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A Study in Revenge: Winking HyperHistorical Mimicry

As I began reading A Study in Revenge: A Novel by Kieran Shields, I was willing to overlook the literary mimicry of Arthur Conan Doyle. Archie Lean, a well-meaning workaday detective in the late 1800s who needs outside help to crack a case, is clearly a mix of Inspector Lestrade and John Watson. The dapper, […]

How To Write A Novel In Less Than One Hour

Specific instructions about how to write your first novel in just one hour. […]

The Magicians by Lev Grossman: Recommended

What if Harry Potter was in his late teens when he went to a magical school where the older boys hooked up with the younger boys in the bell tower? What if some kid in Narnia finally worked up the gumption to interrupt the speech of Aslan the Magnificent to ask him where the hell […]

John Twelve Hawks’ The Golden City: Not Recommended. Darn.

I really, really would like to be able to recommend John Twelve Hawks’ third book in his Traveler series, The Golden City. I wanted very much to enjoy the book. I hoped that the book would make some kind of sense. But I haven’t enjoyed the book, it doesn’t make sense, and I can’t recommend […]

John Twelve Hawks' The Golden City: Not Recommended. Darn.

I really, really would like to be able to recommend John Twelve Hawks’ third book in his Traveler series, The Golden City. I wanted very much to enjoy the book. I hoped that the book would make some kind of sense. But I haven’t enjoyed the book, it doesn’t make sense, and I can’t recommend […]

Measuring the World (Book Review)

Its dust jacket declares Daniel Kehlmann’s novel Measuring the World to be “this season’s The Name of the Rose“. I find a closer affinity between the German novel (translated into English by Carol Brown Janeway) and Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. Eco’s The Name of the Rose and Kehlmann’s Measuring the World are […]

Surprisingly Recommended: Charles De Lint’s The Wild Wood

At intervals of about a year, I’ve made it an inadvertant habit to return to fiction by Charles De Lint, drawn by the idea of what the author is trying to do and repulsed by his execution. His novels Moonheart and Someplace to Be Flying start from the attractive notion that beneath, behind, orthogonal to […]

Surprisingly Recommended: Charles De Lint's The Wild Wood

At intervals of about a year, I’ve made it an inadvertant habit to return to fiction by Charles De Lint, drawn by the idea of what the author is trying to do and repulsed by his execution. His novels Moonheart and Someplace to Be Flying start from the attractive notion that beneath, behind, orthogonal to […]

Welcome to National Novel Writing Month – 10th Anniversary!

My greatest fiction of National Novel Writing Month is that I will finish what I’m writing before the end of November. […]

Book Review: Guests of the Nation by Mike Palecek

“President George W. Bush did 9/11. No Shit. Really.”

So says Mike Palecek at the very top of his website. This declaration is a fair summation of his new short novel Guests of the Nation, a novel that Palecek sent to Irregular Times with the request that we write a review. While written in […]