Author Archives: John Walters

Book Review: The Best of Michael Swanwick

I’m going to begin with a bit of name-dropping here; it’s unintentional but inevitable if I want to explain to you how I came to hear about this book. I was chatting with Michael Swanwick (there it is) at a … Continue reading

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Book review: Footsteps: Adventures of a Romantic Biographer by Richard Holmes

I approached this book with high expectations. A writer traveling through fascinating locales in Europe in the footsteps of literary legends: what could go wrong? Well, a number of things, in fact. Ultimately, I found this book difficult to finish. … Continue reading

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Classic Science Fiction Novels to Read During the Pandemic: Nova by Samuel R. Delany

I can’t remember for sure, but I think that I only read Nova once several decades ago before rereading it recently. It attests to the power and vividness of the prose that so many parts were burned into my memory … Continue reading

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Book Review: Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness by Edward Abbey

As Desert Solitaire opens, Edward Abbey has just arrived at Arches National Monument in Utah for an isolated six month stint as a park ranger. He worked as a seasonal ranger in the 1950s, although the book was not published … Continue reading

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Classic Science Fiction Novels to Read During the Pandemic: This Immortal by Roger Zelazny

One of the advantages of reading some of my favorite novels is that I already have them here in my home. I don’t go to bookstores and libraries are closed. Yes, I order books online but I try to keep … Continue reading

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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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