Saturday, June 23, 2018

A Tale of Two Books...with a bonus

July 10 is the laydown date, to use a vintage publishing term, for the release of Blood and Gasoline, the latest anthology from Hex Publishers and which I edited. John Hartness wrote the foreword and I lifted this to use as the cover blurb: Mad Max meets Sons of Anarchy. It's a collection of desperate characters cornered in desperate situations--my kind of stories. I won't say which were my favorite because I can't; they all kick ass! Some contributors hit the theme of the anthology square--High-Octane, High-Velocity Action!--while others approached the premise in a more round-about way. I guess the difference is between getting blasted with a shotgun versus getting shivved in the neck. In any event, the stories won't disappoint. If you're in the Denver area, the book launch is July 10, 7PM, Tattered Cover Colfax.

The second book is one that a friend turned me onto, Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind by Yuval Noah Harari. This is a study of human sociological evolution in which he starts with the prehistoric origins of humans, moving to how we "homo sapiens" became the dominant of the human species, and then how we progressed through what he defines as the Cognitive, Agricultural, and Scientific Revolutions. His discourse into the Cognitive period was the most illuminating as he explained why we need to cook food, for example, and more to the point of this blog, that we needed to invent stories and myths to bind together as societies. However, the second half of the book drags and he keeps repeating himself. The narrative, sadly, betrays his leftist slant, and he frequently uses the US and Christianity as the bad examples, shying away from similar criticism of his home state of Israel, the European Union, Judaism, Islam, or any other of the SJW sacred cows. In his Q&A, he again chastises the US, this time for our reaction to 9/11, calling terrorism the equivalent to a fly in a china shop. As if the cold-blooded murder of almost 3000 people in a single day was simply the action of a fly. Harari is enamored with technology and gushes on how science can cure our ills while never mentioning how it can overcome poverty and crime. Show me the nanobots and other futuristic gizmos that will eliminate murder, avarice, lust, envy, sloth, mendacity, and greed. I'll bet good money that in Harari's fanciful tomorrow, people will still be as rotten as they've always been. Which is good for us crime writers.

For your summer listening recreation, here's my audio short story about opioid addiction, robbery, a vampire, and murder on Short Tale Broadcasts, Takers Find Givers.

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