Author Archives: John Walters

What a Wonderful World

I woke up this morning with the song “What a Wonderful World” playing in my mind. It was no bland cover version either; the version in my head was the original recording sung by Louis Armstrong and made popular in … Continue reading

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Book Review: Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West by Stephen Ambrose

I bought this book because I wanted to read about exploration and adventure, and there is plenty of that in it. Lewis and Clark and their small team headed off into territory unknown to the citizens of the United States, … Continue reading

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Short Story “The Blood Test” Now Available

My most recently published story, “The Blood Test,” is now available online. You can read it for free on the website of the new international literary magazine The Quiet Reader. In the story, an enigmatic stranger appears at a book … Continue reading

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Classic Science Fiction Novels to Read During the Pandemic: The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester

Until recently I hadn’t read The Stars My Destination in years, or perhaps even decades. It was first published in 1956 when I was three years old. One of the amazing things about this novel is that it hasn’t aged … Continue reading

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Avoiding Discouragement During the Pandemic

I am deep into writing a story that is sprouting into a novel, and so I hesitate before devoting my writing time to this instead of that. However, I rationalize the side trip by contemplating that if I help only … Continue reading

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Book Review: Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand

This is another book that has been on my shelf for years after being purchased at a library book sale. The need for reading material during the pandemic drove it into my hands. It’s a good book. It has a … Continue reading

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Book Review: Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

I want to preface this review by saying that I tend to avoid books that are touted far and wide as must-read bestsellers because they so often disappoint. That’s why in the past I never seriously considered reading Wild. All … Continue reading

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Book Review: A Song for a New Day by Sarah Pinkster

The novel A Song for a New Day, which recently won the 2019 Nebula Award for best novel, has received significant attention for its uncannily accurate prediction of radical social distancing following a series of plagues and terrorist attacks. What’s … Continue reading

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On Rereading The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe

I first read The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test back in the early 1970s when I was dabbling in the psychedelic culture from the perspective of a university in the San Francisco Bay Area. Taking psychedelics and smoking pot was almost … Continue reading

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Book Review: The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal

This novel reminded me why I love good science fiction. I haven’t felt that tingling thrill lately, and by lately I mean in the last several years, when a novel of science fiction or fantasy moves me so much that … Continue reading

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