Category: Books

May 26th, 2017 by Michael Sauers

From Amazon.com:

In 1950, Senator Joseph McCarthy declared that the State Department was a haven for communists and traitors. Among famous targets, like Alger Hiss, the senator also named librarian Mary Jane Keeney and her husband Philip, who had been called before the House UnAmerican Activities Committee to account for friendships with suspected communists, memberships in communist fronts, and authorship of articles that had been published in leftist periodicals. Conservative journalists and politicians had seized the occasion to denounce the pair as communist sympathizers and spies for the Soviet Union. If the accusations were true, the Keeneys had provided the Soviets with classified information about American defense and economic policies that could alter the balance of power between those rival nations. If false, the Keeneys had been shamefully wronged by their own government, for the accusations tumbled them into grief and poverty.

In 1950, Senator Joseph McCarthy declared that the State Department was a haven for communists and traitors. Among famous targets, like Alger Hiss, the senator also named librarian Mary Jane Keeney and her husband Philip, who had been called before The House UnAmerican Activities Committee to account for friendships with suspected communists, memberships in communist fronts, and authorship of articles that had been published in leftist periodicals. Conservative journalists and politicians had seized the occasion to denounce the pair as communist sympathizers and spies for the Soviet Union. If the accusations were true, the Keeneys had provided the Soviets with classified information about American defense and economic policies that could alter the balance of power between those rival nations. If false, the Keeneys had been shamefully wronged by their own government, for the accusations tumbled them into grief and poverty.

This book draws on a wide range of archival materials, especialy FBI files, interviews, and extensive reading from secondary sources to tell the story of Philip Olin Keeney and his wife Mary Jane, who became part of the famed Silvermaster Spy Ring in the 1940s. It paints a picture of two ordinary people who took an extraordinary path in life and, while they were never charged and tried as spies, were punished through blacklisting. It also reaveals the means by which the FBI investigated suspected spies through black bag jobs, phone tapping, and mail interceptions. Spies compromise national security by stealing secrets, but secrets can be defined to suit individual political designs and ambitions. Philip and Mary Jane Keeney constantly tested the boundaries of free access to information – to the point of risking disloyalty to their country – but the American government responded in a manner that risked its democratic foundations.

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May 21st, 2017 by Michael Sauers

I want to take this class!

Published on May 25, 2016

A group of MIT students briefly put away their cell phones this spring to concentrate on a much older information storage and retrieval device: the book. In a hands-on humanities class — Making Books: The Renaissance and Today — students gained insights about early books and book-making technology, not least by actually making paper and building a handset printing press, the kind of press on which the great documents of the Renaissance, the Reformation, and the Scientific Revolution were printed. (Learn more about the build: http://news.mit.edu/2016/mens-et-manu…)

Posted in Books, video

May 19th, 2017 by Michael Sauers

Published on May 12, 2017

Cory Doctorow and John Scalzi stop by the Googleplex to discuss their most recent books, and each other.

Cory Doctorow’s “Walkaway”
Fascinating, moving, and darkly humorous, Walkaway is a multi-generation SF thriller about the wrenching changes of the next hundred years…and the very human people who will live their consequences.

John Scalzi’s “The Collapsing Empire”
Our universe is ruled by physics. Faster than light travel is impossible—until the discovery of The Flow, an extradimensional field available at certain points in space-time, which can take us to other planets around other stars.

Riding The Flow, humanity spreads to innumerable other worlds. Earth is forgotten. A new empire arises, the Interdependency, based on the doctrine that no one human outpost can survive without the others. It’s a hedge against interstellar war—and, for the empire’s rulers, a system of control.

The Flow is eternal—but it’s not static. Just as a river changes course, The Flow changes as well. In rare cases, entire worlds have been cut off from the rest of humanity. When it’s discovered that the entire Flow is moving, possibly separating all human worlds from one another forever, three individuals—a scientist, a starship captain, and the emperox of the Interdependency—must race against time to discover what, if anything, can be salvaged from an interstellar empire on the brink of collapse.

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May 19th, 2017 by Michael Sauers

From Cemetery Dance:

Gwendy’s Button Box
A Brand New Castle Rock Novella
by Stephen King and Richard Chizmar

A Cemetery Dance Publications Exclusive Trade Hardcover & eBook!
Also published as an Audiobook by Simon & Schuster Audio!

Featuring full color cover artwork by Ben Baldwin
Interior artwork by Keith Minnion

 

About the Book:

The little town of Castle Rock, Maine has witnessed some strange events and unusual visitors over the years, but there is one story that has never been told… until now.

There are three ways up to Castle View from the town of Castle Rock: Route 117, Pleasant Road, and the Suicide Stairs. Every day in the summer of 1974 twelve-year-old Gwendy Peterson has taken the stairs, which are held by strong (if time-rusted) iron bolts and zig-zag up the cliffside.

At the top of the stairs, Gwendy catches her breath and listens to the shouts of the kids on the playground. From a bit farther away comes the chink of an aluminum bat hitting a baseball as the Senior League kids practice for the Labor Day charity game.

One day, a stranger calls to Gwendy: “Hey, girl. Come on over here for a bit. We ought to palaver, you and me.”

On a bench in the shade sits a man in black jeans, a black coat like for a suit, and a white shirt unbuttoned at the top. On his head is a small neat black hat. The time will come when Gwendy has nightmares about that hat…

Journey back to Castle Rock again in this chilling new novella by Stephen King, bestselling author of The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, and Richard Chizmar, award-winning author of A Long December. This book is a Cemetery Dance Publications exclusive with no other trade editions currently planned anywhere in the world!

Published as a trade hardcover edition:
• Printed on acid-free paper
• Bound in cloth with colored head and tail bands
• Featuring hot foil stamping on the front boards and spine
• Wrapped in a full-color dust jacket
• Featuring one of the lowest print runs for a brand new Stephen King book in many years
• Retail price just $25

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May 12th, 2017 by Michael Sauers

From Amazon.com:

The hugely powerful Key to Time has been split into six segments, all of which have been disguised and hidden throughout time and space. Now the even more powerful White Guardian wants the Doctor to find the pieces.

With the first segment successfully retrieved, the Doctor, Romana and K-9 trace the second segment of the Key to the planet Calufrax. But when they arrive at exactly the right point in space, they find themselves on exactly the wrong planet – Zanak.

Ruled by the mysterious ‘Captain’, Zanak is a happy and prosperous planet. Mostly. If the mines run out of valuable minerals and gems then the Captain merely announces a New Golden Age and they fill up again. It’s an economic miracle – so obviously something’s very wrong…

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May 5th, 2017 by Michael Sauers

From Amazon.com:

Lucas Davenport’s first case as a U.S. Marshal sends him into uncharted territory in the thrilling new novel in the #1 New York Times-bestselling series.

The man was smart and he didn’t mind killing people. Welcome to the big leagues, Davenport.

Thanks to some very influential people whose lives he saved, Lucas is no longer working for the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, but for the U.S. Marshals Service, and with unusual scope. He gets to pick his own cases, whatever they are, wherever they lead him.

And where they’ve led him this time is into real trouble. A Biloxi, Mississippi, drug-cartel counting house gets robbed, and suitcases full of cash disappear, leaving behind five bodies, including that of a six-year-old girl. Davenport takes the case, which quickly spirals out of control, as cartel assassins, including a torturer known as the “Queen of home-improvement tools” compete with Davenport to find the Dixie Hicks shooters who knocked over the counting house. Things get ugly real fast, and neither the cartel killers nor the holdup men give a damn about whose lives Davenport might have saved; to them, he’s just another large target.

Filled with his trademark razor-sharp plotting and some of the best characters in suspense fiction, Golden Prey is further reason why “Sandford has always been at the top of any list of great mystery writers” (The Huffington Post).

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April 28th, 2017 by Michael Sauers

From Amazon.com:

Despite displaying unspectacular scientific aptitude at school – he even managed to fail CSE woodwork, eliciting a lament from his astonished teacher (‘All you have to do is recognise wood!’) – Peter has secured his place in science fiction history, becoming the fifth Doctor Who, although he nearly turned down the role. The Time Lord connection continued with the marriage of his daughter Georgia to Dr Who number ten, David Tennant. The artist formerly known as Peter Malcolm Gordon Moffett has also starred in a number of television series including Love for Lydia, A Very Peculiar Practice, At Home with the Braithwaites and The Last Detective and became a national treasure for having his arm up a cow in his role as Tristan Farnon in All Creatures Great and Small. He was also in a Michael Winner movie…He made his first tentative steps on stage in true am-dram style, but the Byfleet Players’ loss was the West End’s gain, after appearing in Legally Blonde, Chicago, Spamalot and the record-breaking Gypsy, where he rubbed shoulders backstage with Dames Meryl Streep, Maggie Smith and Judi Dench – all asking for directions to Imelda Staunton’s dressing room. One thing is for sure: of all the British screen and stage actors of the last fifty years, Peter Davison is certainly one of them and, within these pages, intrepid readers will at last have the dubious honour of sharing in his life and times – as he despairs over whether there truly ever can be life outside the box.

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April 23rd, 2017 by Michael Sauers

I’ve been teasing this project on Facebook for a few months and today it can finally be revealed!

Dave Hinchberger of The Overlook Connection Press has been working with artist Glenn Chadbourne to produce a series of new dust jackets for Stephen King’s novels. Each cover is limited to 500 copies and singed by Mr. Chadbourne. Each jacket also includes a new essay from King-world authors ranging from Rocky WoodStephen Spignesi, Bev Vincent and even Anthrax’s Scott Ian.

Guess who was asked to write the jacket text for Sai King’s Dreamcatcher. Yes, yours truly!

Let’s just say it was the most difficult and fun writing assignment I’ve ever had the honor of completing. The fact that it had to come in at approximately 450 words, was a challenge all on its own.

You can see all the covers currently available @  StephenKingCatalog.com and check out my contribution specifically there too.

Me, I’ll be framing one of my copies just as soon as it arrives.

And Dave, thanks for asking and having enough faith in me to give me the chance to participate in this project.

Posted in Books, Writing Tagged with: , ,

April 21st, 2017 by Michael Sauers

From Amazon.com:

In this definitive novel, readers will follow Thrawn’s rise to power—uncovering the events that created one of the most iconic villains in Star Wars history.

One of the most cunning and ruthless warriors in the history of the Galactic Empire, Grand Admiral Thrawn is also one of the most captivating characters in the Star Wars universe, from his introduction in bestselling author Timothy Zahn’s classic Heir to the Empire through his continuing adventures in Dark Force Rising, The Last Command, and beyond. But Thrawn’s origins and the story of his rise in the Imperial ranks have remained mysterious. Now, in Star Wars: Thrawn, Timothy Zahn chronicles the fateful events that launched the blue-skinned, red-eyed master of military strategy and lethal warfare into the highest realms of power—and infamy.

Posted in Books Tagged with: ,

April 14th, 2017 by Michael Sauers

From Amazon.com:

New York Times best-selling author and Emmy Award–winning news anchor Chris Hayes argues that there are really two Americas: a Colony and a Nation.

America likes to tell itself that it inhabits a postracial world, yet nearly every empirical measure―wealth, unemployment, incarceration, school segregation―reveals that racial inequality has barely improved since 1968, when Richard Nixon became our first “law and order” president. With the clarity and originality that distinguished his prescient bestseller, Twilight of the Elites, Chris Hayes upends our national conversation on policing and democracy in a book of wide-ranging historical, social, and political analysis.

Hayes contends our country has fractured in two: the Colony and the Nation. In the Nation, we venerate the law. In the Colony, we obsess over order, fear trumps civil rights, and aggressive policing resembles occupation. A Colony in a Nation explains how a country founded on justice now looks like something uncomfortably close to a police state. How and why did Americans build a system where conditions in Ferguson and West Baltimore mirror those that sparked the American Revolution?

A Colony in a Nation examines the surge in crime that began in the 1960s and peaked in the 1990s, and the unprecedented decline that followed. Drawing on close-hand reporting at flashpoints of racial conflict, as well as deeply personal experiences with policing, Hayes explores cultural touchstones, from the influential “broken windows” theory to the “squeegee men” of late-1980s Manhattan, to show how fear causes us to make dangerous and unfortunate choices, both in our society and at the personal level. With great empathy, he seeks to understand the challenges of policing communities haunted by the omnipresent threat of guns. Most important, he shows that a more democratic and sympathetic justice system already exists―in a place we least suspect.

A Colony in a Nation is an essential book―searing and insightful―that will reframe our thinking about law and order in the years to come.

Posted in Books, Politics & Law Tagged with:

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