The Two Standouts
Nikola Tesla has become a hero lately; a bastion of innovative genius standing (and falling) against the capitalist system. Or something like that. Carlson’s Inventor of the Electrical Age investigates how Tesla’s background might have influenced his thinking and gives his innovations a place within history. There’s little about the sensational things (the Edison/Tesla feud, the love of pigeons, etc.) and more about how timing, economics, and personal politics helped and hindered Tesla.
Comics, escapology, and American history before, during, and after WWII. All written beautifully with love and care. Like Carter Beats the Devil, Kavalier & Clay tells a nearly complete history of its main characters. You live in the world with the characters for a while and, despite the good and the bad, you want to visit them again one day. I don’t know if I can ask for more from fiction.
- The Bullet Catch by John Gaspard
- Dolores Claiborne by Stephen King
- Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
- Sundance by David Fuller
- Tomboy by Liz Prince
Two Collections of Note
- Under Stars by K.J. Kabza – Really great speculative fiction.
- The Barnum Museum by Steven Millhauser – Some of my favorite short works of 2014 although we didn’t always get along. I’ve purchased Millhauser’s novel Martin Dressler. We’ll see how that goes.
Top Five from Deal Me In
(in no particular order)
- “Lazarus” by Leonid Andreyev
- “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” by Ambrose Bierce
- ” ‘Oh, Whistle, and I’ll Come to You, My Lad’ ” by M.R. James – The 1st story of 2014!
- “Fat Man and Little Boy” by Gary Braunbeck
- “The Goldfish Pool and Other Stories” by Neil Gaiman