One of the defining characteristics of much of the best science fiction writing is ambition, but the trick is to filter that ambition into something meaningful. A big story idea is a start, but a great science fiction writer knows how to channel that into an inventive, emotionally affecting story that’s as much about science as it is about characters. Over the course of his career, Neal Stephenson has become one of the poster children for just that kind of storytelling ambition, and with Seveneves he takes it to a level unlike anything he’s done before.
Wylie Rose subsists on memories. They are his food, his religion, his constant focus. Not just any memories—only ones of Cesca Bonet, a beautiful young girl he first encounters at age 10.
At the heart of every small town is a community—neighbors who have watered each other’s plants for years, friends who have grown up together and family businesses that have proudly hung signs on Main Street. These three romance novels capture the homespun charm of creaky porch swings, bake sales and softball games, as well as the sweet thrill of falling in love with the whole town watching—and usually cheering.
This month's Lifestyles column features books for sprucing up your home—from space-saving gardens to furniture and more.
In Susan Crawford's debut psychological thriller, a woman with bipolar disorder spirals in a manic episode as she struggles to determine whether or not she murdered her neighbor. We emailed the Atlanta-based author to ask a few questions about her debut, the unreliablity of her characters and more.
What with all the CSI television dramas, books by FBI profilers and frightening news stories about serial killers, we’ve become quite familiar with the concept of the criminal psychopath, a person without remorse. But even now, most of us are shocked when a child is a murderer. In 1874, when our current ideas about mental illness were still in their infancy, 14-year-old Jesse Pomeroy seemed to many like a demon from hell.
While away on duty, Army Ranger Van Shaw receives a chilling note from his grandfather: “Come home, if you can.” The last time the two talked was 10 years ago—a conversation that resulted in a bloody brawl. Pride and stubbornness run strong in this family, so for the old man to reach out means there’s something big happening back home.
When Nica Baker, a gorgeous, popular 16-year-old, is found dead on the campus of her prestigious private high school, her family, friends and community are shocked and devastated. While the case is closed neatly and quickly—an awkward classmate with an unrequited crush and a bad temper—Nica’s older sister Grace has the sick suspicion that the obvious answer is not always the right one. She goes on a quest to find out what really happened to Nica—and ends up discovering far more than she ever wanted to know about her family, her friends and herself.
This month's best new mysteries include a heartbreaking search for a missing child, a delightful old-school noir, a literary suspense set in Mexico and a tale of historic espionage.
In Welcome to Braggsville, four Berkeley college friends decide to protest a Civil War re-enactment by staging a “performative intervention.