Framing the Dialogue

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Looking Glass

This is the second in Andrew Mayne’s Naturalist series and it lives up to the first novel.  In Looking Glass, Cray is still recovering from the fallout and injuries from his first investigation when he is visited by the father of a missing child who wants Cray to find his child or at least what happened to his child.  The local police are only seeming to look into quick solutions and not an “urban legend” called the Toy Man.  Prof. Cray again seems in almost as much danger from law enforcement as he is from a serial killer.

The Naturalist

In The Naturalist, we meet Professor Theo Cray, who is a computational biologist.  His claim to “fame” is the creation of a computer model which looks for trends using biological data to predict.  On a field trip to Montana, he finds himself drawn into an investigation into the killing of one of his former students.  He is first a suspect, then a pariah when his theory goes against law enforcement’s conventional wisdom.  Neither is a great position to be in when you are an outsider.

Caliban’s War

“How can they have had a whole battle here,’ she said, ‘and no one knows why?’  ‘They know,’ Holden said. ‘Someone knows.”

In Caliban’s War, the second in the Expanse Series, we again meet James Holden as he and his crew happen upon the aftermath of a battle on Ganymede, where a great deal of the food for the universe was grown.  Mars and Earth are still in a very uneasy truce when someone or something attacks the UN forces and then the Martians.  Both believe the other to be behind the attack.

The Plastic Magician

Charlie N. Holmberg is the fourth in the Paper Magician series.  If you’ve not read any, well shame on you, but in case, these are set in England more or less and the stories center around magician apprentices who are bonded to certain materials.  In this novel we meet Alvie Brechenmacher who was fortunate to get her first choice in materials, plastic.

“Alvie admired the mark of her achievement a little longer before removing the hat and untying the knots of the apron, which she reverently folded and set at the foot of her bed. A Polymaker. Her. It was really happening, wasn’t it?”

The Seven Storey Mountain

A number of years ago, I read and wrote a review of a book about the author’s relationship with Mr. Rogers called I’m Proud of You.  The two men only met briefly, but that kindled a long though distant friendship.  One thing that I noted from the book was how this book, The Seven Storey Mountain, was a very important book to Mr. Rogers, so I added it to my wish list to read.  The book about Thomas Merton’s spiritual life started anything but spiritual.

“I’m With Hil 2020”

The Hillary Clinton 2020 campaign seems to have gathered some steam on Friday when anonymous sources leaked that the 2006 failed candidate signed a big money deal with the company BleachBit.  The company was little-known until Clinton’s staff used the software to wipe her electronic devices clean even though they were under court order to preserve them.   “it seemed like a natural fit for us as she really put us on the map” said an executive of the company who did not want to be named

The Call of the Wild

A couple of months ago I received an email from a group that associates itself with Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged (It was a novel that opened my eyes).  PBS Television is holding a “Great American Read” contest.  The email from the group noted that along with Atlas Shrugged, such novels like Fifty Shades of Gray were listed.  The impetus was to not allow Gray to make it and not Shrugged.  The list is very interesting and I’ve been voting pretty much every day since…and not just for Atlas Shrugged.

Mercury Falls

“Harry managed to get an overall sense of how the Apocalypse was going to go down. It was his knowledge of these imminent events that had propelled him to build his media empire. He wanted to be ready to proclaim The End when it came. Harry had always been cognizant of the danger of becoming so wrapped up in the business of empire building that he would miss out on his true calling, to be the harbinger of the Apocalypse.”



“Troy knew that this was the moment most people would begin to scream and flail, their fight and flight reflexes tripping all over one another. He remained motionless. Analyzing. He had learned at a very young age the wisdom of lying low and keeping quiet. In orphanages things had usually worked out better that way. In the army they still did.”