Jan 22, 2016

PENNSYLVANIA, by Michael Bunker

Pennsylvania OmnibusPennsylvania Omnibus by Michael Bunker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Other people have had trouble describing this book without spoilers. Here's my own attempt: "Total Recall" meets "The Matrix" with an Amish protagonist. That should give you the gist of it.

I've met the author, and he told me that he reads a lot of Russian dystopian literature. He also told me that he doesn't do happy and neatly tied up endings. Based on that + his lifestyle in a Plain community, I assumed that his take on sci-fi would be dark and possibly dreary, with maundering insights about a pastoral lifestyle. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised by a fast-paced, action-packed, intense science fiction novel. His writing style is much more Daniel Suarez than Dostoevsky. This was a thoroughly enjoyable story that kept me hooked and turning pages. The mystery pulled me along. A few ideas and characters really stood out. (If you've read it, I'm sure you remember Go Eagles! Super awesome in the audiobook edition.)

My quibbles are all spoilers. You'll need to head over to my review on Goodreads in order to view them. Feel free to friend me, while you're there!

Overall, I really thought this was a fun book, with more than enough intelligent mystery to keep me up late.

Jan 16, 2016

LAUGHING AT MY NIGHTMARE, by Shane Burcaw

Laughing at My NightmareLaughing at My Nightmare by Shane Burcaw
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book will stay in my mind for a long time. I want to thank Shane Burcaw for his unflinching honesty about painful and intimate parts of his life. I've read a number of memoirs/autobiographies, and I don't think I've seen this level of honesty before. He's willing to discuss his insecurities, his deepest fears, his shortcomings—and also his hopes, and the people he loves—all made fascinating through the lens of a debilitating disease that affects not only him, but also his family and friends.

I'm researching SMA for a series of science fiction books I'm writing. This memoir fulfilled my research needs and then some. I feel as if I have a much better understanding of what this disease is about and how it affects those who have it.

For another perspective on this neuromuscular disease, check out the awesome blog of Alyssa Silva.

Jan 11, 2016

Game Conference, Feb 20 - early bird tickets on sale

Early bird tickets for an awesome conference on Feb 20!

Posted by Abby Goldsmith on Monday, January 11, 2016
I'm on the Steering Committee for this conference, and super excited to see it coming together!