This week’s Teaser Tuesday comes from The Night Bird, by Brian Freeman, in which a serial killer starts targeting the patients of a psychiatrist whose therapeutic technique involves replacing her patients’ traumatic memories with new, non-traumatic ones, thus curing them of their phobias or whatever. Sort of like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, only without the attractions of any actual science fiction or Kate Winslet.
Recently I was reading Night After Night, by one of my favorite authors, Phil Rickman, who wrote a couple of amazing horror novels back in the day, but who’s now probably best known for the Merrily Watkins series of (somewhat) paranormal mystery novels. This one is not a Merrily Watkins novel, but it is a—wait for it!—paranormal mystery. Of sorts.
This week I’m partway through another dead tree book, A Family Affair, the final “proper” (i.e., written by Rex Stout) Nero Wolfe novel, although after this I do still have a book containing a few stories that were discovered and published posthumously. As for the other posthumous”Nero Wolfe” books, well, we aleady discussed how those don’t exist …
So this week I’m still reading Brave New Worlds, but I’m also re-reading The Father Hunt, by Rex Stout. And since most of the stories in Brave New Worlds have been firmly on the “meh” side (it was heavily front-loaded with the better ones), I decided I would do something highly unusual and feature a print book Teaser Tuesday this week.
This past week we watched “Spring”, a low-budget indie film that we got as a disc from Netflix.
These days, I do nearly all my reading on an e-reader, currently an InkBook Obsidian, but I do on occasion return to the dead tree books of yore. Typically this will be because someone gave or loaned me said dead tree edition. Such was the case with Dune, which, being a door-stopper of a book, I eventually bought in e-form so I wouldn’t have to fight with it when reading at lunch; and such is the case with the Nero Wolfe books, which my father sent to me in a box a while back. I’ve read them all before, but now I’m reading them again, because who doesn’t like to spend some time visiting old friends? The one I’m currently into is Plot it Yourself, in which Wolfe goes up against a con artist with a fondness for pretending that popular novels are plagiarisms of his or her own work, and also for knives.
So this week I’ve been reading People Like Us, by Zichao Deng, an amusing, quasi-journal-style crime caper in which two criminally-inclined Englishmen in Brittany plot to relieve a nunnery of an unidentified, but evidently very valuable, artifact.
So this week I’m reading Hard Bite, by one “Anonymous-9”, who as far as I know is not one of these guys:
So I previously mentioned that, having finished “Breaking Bad“, I have now been charged with finding a new show that can catch and hold my wife’s attention. Although there’s been no shortage of suggestions on shows that might fit the bill, those who are familiar with my movie rating system (“This movie put my wife to sleep in X minutes”) will not be surprised to hear that the search is not going well. WARNING: Minor spoilers below!
No random rejections, reviews, or scans of early childhood scribblings this week — it’s the last day of my vacation! But rather than let Sunday go home empty-handed from Scribblings, here’s a randomly selected short story from the unpublished archives. Any resemblance to Night at the Museum is purely coincidental, as this story predates it by many years; any resemblance to the “Zuni Fetish Doll” episode of the old Trilogy of Terror television movie, on the other hand, is less coincidental, although I play the scenario more for comedy than for horror.
One interesting thing about this story is its reliance on the Internet for a few plot points, making it probably one of the first stories I wrote that did so. Another issue that befell this story is that, as I used to do with all my books and stories, it was originally stored in Microsoft Binder format — a format that has since been abandoned. Although there is an extractor that is supposed to be able to pull the contents of a Binder file out into their component files, it didn’t work all that well on this file, and I was forced to reconstruct it by looking at the binary (gibberish-filled) Binder file itself, and piece the story together that way. I think I got all of it, but I’m not completely sure (although I do know that the ending that’s there is original and complete). The moral of this story is to be wary of weird minor proprietary file formats, or else to make sure you always keep (and can run) a copy of the original software that created the files.
And now for our feature presentation, “The Patter of Little Feet”!