June 2016 Wrap Up
Books I’ve Read
(again, in the interest of space, kids books are not listed. Also, covers and synopses are from Goodreads.)
When you have to kill the same terrorist twice in one week there’s either something wrong with your world or something wrong with your skills… and there’s nothing wrong with Joe Ledger’s skills. And that’s both a good, and a bad thing. It’s good because he’s a Baltimore detective that has just been secretly recruited by the government to lead a new taskforce created to deal with the problems that Homeland Security can’t handle. This rapid response group is called the Department of Military Sciences or the DMS for short. It’s bad because his first mission is to help stop a group of terrorists from releasing a dreadful bio-weapon that can turn ordinary people into zombies. The fate of the world hangs in the balance…
Nelleke Reitsma is one of the world’s top lutenists and guitar players. She is very good because she has had 350 years to practice.
Sinfonia: First Notes on the Lute records her life, beginning with her entrance into the world of the undying through friendship with Izaak, a mysterious young man who only comes out at night; and, eventually, her crossing over into that world. Leaving her native Netherlands for England, she finds herself embroiled in a fight to save the vampire community of London from destruction. She encounters Shakespeare and Queen Elizabeth, and, using her connections to government and the theater, uncovers the last followers of an ancient religion that possesses power capable of destroying Nelleke and the coven of vampires to which she belongs. It is up to her to stop them.
A prison doctor injects a condemned serial killer with a formula designed to keep his consciousness awake while his body rots in the grave. But all drugs have unforeseen side-effects. Before he could be buried, the killer wakes up. Hungry. Infected. Contagious. This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang…but a bite.
Seventeen-year-old Tark knows what it is to be powerless. But Okiku changed that. A restless spirit who ended life as a victim and started death as an avenger, she’s groomed Tark to destroy the wicked. But when darkness pulls them deep into Aokigahara, known as Japan’s suicide forest, Okiku’s justice becomes blurred, and Tark is the one who will pay the price…
No such thing as fate or magic—16-year-old Samantha wouldn’t be caught dead wishing upon a star. But when she stumbles upon a crime scene resembling her worst nightmares, something inside her comes undone. A mysterious guy, who’s as handsome as he’s weird, shows up at her side. And her summer break becomes suddenly a whole lot more interesting. So interesting, it tears her life apart.
Daniel, 17-year-old wolf-shifter and known to make bad choices, is forced to protect Samantha who’s a witch denial of her powers. To him, the only good witch is a dead one. Cursing his unnatural attraction to her, he balances love, hate and danger as he tries to save the life of one clueless witch.
All over the world, brutal attacks are crippling entire cities. Jackson Oz, a young biologist, watches the escalating events with an increasing sense of dread. When he witnesses a coordinated lion ambush in Africa, the enormity of the impending violence becomes terrifyingly clear.
With the help of ecologist Chloe Tousignant, Oz races to warn world leaders before it’s too late. The attacks are growing in ferocity, cunning, and planning, and soon there will be no place left for humans to hide.
In 2017 every woman on the planet is barren. No more babies. No more human race unless someone can cure the virus and jump start the population. Priorities change drastically as people realize they are the last generation on earth. Renowned fertility specialist, Ted Johnson, comes up with a cure but he’s not so sure he wants to go back to the old reproductive ways. His family initiates The Johnson Project in order to weed out potentially bad parents so that all future children are born to loving and prepared mommies and daddies. Interested applicants have to qualify and prove they are fit to raise a child. The project practically guarantees a brighter future for everyone, except, of course, those who don’t make the cut.
After 27 years as a newspaper man, Peter Anderson’s career is slipping away, at least it was, until he stumbled upon the story of a lifetime. Sent to do a fluff piece about lights in the night sky over Arizona, he discovers far more than he ever expected when he comes upon a mysterious young woman held prisoner in a basement. After helping her to escape, she disappears before he can learn the truth about who she is or where she came from. His search for her leads him back to the lights in the sky and leaves him with more questions than answers. The only thing he knows for certain . . . the only thing he can count on are the two words offered repeatedly by his friend and guide . . . “IS BELT.”
The world of corporate greed runs rampant after the government’s dissolution has left police, fire, and all other services once handled by the public sector in the hands of privatized businesses and wealthy investors.
With the class divide ever widening, debtor prisons for the lower and middle classes overflowing, disease ravaging the country, and resources running dry, the streets have become a battleground for those who would fight against the elite’s corrupt system, against a world spiraling into ruin, against the devastating impact of a society ruled by The Private Sector.
What do you do when a terrible accident shatters your body, all but takes your voice from you and removes most of your face, leaving you confined to a specially adapted room with what remains of your face hidden behind a mask? All this, and yet your excellent mental faculties fully intact? If you are William John Baltimore, founder of the information network called SOURCE, accepting your fate is not an option.
Enter Professor Sir James Robert Carvel, eminent Cryo Neurosurgeon, who has often voiced his opinion, privately, that the human brain can be transplanted. In the course of time, along with his equally eminent ‘Team’ of Professors; Richard Beckler, Anthony Morrow and Ernst Kraser, Carvel begins begin planning what came to be known as ‘The Carvel Experiment’; the transplanting of Baltimore’s brain into a healthy donor body. Dateline August, 1985.
9 AM EST: A senator shoots himself on national television.
10:32 AM EST: An entire floor of government agents leap to their death from their office building.
12:57 PM EST: All the police officers inside a station murder each other.
And the day has just begun.
Lieutenant Asher Benson left Iraq with a traumatic brain injury, PTSD, and a Purple Heart. His doctors warned that the symptoms would be life altering. They had no idea. As his body healed, the thoughts of those around him began to echo through Ash’s mind, stretching the boundaries of his sanity.
Five years later, Ash is drowning the voices with copious amounts of booze and self-loathing.
When unidentified intelligence agents abduct him in broad daylight, Ash is thrust into a world of espionage and assassinations. A unique terrorist is operating on U.S. soil, and the government needs Ash, and the malady that has plagued him for half a decade, to find the killer.
Life sucks and then you die. Or, if you’re James Stark, you spend eleven years in Hell as a hitman before finally escaping, only to land back in the hell-on-earth that is Los Angeles.
Now Stark’s back, and ready for revenge. And absolution, and maybe even love. But when his first stop saddles him with an abusive talking head, Stark discovers that the road to absolution and revenge is much longer than you’d expect, and both Heaven and Hell have their own ideas for his future.
Resurrection sucks. Saving the world is worse.
Deep beneath the ice of the Arctic Circle, something has awakened. A primordial creature frozen in time, it is the oldest, largest, most efficient predator that nature has ever produced. And it is ravenously hungry…
Thirty-five miles off the Massachussetts coast, a small research ship is attacked. All but one of its crew is killed by the massive serpentine horror that rises from the sea. The creature likes this human prey. The chewy outer hide. The tender saltiness within. And it wants more…
Responding to a distress signal, fishing-boat captain Brian Hawkins arrives in time to save the ship’s last survivor. But the nightmare is just beginning. A casino cruise ship carrying high-stakes passengers—and a top-secret cargo—becomes the creature’s bloodsoaked hunting ground. Desperate but determined, Hawkins goes after the biggest catch of the century.
The whole world waits for the gates of Hell to open; at least half of them wait on their knees, praying for it to be quick, praying to a god not even the dead can say exists.
I have done all I can to prepare. All I can do now is wait with the rest. I don’t know if anyone will make it through, or if anyone will ever listen to this recording. I’m sure everyone’s version of events will be different, but the end will most likely be the same for us all. They are everywhere now, strange variations of the basic demonic form—horns, talons, and teeth. They too are waiting for the transition, the next convergence.
My name is Emily. I am twenty-three years old, and I will probably not make it to twenty-four. I don’t know what I’m hoping to achieve with this recording, if anything, but I have no one left to talk to, so you’ll have to do.
Originally published on Christmas in 1931 and widely regarded as A.M. Burrage’s masterpiece, “One Who Saw” tells the story of a wrtier enchanted by a spectre of a weeping woman. His obsession builds until her ghostly hand falls from her face and he, in horror, becomes “one who sees.”
Books that I’m Currently Reading
Tau Zero | Analogue | Flood | Throne of Glass | Fringe Runner
Books (and movies) I reviewed in June 2016 – Title links take you to the reviews.
Adult Books: Sandman Slim | Bob | Devour | BSI | The Private Sector | Beyond the Horizon | This Shattered Land | One Who Saw | Prometheus Ascending | Harmonic Resonance | The Last Day of Captain Lincoln | Genesis Girl | Alien Contact for Idiots | Devon’s Blade | 3 Gates of the Dead | Exodus | Fallow Ground | Giovanni Goes to Med School | Child of the Dead | In the After |
Kids Books (Full reviews only): Nothing Left to Ooze | Animal Planet Animal Atlas | Forest Secrets | Yobgorgle | If You Were Me… Renaissance Italy | Newfangled Fairy Tales | Animal Planet Wild Animals | Animal Planet Farm Animals |
“The Horror of Being Human: Why Psychological Thrillers Terrify Us” by Christa Wojciechowski
“What’s the Thought Process in Developing a Sci-Fi / Horror Story?” by Clive Riddle
“Writing Fantasy for Kids” by Margaret Dilloway
Top Ten Tuesday: