So this week, and probably for a week or two more, I’m reading Great North Road, a science fiction murder mystery by Peter F. Hamilton. As far as I know, this book, like the excellent Fallen Dragon, is a standalone novel, unrelated to and not set in the same universe as the “Commonwealth” novels (the also-excellent Pandora’s Star and Judas Unchained, the what-most-people-seem-to-consider-better-but-I-consider-only-pretty-good “Void” series, of which I’ve so far only read the first one) or the “Night’s Dawn” series, of which I’ve so far read, uh, nothing. It’s also, being Peter F. Hamilton, a doorstopper, or would be if it weren’t an eBook, which is why I’ll probably still be reading it next week. Fortunately, like most Hamilton books, it’s shaping up to be―you guessed it―excellent.
So about 18 months ago, I read a book called The Line, which I quite liked. A while back the rest of the “Witching Savannah” series went on sale for like $1.99 each, so I picked up the rest of them, and this week, the random book picker on my eReader said I should read the next book in the series. That would be this one:
So I did ultimately end up binning the book from last week’s Teaser Tuesday, and a couple of subsequent books as well that were pretty ho-hum from the start, but we finally have a winner: The Line (Witching Savannah #1), by J.D. Horn.
This week’s free book is Deadland: Untold Stories of Alice in Deadland, by Mainak Dhar, in which, apparently, Alice follows an undead rabbit (or something like that) down a hole and becomes a zombie-slaying machine. If this reminds you of American McGee’s “Alice”, you’re not alone.
As you can see by my sidebar, Neil Gaiman is one of my favorite authors; I’ve loved all of his books except one — his children’s book, Coraline, pretty much left me cold. I can’t really explain what I didn’t like about Coraline; it just didn’t grab me the way Gaiman’s books usually do. I was interested to see if The Graveyard Book would be different, and it sure was.
A couple of weeks ago, I posted something I wrote as a kid, Rabbit’s Journal, something that I later learned is called a “typecast” (probably from a combination of “typewriter” and “podcast”). That seemed to be pretty popular, and so, I now present the continuing adventures of Rabbit Rawlings (yes, he had a last name … all my stuffed animals did). For this one, I evidently had an assist from my brother John, although I couldn’t tell you who wrote what.
“Trailblazing” appeared in the webzine Grimoire in 1999. I wrote this story after taking a vacation in Shenandoah National Park. If you enjoy hiking and rustic cabins, this is a good place to visit, especially during the off-season. (We went in early June, when it was still misty and cold in the mountains.) Just watch out for the witches.
The red Camaro roared up Skyline Drive, splitting the early morning silence with the growl of its engine. It was going much faster than the speed limit of thirty-five miles an hour, but Kevin figured that was okay. His vehicle really hugged the road.
“There’s another one!” his brother yelled, leaning forward to point out the window at a deer that had been grazing along the shoulder. Now it was scrambling up the steep hill into the forest, trying to get away from the onrushing car. Johnny sank back into his seat, wheezing with laughter. “God, you can’t swing a dead cat in here without hitting one of them things.”
They flew over the crest of a hill, not quite leaving the pavement. This brought them to one of the short, infrequent straightaways along Skyline Drive. Kevin gunned the engine. Trees and patchy mist flew by. As the road dipped and curved, a small white-tailed deer darted out of the woods. Kevin stomped on the brakes. The tires locked and the car skidded to a halt, but not before the startled-looking animal went down beneath it.
“Damn it!” Kevin put the car into reverse. The carcass thumped and scraped against the undercarriage before they finally cleared it. The collision had left a brownish-red smear on the road.
Kevin pulled into an overlook on the right and got out to check the car. Other than the bumper, the damage was minimal. He was bent over and checking the undercarriage when Johnny said, “Hey, Kev, there’s a trail here. Let’s do this one, huh?”
Kevin went to his brother, who stood before a vertical trail map of a place called Virago Mountain. The path ran a twisting line to the summit. “Okay, sure,” Kevin said.
“Great!” Johnny fetched the K-Mart bag full of spray paint from under his seat. He coated the sign with a brown squiggle to cover up the trail map. Then he turned to Kevin, grinned, and said, “Let’s go.”