Shelf Reflections


Feature

Authors Behaving badly: Baycon edition

Authors Behaving badly: Baycon edition

For those of you who don't know what BayCon is, it's a sci-fi fantasy convention held in the San Francisco Bay Area that is mainly focused on writing and writers. There's also gaming and other fun things, but the panels tend to center on more literary topics. Every year, they have a writer Guest of Honor, and this year it was David Brin.

Full disclosure: I was not at BayCon this year, and in fact haven't been for the past couple of years. The con had a change of venue, and I really didn't like where they ended up. So, I can't speak from first-hand experience about what happened this weekend, but an account is going around from people who were there.

Apparently, David Brin is well-known in sci-fi and fantasy circles for being a racist, misogynistic asshole, and these qualities were on full display in a panel which he was moderating. You can read about it in more detail in this Facebook post from one of the attendees.

I find it baffling in the extreme that authors who work in a genre that features stories of inclusion and explores social issues ...
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Shelf to Screen

The Alienist Episode One: The Boy on the Bridge

The Alienist Episode One: The Boy on the Bridge

TNT's limited series The Alienist, based on the book of the same name by Caleb Carr, follows three main characters: Dr. Lazlo Kreizler, our titular alienist, who seeks to understand the minds of those afflicted with mental illness; John Moore, an illustrator for the New York Times, who assists Kreizler by lending his eyes and his pen to the investigation; and Sarah Howard, longtime acquaintance of Moore and the first woman to be employed in any capacity with the New York Police Department. The show takes viewers on a tour of 1896 New York's seamy underside of boy prostitution and police corruption as Kreizler and his allies race to catch a serial killer. The first episode introduces our characters and showcases the first gruesome murder. John Moore, an apparent patron of brothels, is roused from an amorous encounter by the arrival of Stevie Taggert, employee of Dr. Kreizler, who drives him in a carriage to the construction site of the Williamsburg Bridge. Talking his way past the police by claiming to have been sent for by Theodore Roosevelt (yes, that Teddy Roosevelt), he finds that he is to sketch a horrific murder scene. A young boy clad in a girl's ...
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About Me

I’ve been reading since I was two years old and reviewing since 2001. I majored in English and now work at the bookstore at the university where I graduated. My favorite fiction genres are science fiction, fantasy, historical fiction, and young adult. My favorite non-fiction genres are history, science and travel memoirs. In real life, I’m married with three feline children and like to hike, go to movies, and geek with my friends.

Fiction

Point of View by Patrick Bard
I want to preface this review by saying that this is a novel that was translated from its original French. I wasn't aware of that when I picked it up, and that wouldn't have affected whether or not I read it, but I feel like I need to note this. I think this fact has a lot of bearing on my opinion of this book. And mostly, my opinion isn't that good. I highly applaud the author for tackling the subject matter--porn addiction is a real thing, and it can ...
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Non-Fiction

The Unlikely Thru-Hiker by Derick Lugo
I feel like I'm one of the very few people who read this book and didn't feel the urge to rave about it. I read a lot of hiking memoirs, and I just don't feel like this was one of the better ones. It's not bad, but it doesn't stand out either. Admittedly, I have a pretty high bar for the genre. Bill Bryson's A Walk in the Woods was not only my introduction to the subject, but it was the book that essentially fueled my passion for non-fiction. I ...
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