Author Archives: John Walters

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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Book Review: The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science by Richard Holmes

I came across a description of this book while I was cruising lists on the internet looking for interesting reading material. At this particular time I was searching for nonfiction, and this appeared on a few lists of worthwhile history … Continue reading

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Book Review: The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K. Le Guin

This book made me nostalgic, not because Ursula Le Guin was one of my teachers at Clarion West in 1973 (although she was) but rather because it carries an ambiance of the seventies. It fits right in with the so-called … Continue reading

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On Rereading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values by Robert M. Pirsig

I have just finished reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance for the third time. I first discovered it back in the 1970s just before I set out on the road to find my voice as a writer. I … Continue reading

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The Difference Between an Author and a Writer

Before I embarked upon my detailed explanation I wanted to be sure that I had my terms right, so I looked them up in the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. According to the primary definitions in this source, an author is “the … Continue reading

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Book Review: Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

In short, this is one of the best biographies I have read in years. I didn’t expect it to be so because I was somewhat disappointed by Isaacson’s more recent biography of Leonardo da Vinci. My main objection with that … Continue reading

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Book Review: Tibetan Peach Pie: A True Account of an Imaginative Life by Tom Robbins

This is going to be an unusual review, but then, we are dealing with an unusual writer. I first encountered the prose of Tom Robbins when I somehow got hold of and read his first novel Another Roadside Attraction. I … Continue reading

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Book Review: The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi

As I have mentioned before, with the libraries closed, I am searching my shelves for overlooked books that I may have bought sometime in the past but never read. The Windup Girl is one of these. I found it in … Continue reading

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