“The Poet in the Hologram in the Middle of Prime Time” (1972) by Ed Bryant

“That’s right, friends! Imagine yourself the star of your own show in your own home! All you need is the fantastic new Twenty-Twenty holovision plan, available only from UniCom.”

 

I read this short story in Nova 2 (1972) edited by Harry Harrison. I will be working my way through this anthology as part of my Short Story Tarot Challenge.

nova2red

Cover Art by Enrico Scull

Brief Summary
Ransom is a struggling poet who makes a living writing ‘holovision’ shows for a huge corporation. He lives in a ‘labyrinthian apartment block’ in a polluted city where windows ‘stay permanently shut.’ He hates writing scripts for UniCom and is hatching a plan to break free from its soulless grip. Continue reading

Tracking Song (1975) by Gene Wolfe

‘I want to leave a record of what has happened to me, so that if someone comes for me, and finds me dead, he will understand.’

 

TRACKING SONG by Gene Wolfe was originally published in 1975. It first appeared in the anthology In the Wake of Man, which also featured stories by R.A. Lafferty and Walter F. Moudy. The story’s next appearance was in Wolfe’s own collection The Island of Doctor Death and Other Stories and Other Stories (1980). It is 70 pages long. (You can find it here in issue #90 of Lightspeed Magazine.)

in the wake of man

Cover art by Nick Aristovulos

Brief Summary
The protagonist of the story has lost his memory and his way. He wakes up in a wintry landscape after being found by a local tribe of animal-like humanoids. He cannot remember his own name nor where he is from. The tribe members call him “Cutthroat” due to a birthmark on his neck. They tell him they discovered his unconscious body in the snow after the ‘Great Sleigh’ had passed. What the Great Sleigh is, he also can’t recall. Cutthroat sets off on a journey to find the Great Sleigh, seeking answers to who he is and where he came from. Continue reading

Short Story Tarot Challenge

The challenge is: 78 weeks, 78 short stories! Let’s see how far I get;-)

thoth image1

I’m going to use a Tarot deck to randomly select a short story to read each week. I’m using the Thoth Tarot deck which was painted by Lady Frieda Harris following instructions from Aleister Crowley. It’s a beautiful deck and was recommended to me by my brother.

I have a lot of unread short stories in my tbr pile. I also have a deck of tarot cards that has been collecting dust in a drawer for years. I will combine them as a way to get me back into reading. I know very little about the tarot, so I’m hoping to learn more about it through this challenge. Continue reading

Retrospective for 2019

View of the Inland Sea, seen from Awashima shrine

Well, another year draws to a close so it’s time to reveal Who’s Dreaming Who’s most viewed posts for 2019. Which authors and books attracted the most clicks this year? Without further ado, here’s 2019’s Top 20 viewed posts:

(Clicking on the number will take you to the review.)

1. The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick (2011) Edited by Pamela Jackson & Jonathan Lethem
2. Impostor (1953) by Philip K. Dick
3. Pyramids (1989) by Terry Pratchett
4. Inverted World (1974) by Christopher Priest
5. The Big Time (1958) by Fritz Leiber
6. The Fog Horn (1951) by Ray Bradbury
7. Neuromancer (1984) by William Gibson
8. Groo versus Conan (2013) by Sergio Aragones et al
9. Ubik (1969) by Philip K. Dick
10. Burning Chrome (1986) by William Gibson
11. Fairyland (1995) by Paul McAuley
12. The Transmigration of Timothy Archer (1982) by Philip K. Dick
13. Mona Lisa Overdrive (1988) by William Gibson
14. Good Omens (1990) by Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman
15. Rosewater (2016) by Tade Thompson
16. The City and the City (2009) by China Mieville
17. Oh, to be a Blobel (1964) by Philip K. Dick
18. White Time (2000) by Margo Lanagan
19. Ten Thousand Light-Years from Home (1973) by James Tiptree, Jr
20. The Best Science Fiction & Fantasy: Vol.12 (2018) Edited by Jonathan Strahan

Continue reading

Usagi Yojimbo by Stan Sakai

merry christmas from japan

“メリークリスマス!”

 

“A samurai should always be prepared for death – whether his own or someone else’s.”


I first got into Usagi Yojimbo back in the 1980s; just under 40 years ago! My brother lent me an early collection of Stan Sakai’s tales of the wandering rabbit ronin and I fell in love with it immediately. I was already developing an interest in all things Japanese at that point in my life so this was a perfect comic book for me. It introduced me to some Japanese words and gave me glimpses into some aspects of traditional Japanese culture. It also featured regular doses of samurai swordplay, ninja attacks and a myriad of mythological creatures. Can you believe that Stan Sakai has been chronicling the adventures of Usagi Yojimbo for 40 years? That’s very impressive! Continue reading

Dark Force Rising (1992) by Timothy Zahn

‘It was, Leia judged, the right moment. Glancing down at her belt, she reached out through the Force with all the power and control she could manage–‘

 

After reviewing Timothy Zahn’s Heir to the Empire at the end of October, I was left hungry for more. I quickly followed it with the next book in the Thrawn Trilogy, Dark Force Rising. It’s taken me a while to get this review up and out there, but here it is. This could be the review you are looking for…

dark force 1

My Thoughts
Is this the book you’re looking for? Well, I guess that depends on what you are seeking. It’s Star Wars, not high literature. In other words, you pretty much know what you are going to get. Does it succeed as a Star Wars novel? Yes, very much so. Like its predecessor, Heir to the Empire, it’s entertaining space fantasy. What really makes it work for me is the characters. Spending time with Luke, Leia, Han and Lando as they continue their adventures in a galaxy far, far away is rewarding as well as fun. I’m happy to admit that I’ve become invested in the new characters, particularly Mara Jade and the villainous Thrawn. I wonder how their narratives will unfold. Bring on the final book in the trilogy, The Last Command. Continue reading

Chiller Pocket Book #1 (1980)

‘Death is on wing this coal-dark eve. It soars as a silent smokey wisp through the long shadows over Boston’s Beacon Hill.’

 

Marvel Digest Series: Chiller Pocket Book #1

Chiller #1 was released in March 1980. It was part of Marvel UK’s Pocket Book series which lasted for 28 issues. Edited by Dez Skinn, it featured black-and-white reprints of Marvel Comics’ Tomb of Dracula #59 & #60 (Aug. & Sep. 1977) plus “Deathsong,”a story from Marvel Premiere #27 (Dec 1975) starring Satana, the Devil’s Daughter. The Dracula stories were written by Marv Wolfman and drawn by Gene Colan & Tom Palmer. The Satana story was written by Chris Claremont with art by The Tribe.

Continue reading