Sparg by Brian Trent

Art by Melissa Mead

This is the next story included in the 2014 Campbellian Anthology.

Published: August, 2013 in Daily Science Fiction

Genre: science fiction

Setting: Mars, near future

Summary: Sparg, which we slowly learn is a pet octopus (or something like that) on Mars, is going through the motions of creating breakfast to bring its owners back. It doesn’t like being alone, and it desperately hopes its actions will return things to the way they were. Unfortunately, we learn the family left suddenly because of an attack on Mars and isn’t likely to return any time soon.

Final thoughts: An interesting viewpoint for a basic story. You start our trying to figure out why the narrator is having such a hard time making pancakes. Through flashbacks, we slowly piece together the setting and why the creature is making breakfast. Ultimately, it’s quite a sad story – Sparg was left behind, with no knowledge of why the family left or when it will come back, but it really hopes they do come back. But the reader knows the family won’t be coming back, and Sparg is left with its OCD, trying to recreate just the right conditions to bring them back.

Title comes from: The name of the pet who was our narrator for the story.

 

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If… by David J. Smith

I saw this posted somewhere and thought it would make a good Fun Math book. So, I picked it up from the library. Even though I don’t usually review picture books, I thought this one was interesting enough to be worth a post.

Subtitle: A Mind-Bending New Way of Looking at Big Ideas and Numbers

Illustrator: Steve Adams

Published: 2014

Genre: nonfiction math picture book

Length: 40 pages Continue reading

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Winter of the World by Ken Follett

This is the second book in the Century Trilogy and I’m going to try to finish the series this year, instead of letting it hang around for a few years.

Published: 2013

Genre: historical fiction

Length: 940 pages

Font: Warnock Pro

Setting: USA, Germany, England, and the USSR, 1933-1949 Continue reading

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The Pianist by Wladyslaw Szpilman

The summer reading program a few years ago required trying to get bingo on a card full of different book genres. I wanted a history book and saw this book as I was scanning the shelves. I picked it up because it had been made into a movie and because it was about a pianist (I play the piano, so music books are always a plus).

Subtitle: The Extraordinary True Story of One Man’s Survival in Warsaw, 1939-1945

Published: 1999 in the U.S., 1946 in Poland

Genre: nonfiction memoir

Length: 224 pages

Setting: Warsaw, 1939-1945 Continue reading

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No Graves As Yet by Anne Perry

I’ve been working my way through Ken Follett’s 900+ page tome Winter of the World, which is enjoyable, but still takes a long time to actually finish. So, I’ve got a couple of old book reviews for you this week.

I picked up this Anne Perry book because of the library’s summer reading program. They did a bingo card with different genres in each square, and I needed a mystery. Anne Perry has quite a few books published, so I decided to try one of her books for my mystery square.

Published: 2003

Genre: mystery

Length: 384 pages

Setting: 1914, England Continue reading

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The Tell by David Brin

This is the next story in the Future Visions anthology. I’ve read several books by David Brin, most recently rereading the Uplift saga.

Published: 2016

Genre: science fiction

Setting: near future, mostly in Vegas Continue reading

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Icefalcon’s Quest by Barbara Hambly

I’m a little late posting because I just didn’t have the energy to do a blog post last night. I’m rehearsing for a new play, and had a late rehearsal last night. By the time I got home, I just couldn’t muster the energy to get a book review written up. But, I’ve got time and energy now. I’m writing up an old book review. Apparently, I picked this book up at the library’s book sale. I read a lot of Hambly as a kid (my aunt, whose science fiction and fantasy collection I frequently browsed, had several of her books) and figured it would be a safe and enjoyable read.

Published: 1998

Genre: fantasy

Length: 368 pages Continue reading

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