RAISING STEAM by Terry Pratchett

RAISING STEAM by Terry Pratchett is a book in his marvellous Discworld series. As in all the books of this series, Sir Pratchett spins an immensely readable yarn centered on the impact of an idea, an invention or the like into Discworld society. The ideas he’s tackled include the introduction of paper money; the post office; telegraph; deity, religion, and the corruptible priesthood; warfare rooted in ages-old history; terrorism; and in RAISING STEAM the introduction of the steam locomotive. His characters are satirical and humorous, often takes on historical and literary icons, from Machiavelli’s Prince to LoTze to Don Giovanni. Discworld is unlike our own on the surface, but seen through Pratchett’s satirical lens, the reader finds hilarious commentary on our own world and its foibles. His impressive social intelligence and wicked sense of humor make for an engaging read.

April 5, 2014 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: Facing History, Humorous, Speculative (Beyond Reality)

THE GREAT NIGHT by Chris Adrian

In this phantasmagorical tale, Chris Adrian reshaped “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” into a mammoth, messy, tilted, erotic, meandering reimagining of Shakespeare’s comedy into an elaborate feast of faeries and monsters, Lilliputians and giants, demons and derelicts, heart-broken humans and a group of outspoken homeless people who are staging a musical reenactment of Soylent Green. And that is just a segment of the odd and atavistic population of characters that you will meet in this multiple narrative tale of loss, love and exile. As you enter San Francisco’s Buena Vista Park during this millennial summer solstice, the moon shines eerie and luminous over creatures large and small, and a thick wall of fog sluggishly spreads its fingers during the celebration known to the faerie kingdom as the “Great Night.”

April 26, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: California, Humorous, Speculative (Beyond Reality), Unique Narrative


What a father Salman Rushdie would make! Imagine being read to from a book that opens with “a boy named Luka who had two pets, a bear named Dog and a dog named Bear.” And then to learn that the former “was an expert dancer, able to get up onto his hind legs and perform with subtlety and grace the waltz, the polka, the rhumba, the wah-watusi, and the twist, as well as dances from nearer home, the pounding bhangra, the twirling ghoomar (for which he wore a wide mirror-worked skirt), the warrior dances known as the spaw and the thang-ta, and the peacock dance of the south.”

November 18, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: Speculative (Beyond Reality), World Lit, y Award Winning Author


A “tangle” of sea serpents, (as in a pod of whales, or a litter of puppies or kittens), made their way from the sea, fighting to move up the Rain Wilds River in the perilous journey to their ancient cocooning grounds. These sickly serpents, the first of their kind in generations, were led by the dragon queen Tintaglia, in the hopes of preventing the race of dragons from dying out. The serpents were too weak to make it to their intended destination and stopped, out of necessity, in the Rain Wilds, where the river’s acid waters and thick, impenetrable forests is a hard place for any to survive, let alone hibernate and hatch into healthy “dragonlings.” It was in this unhealthy environment that they spun their wizardwood cocoons and went into hibernation….

February 14, 2010 · Judi Clark · Comments Closed
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: Speculative (Beyond Reality)

SHADES OF GREY by Jasper Fforde

Reading SHADES OF GREY requires a shift in perspective. In this fantasy world of Jasper Fforde’s one’s place in society is based on their perception of color and which colors they can perceive. People wear a small badge or “spot” to indicate their hue perceptivity.

January 1, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: 2009 Favorites, Humorous, Speculative (Beyond Reality), Unique Narrative


In a nod to the harsh realities for children in Dickens’ OLIVER TWIST, the magic in the Harry Potter series, and the kind of society-building of Neal Stephenson’s ANATHEM and Bernard Beckett’s GENESIS, David Whitley presents a superbly paced novel about two children whose brooding, plague-infested city puts a price on everything, including human life.

September 1, 2009 · Judi Clark · Comments Closed
Tags:  · Posted in: Speculative (Beyond Reality), y Award Winning Author