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10-15-10: '80! Memories & Reflections on Ursula K. Le Guin'

Life, Literature and Life in Literature

If you read deeply, then writers are an intimate part of your life. You can look back on a lifetime of reading and think, "I was in college and it was spring and I sat on the beach with a six pack reading 'The Word for World is Forest' for the first time." You can mark your life and trace your growth every time you see a title. The words are not just emblematic of the themes of the book they brand; they are signposts, stations on your life path.

Ursula K. Le Guin is the sort of writer whose work you remember reading. You remember where you were, how you felt before and how the reading changed your feelings. This is not a part of the reading experience that is often acknowledged. It happens in a private place, after all.

That brings us to '80! Memories & Reflections on Ursula K. Le Guin' (Aqueduct Press ; October 21, 2010 ; $19), edited by Karen Joy Fowler and Debbie Notkin, a collection in which writers explore and display the influence that Ursula K. Le Guin had upon their lives.

This is, from its conception, a very private book. We are told that Kim Stanley Robinson originally came up with the idea of a "Festschrift," that is, a privately published collection of appreciations for Le Guin from her fellow writers. From there, Karen Joy Fowler and Debbie Notkin, "who know a good idea when they hear one," according to the Acknowledgements at the back of the book, did the legwork and word work necessary to create '80!' It lives up its subject.

You'll find pretty much every kind of writing you can imagine in '80!', from fiction to criticism to poetry to memoir, to writing advice — you name it, you think it, and there's a version of it in this book. That variety makes the book itself easy to read, because you can pick it up, turn to just about any page, and if the style or content is not to your liking at the moment, then a quick flip will find a new style, and in some cases, a sort of writing that is truly unique.

The key to the appeal in this collection is of course its subject, Ursula K. Le Guin. She's clearly a literary giant, and more importantly, a reader's writer. Her work is not directed at genre, or literature, but at the readers. As such, it has an enormous effect on readers, and those who become writers — or already are when they first encounter her work — are able to articulate that effect with particular clarity. Kim Stanley Robinson, who began the whole project, manages to be both eloquent and entertaining. Richard Chwedyk opens the volume with "Rooms Must Explain Themselves," a powerfully understated poem, and Karen Joy Fowler offers an evocative sonnet.

There's some excellent criticism, including Lynn Alden Kendall's "Dancing the World," Eleanor Arnason's "Seven Ways of Looking at Ursula K. Le Guin and Deirdre Burns' "Ursula K. Le Guin's Narratives of Healing." And thankfully some fiction worthy of the book, my favorite being "Seamonsters" by Ama Patterson.

Also commendable here is the book design and layout. The font, the paper, and the presentation have a quality that makes '80!' worth of the writer it celebrates. It seems classy, not slick. This is more important here than in most books, because this is, after all, a book meant to celebrate reading a writer. The distinction matters; we all know that Ursula K. Le Guin is an important writer. But this book, about the effect that reading her work has on those who read it, suggests that being a great writer is only one half of the equation. A writer like Le Guin deserves readers like these — like you.

10-14-10: Jeff Conner's 'Classics Mutilated'


There's nothing new under the sun. Each day the blighted orb rises to re-heat last night's leftovers. This is particularly true in the literary world, where the shoulders of giants are in danger of collapsing from the crowds attempting to scale them. Of course, the chastity belts, or rather copyright laws, make these works seem both innovative and imaginative, dangerous and courageous. It's certainly not imaginative, and it's only innovative if you're working with a 64 K RAM cache. The only danger is that someone else will close in on your remix recipe before you do, and the only courage necessary is that required to put your name on someone else's art.

Is this all the fault of the word "meets"? As in, this book is like that book meets that book? It's such an easy and lazy way to talk about a book, or a movie, or any sort of art that it is almost irresistible. Far more difficult to say what a particular book actually is.

Which brings us to 'Classics Mutilated' (IDW Publishing ; October 26, 2010 ; $16.99), an over-sized, nicely produced piece of what editor Jeff Conner calls "CTRL-ALT-LIT." Since the success of any literary movement is largely depending on how catchy the tag is, there's a good (depending on your perspective) chance that this one will stick.

I wrote about a one-off novella from this book, the Joe R. Lansdale tale 'Dread Island,' back in August, and here's the next step in that evolution. The Lansdale tale (which I thoroughly enjoyed) concludes this collection; but alas, the illustrations are repeated only on the cover. The other twelve stories, by a number of top-notch writers avoid what Jeff Conner calls the "Monster Lit" stigma by leaving out vampires and zombies. Conner's introduction is an interesting remix in itself, ducking and bobbing, often very funny and insightful, even when the upshot of all this literary pigeonholing comes down to a batch of stories in which characters from well-known works of both literature and film are tossed into a new milieu. If you like this sort of thing, then this is a stellar collection. I must admit that although I want to really hate this, I found it pretty damn good. That's because no matter how unoriginal the idea is — and remember that we started this review with "There's nothing new under the sun" — the final result is the work of the author. Conner knew who to ask, and as a result, he got a good collection. But as a reviewer, I'm going to take a slightly different tack. Rather than talk about the cleverness of the combination, I'm going to treat each story as if it were indeed totally original, that is, to evaluate the works on the merit of what is on the page, not the relationship of what is on the page to something out there that others may or may not have read or care about.

"The Fairest of Them All" by Sean Taylor is a nicely effective tale of two worlds linked by mirrors and two half-sisters with a nicely complicated connection. Taylor writes evocative prose, and the women in the story have a nice heft. It's grim with an undercurrent of humor, and a good way to star the collection, as it sets an entertaining but substantive tone.

Marc Laidlaw's "Pokky Man" is the very peculiar and quite engrossing diary of an eclectic filmmaker asked to review footage of "Pokkypet Master" named Hemlock Pyne. If you love deadpan, and I mean run-over-and-left-to-dry-in-the-sun dead humor, this is your story. That deadpan take also allows Laidlaw to create an authentic atmosphere of dread. It's a very original and entertaining experiment.

On the lighter side, you have "Twilight of the Gods" by Chris Ryal, in which the immortal Gods of Asgard are created as vapid teenagers. It's played for laughs and gets them with a measured, almost mealy prose style.

Mark Morris' "Vicious" is the story of a punk rock icon who finds himself with the wrong sort of "bird," and the prose here is clearly the star. Morris effectively puts the reader inside the mind of a talented and powerful but immature young man, a kid whose talent is destined to drag him down. Rock and roll returns from the dead again in Rio Youers "Quoth the Rock Star," with a downbeat atmosphere and a charismatic protagonist.

If you're partial to good monster stories, and I am, then "From Hell's Heart" by Nancy Collins will certainly do the trick. Collins knows that the key to a good monster story is not in gore or violence, but in character, both of the man who pursues the monster (and perhaps becomes one in the process) and the monster itself.

Other stories include "Ann-droid of Green Gables" by Lezli Robyn, a steampunk tale of a young-girl AI, "Little Women in Black" by Rick Hautala, wishing you a very un-Merry Christmas, the eerie, poetic "Death Stopped for Miss Dickenson" by Kristine Kathryn Rusch, "Frankenbilly" by John Shirley, a gritty modern Western with a medical horror backbeat, and two very political horror stories, "The Green Menace" by Thomas Tessier and "The Happiest Hell on Earth" by John Skipp and Cody Goodfellow.

The power of genre fiction is such that in fact it is very difficult to suppress, and the allure of genre fiction collections is the variety they bring. 'Classics Mutilated' is, in the final analysis, a fine collection in spite of the trendy trappings. Which is as it should be. These works stand on their own, and any frisson you get by virtue of their predecessors is icing on the cake, the result of the each author's work. The book itself is very nice, with it's oddball size and format. It's easy to read and seems a lot more substantial than your average mass-market or trade paperback. The illustrations are occasionally effective, but rendered in a style that's a bit simplistic for my tastes. It strikes me that this might be avery good book to give a recalcitrant young reader. Perhaps IDW will make a CTRL-ALT-LIT t-shirt.

10-13-10: Jacques Vallee and Chris Aubeck Catalogue 'Wonders of the Sky'

Lights Before the Airships

There are many different ways to immerse one's self in a book. A novel offers the reader a chance to slip into another world, another life, and if it's good, enjoy that life. A work of non-fiction like 'The Wave' by Susan Chase offers the dual pleasures of information and immersion. It is not unlike a novel itself, with characters we care about who change in the course of the narrative. As we meet these characters, we learn from them. These are books that offer the pleasures of meeting specific people with singular lives.

But there's a pleasure in pure information that's engagingly presented. We love our lists. And some of us even like reading dictionaries and encyclopedias. The trick with list-style non-fiction is to avert boredom and repetition. It's also important to make sure the list is actually readable; to make sure the text is well presented. And finally there better damn well be something interesting on that list — like for example, historical reports of objects, lights and apparitions in the sky. For that requirement, you need look no farther than 'Wonders of the Sky: Unexplained Aerial Objects from Antiquity to Modern Times' (Tarcher / Penguin ; October 28, 2010 ; $22.95), by Jacques Vallee and Chris Aubeck.

The idea here is very simple. Vallee and Aubeck have combed through historical records to find records of lights in the sky and other related apparitions. The book is divided into three main sections. The longest is Part 1, "A Chronology of Wonders," running some 350 pages. This is the raw data you crave, a well-formatted list of sightings. The earliest is from 1460 BC in Upper Retjenu, Lebanon; the latest from October 10, 1879 in Dubuque, Iowa. The cutoff date of 1880 was chosen because technology began to put more and more objects in the skies — and in the minds of men. Entries range from half-page, single paragraphs to three pages; most are short.

Part II — "Myths, Legends and Chariots of the Gods," looks at hoaxes, religious visions, natural phenomena, and optical illusions. It's always nice to have a little balance (and humor) in a work of this nature, since otherwise proceedings can get a bit tedious.

Part III offers a look at "Sources and Methods." Here you'll find out where they looked (mostly), whom they trusted (sort of) and how the entries were screened. This is a welcome addition, especially as they look at a lot of ancient art.

There's a Forward by David J. Hufford, an Introduction by the authors, a conclusion, an index of sightings by place, and a list of illustrations, which are plentiful and welcome. The whole shebang tops out at 514 pages in a trade paperback format.

Now, whether you need this book or will read this book is really dependent on your interests and reading habits. On the plus side, this is a very nicely produced book. The entries are well written, informative, entertaining and have the ring of truth. The book design is great. It's easy to read and the entries are categorized and identified with icons. The reading experience itself — immersion in the list — is really quite unusual. There's a lot of variety here, including abductions, entities, objects, lights and communication. It's kind of mind-altering in the best possible way. The variety within the reports keeps the reading lively. You're liable to look up and find that two hours and four hundred years have dashed by.

Of course such a book is a boon to anyone wanting to write science fiction, particularly given the popularity of "steampunk." The index by place is a clever addition to help writers who are looking to populate a specific locale.

Vallee and Aubeck have a sort of monomaniacal approach to the material that really reigns in the history, and focuses on the sightings. This book is the written equivalent of those works of art in which hundreds or thousands of Polaroid photographs are arranged on a large canvas so that each photograph becomes a sort of pixel in a larger image. It's a really interesting effect to experience in reading prose, and the image is really quite clear, but not easily described. The authors mention that the "age of flying saucers" is generally thought to have started in 1947 with Kenneth Arnold's famous sighting of...flying saucers. Their contention is that these phenomena have been with us as long as we've been looking up and writing down what we saw, and they make a great case. 'Wonders in the Sky' is an ambitious book with an admirable goal that it easily achieves. What each reader experiences after having put all the Polaroids on their own mental walls will vary as widely as those who read the book. The really interesting step comes when those who have read the book begin to compare their descriptions of that larger image.

10-12-10: Darin Straus Lives 'Half a Life'

Reading the Grieving Mind

The facts are simple. At the age of eighteen, Darin Straus accidentally killed a classmate, when, while riding a bicycle, she swerved in front of his car. There was nothing he could do to prevent the accident. It was not his fault. She died after being taken to the hospital.

While the facts are simple, nothing else is. Straus was a teenager, and emotionally ill-equipped to deal with what had happened. Even a well-balanced, mature adult would find such an accident problematic. Straus went on to write some excellent, acclaimed novels, including 'Change and Eng' and 'More Than It Hurts You.' But he rarely told those in his life what had happened to him. 'Half A Life' is the story of his accident, his story. By turns harrowing and beautiful, poetic and powerful, 'Half A Life' is ultimately a rewarding, engrossing vision of a mind stunned but not stunted by grief.

The prose, the presentation, the punctuation, and even the layout of 'Half A Life' are sparse and stripped-down. Straus expertly evades all the potential traps of such a work, including the temptation to strip out all emotion. Every word seems perfectly placed, and this care gives the prose, to some degree, the feel of poetry. But don't mistake that to mean there is some sort of flowery or "artistic" aspect to the writing. The book is very, very easy to read, no matter how resistant you might yourself to be to the subject. There is nothing here but pure storytelling and precise observation. What remains is a gripping, almost clinical study of how an unformed mind copes with a tragic accident.

Though Straus tells the story of eighteen years of his own life, this doesn't read like a memoir or an autobiography. Readers will realize quite early on that Straus has set himself the very difficult task of creating himself, in his youth, as a character. To that end, there's a sense of balance and objectivity that pervades the story. Straus doesn't cut himself any slack and he doesn't indulge in nostalgia or sentiment. But he does not castigate or criticize his past self either. We know that the author of the book (and one tends to think of it as a novel though it is not) is a different person from the character of Darin Straus, ages eighteen through thirty-six. The author has compassion for his main character, and deep insight — but the prose construct is not writing the book. There's a very scientific feel to the portrayal of the main character, Darin Straus.

This is true for the others who play parts in the book as well, though they are clearly not the focus of the work. Darin's parents, his friends, his therapists, and the girl's parents are all dialed back. We see them, briefly, from the outside. Straus never presumes to know what they are thinking, and to a degree, he doesn't care, and neither do we as readers. 'Half a Life' really does feel like a clinical character study.

Though the book focuses on Darin, it's not solipsistic or narcissistic in any way. 'Half a Life' covers those eighteen years in about 200 very small-size pages. If that seems short, it is. Eighteen years of anyone's life might reasonably seem to require more words than Straus supplies, but this book is a very plot-driven story focusing on the effect of the accident. Everything that is not related to the accident is left behind. This does not mean the book consists entirely of self-description. There's quite a bit of what in a novel would be called plot. The follow-on to the accident is not what readers or Straus himself expect. And there is, in the clinical perspective, a finely honed sense of the absurd that is occasionally rather funny. The feel of the book is well modulated. It's powerful but never over-powering. This is a surprisingly fun book to read, especially given the nature of the subject.

Straus himself is careful to point out that in life, epiphanies are rare. And there are no overtly "magic moments" to be found in 'Half a Life.' But the prose is so perfectly plain that there are literally hundreds of sentences readers will remember, and hundreds more that they will want to remember. This is a book that is very easy to go back and visit in your memory, a book that you can enjoy after reading without re-reading. It's also the sort of book that is so easy to read in the first place, that reading it again is something you might well look forward to. If you're looking for a clear-eyed, informative and practically helpful guide to grief, look no further. By not pretending or even attempting to offer advice, Straus offers those in need of solace (and everyone else) something infinitely more valuable. Company.

10-11-10: Steven Kotler Utters 'A Small Furry Prayer'

Humans, Dogs, Civilization and Rescue

"It was the season of nowhere to hide," writes Steven Kotler in 'A Small Furry Prayer' (Bloomsbury ; September 28, 2010 ; $24). But hiding is something that we do well. We're so immersed in the events of each day that it is hard to pull back and get an overview of who we are and how we feel. The immersive and reflective nature of reading, which seems to help us escape our lives, actually does the opposite. We read books to undo our familiarity with the things around us, and upon returning from a reading experience, we see them afresh and anew. Reading helps us unhide.

Steven Kotler has a peculiar talent for helping readers unhide. In 'West of Jesus,' he wrote of his own life — his discovery that he had Lyme disease and his pursuit of surfing as a spiritual and neurological cure — in a manner that engagingly took readers on an out-of-life experience, from which they could return refreshed and informed with new questions. But this was only the beginning of Kotler's autobiographical exploration of nothing less than the meaning of life. 'A Small Furry Prayer' starts, well, just west of Jesus, but ends up in New Mexico, where Kotler and his wife now run a dog rescue operation at Rancho de Chihuahua. Kotler still knows how to ask questions, big and small. This book answers only some of the questions, but offers readers the perspective to ask the same questions, and the language to answer them.

Kotler's second memoir offers all the charms of his first, in particular, what I'd call his "moron charm," that is, his willingness to plunge head-first into herculean tasks for which he is clearly ill-equipped. In 'A Small Furry Prayer,' Kotler moves into a tiny Los Feliz apartment with his wife-to-be and eight dogs. When the plummeting economy and real-estate market force them out, he makes a snap decision to buy a house in Chimayo, New Mexico, where he and his intended will run a dog-rescue operation. This does not prove to be as easy as it might sound.

Kotler's prose is always funny, and reading 'A Small Furry Prayer' is a pleasure even when what Kotler is describing sounds anything but pleasurable. Joy, his wife, has been immersed in dog rescue for years, and Kotler finds himself involved in a huge and fairly unknown underground movement of vets and ordinary folks who simply cannot let dogs die in pounds if they can make a difference. As they build out the ranch and build up their operation, Kotler explores the movement and its scientific and sociological implications, which are by virtue of Kotler's writerly skills, endlessly fascinating.

On one hand, we have the ground level tales imbued with Kotler's seemingly endless moron charm, as he confronts a donkey and even the DEA, since their chosen new home turns out to be the black tar heroin capital of the US. Kotler lurches in with the best of intentions and when he finds himself in a hot spot, he turns either to his trusted and fascinatingly fixated wife, Joy, or any one of a number of neighbors and friends who pitch in to help with the dogs.

And here we get to another bit of well-done characterization, as the animal characters in 'A Small Furry Prayer' are a big part of the draw. Kotler's creation of dogs in prose avoids the cute, bypasses the nature-boy crap, and goes straight for the heart and the soul of the creatures in his care. From Ahab, his half-husky, half-Rottweiler who ate his couch, to Farah, the Chihuahua who showed her concern when Kotler was sick and stopped eating for a couple of day by puking into his mouth while he snored on the couch, you'll meet a series of canine who are inevitably pure dog, but no less individual than any of the humans.

But Kotler is not satisfied as a writer with simply telling us what happened to him, as humorous and entertaining as it may be. He also examines the sociological context of the dog rescue movement, which is larger and quieter than you'd ever imagine. The numbers are astonishing, the people are riveting and the implications are heartening. There are a lot of people out there who have made it their choice to simply help dogs who might otherwise be killed. It's bigger than many churches and shares the central conceit of any religion worth the name, that is, compassion. These people are all about helping the helpless.

Investigating why this might be leads Kotler to his other true love, the latest and most breaking news from the world of modern neuroscience. So you'll get to hear about mirror neurons, and the latest theories of co-evolution between man and wolf. The case for us having learned cooperation from wolves, rather than the other way around, seems to be getting stronger. And in any event it makes for a great, thought-provoking stew when you combine it with Kotler's tales from Rancho de Chihuahua.

The upshot of what might seem to be a rather scattered combination of interests proves to be a coherent whole that it much larger than the sum of the parts. Kotler's book is funny and informative. He knows how to write himself as a character who takes the reader through the book without making us overly aware of his skill as a writer. Here's a book that charms, speaks to the heart, involves the mind, and challenges your intellect without overwhelming you. Sure you might shed a tear or two, now and again. Such is the state of our world that dog rescue is not always possible. Sometimes, you just have to do what you can do with what the world presents to you, follow your heart and try to find the smartest path on a moment-by-moment basis. And if a dog vomiting in your mouth proves to be, in the final analysis, a good thing, an indicator of connectedness, then perhaps your life answering the call of the wild is not the end, but only the beginning.

New to the Agony Column

09-18-15: Commentary : William T. Vollman Amidst 'The Dying Grass' : An Epic Exploration of Simultaneity

Agony Column Podcast News Report : A 2015 Interview with William T. Vollman : "...a lot of long words that in our language are sentences..."

09-05-15: Commentary : Susan Casey Listens to 'Voices in the Ocean' : Science, Empathy and Self

Agony Column Podcast News Report : A 2015 Interview with Susan Casey : "...the reporting for this book was emotionally difficult at times..."

Agony Column Podcast News Report UPDATE: Time to Read Episode 213: Susan Casey : Voices in the Ocean: A Journey into the Wild and Haunting World of Dolphins

08-24-15: Commentary : Felicia Day Knows 'You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost)' : Transformative Technology

Agony Column Podcast News Report : A 2015 Interview with Felicia Day : "I think you have to be attention curators for audience in every way."

08-22-15: Agony Column Podcast News Report UPDATE: Time to Read Episode 212: Felicia Day : You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost)

08-21-15: Agony Column Podcast News Report : Senator Claire McCaskill is 'Plenty Ladylike' : Internalizing Determination to Overcome Sexism [Incudes Time to Read EP 211: Claire McCaskill, Plenty Ladylike, plus A 2015 Interview with Senator Claire McCaskill]

Agony Column Podcast News Report : Emily Schultz Unleashes 'The Blondes' : A Cure by Color [Incudes Time to Read EP 210: Emily Schultz, The Blondes, plus A 2015 Interview with Emily Schultz]

08-10-15:Agony Column Podcast News Report : In Memory of Alan Cheuse : Thank you Alan, and Your Family, for Everything

07-11-15: Commentary : Robert Repino Morphs 'Mort(e)' : Housecat to Harbinger of the Apocalypse

Agony Column Podcast News Report : A 2015 Interview with Robert Repino : " even bigger threat. which is us, the humans..."

Agony Column Podcast News Report UPDATE: Time to Read Episode 208: Robert Repino : Mort(e)

07-05-15: Commentary : Dr. Michael Gazzaniga Tells Tales from Both Sides of the Brain : A Life in Neuroscience Reveals the Life of Science

Agony Column Podcast News Report : A 2015 Interview with Michael Gazzaniga : "We made the first observation and BAM there was the disconnection effect..."

Agony Column Podcast News Report UPDATE: Time to Read Episode 208: Michael Gazzaniga : Tales from Both Sides of the Brain: A Life in Neuroscience

06-26-15: Commentary : Neal Stephenson Crafts an Eden for 'Seveneves' : Blow It Up and Start All Over Again

Agony Column Podcast News Report : A 2015 Interview with Neal Stephenson : "...and know that you're never going to se a tree again..."

Agony Column Podcast News Report UPDATE: Time to Read Episode 207: Neal Stephenson : Seveneves

06-03-15: Commentary : Dan Simmons Opens 'The Fifth Heart' : Having it Every Way

Agony Column Podcast News Report : A 2015 Interview with Dan Simmons : "...yes, they really did bring those bombs..."

Agony Column Podcast News Report UPDATE: Time to Read Episode 206: Dan Simmons : The Fifth Heart

05-23-15: Commentary : John Waters Gets 'Carsick' : Going His Way

Agony Column Podcast News Report : A 2015 Interview with John Waters : " change how you would be in real life...”

Agony Column Podcast News Report UPDATE: Time to Read Episode 205: John Waters : Carsick

05-09-15: Commentary : Jeffrey A. Lieberman, MD and 'Shrinks' : A Most Fashionable Take on the Human Mind

Agony Column Podcast News Report : A 2015 Interview with Jeffrey A. Lieberman, MD : "..its influence to be as hegemonic as it was..."

Agony Column Podcast News Report UPDATE: Time to Read Episode 204: Jeffrey A. Lieberman, MD : Shrinks: The Untold Story of Psychiatry

04-29-15: Commentary : Barney Frank is 'Frank' : Interpersonally Ours

Agony Column Podcast News Report : A 2015 Interview with Barney Frank : "...while you're trying to change it, don't ignore it..."

Agony Column Podcast News Report UPDATE: Time to Read Episode 203: Barney Frank : Frank: A Life in Politics from the Great Society to Same-Sex Marriage

04-21-15: Commentary : Kazuo Ishiguro Unearths 'The Buried Giant' : The Mist of Myth and Memory

Agony Column Podcast News Report : A 2015 Interview with Kazuo Ishiguro : ".... by the time I was writing this novel, the lines between what was fantasy and what was real had blurred for me..."

Agony Column Podcast News Report UPDATE: Time to Read Episode 202: Kazuo Ishiguro : The Buried Giant

04-17-15: Commentary : Erik Larson Follows a 'Dead Wake' : Countdown to Destiny

Agony Column Podcast News Report : A 2015 Interview with Erik Larson : "...said to have been found in the arms of a dead German sailor..."

Agony Column Podcast News Report UPDATE: Time to Read Episode 201: Erik Larson : Dead Wake

04-15-15: Commentary : Peter Bell Reflects 'A Certain Slant of Light' : Strange Stories of Modern Scholars

Agony Column Podcast News Report : A 2014 Interview with Peter Bell : "...I looked up some of the old books..."

Agony Column Podcast News Report UPDATE: Time to Read Episode 200: Peter Bell : Strange Epiphanies and A Certain Slant of Light

03-14-15: Commentary : Marc Goodman Foresees 'Future Crimes' : Exponential Potential

Agony Column Podcast News Report : A 2015 Interview with Marc Goodman : "...every physical object around us is being transformed, one way or another, into an information technology..."

Agony Column Podcast News Report UPDATE: Time to Read Episode 199: Marc Goodman : Future Crimes: Everything Is Connected, Everyone Is Vulnerable and What We Can Do About It

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