm of the story is seeing how this change plays out.


Maeve Binchy

Lunch Stories

I have fallen into the habit of reading my social media streams over lunch. In some ways, it is a good habit. I catch up with distant friends and see what's happening in the world. In other ways, though, it is a bad habit. All too often, "what's happening" is nothing good, and I end my lunch break feeling more stressed than I was at the start.

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